Colombia-Ecuador 2013. Day 14: Baños – Riobamba

2013/10/26baños - riobamba

Click on image to see map

The road was full of glass pieces in the morning. After a Friday night and maybe not enough rain, you could expect that. What I didn’t expect was to find so much traffic! It was quite a bad day in terms of cars…

The day didn’t start properly: I didn’t find my route. The road to Riobamba, the one that goes straight from Baños, is not signposted. By the time I realized (and I really was looking for that road, don’t you think otherwise) it was too late so I just kept going towards Ambato. Anyway…

The road to Ambato is good. Views are nothing special, a little bit boring even, and there’s lots of traffic. But climbing is quite easy there. Pepileno is a nice town at the top of the valley, from where you can take some small roads towards Riobamba. I found a flower market there, that was pretty nice. Sadly, some clouds didn’t alow me to see the volcano at its best…

The small roads to Riobamba are nice (but not espectacular, that’s for sure), mainly because of the rural feeling and the little traffic. BUT they are a maze!! It’s quite hard to find your way through them. You can ask around almost everywhere though, so that helps a lot. But it’s also true that most of the locals will direct you towards main roads; some they don’t even know the roads near where they live (not all, but some).

After Quepos I took the main road (via Mocha). The small roads were ok but I was having to stop too much and in some crossroads nobody appeared. You need a proper map here… or just remember that most roads take you to the same place!!

The main road was a good choice in terms of going fast (the climbing is quite easy, no matter what the profile of the day says) and in order to see El Chimborazo! What a mountain!!! Sadly, it was cloudly when I passed next to it.

The worst part is, obviously, traffic. Specially once you’ve done some 4 or 5 kms downhill. A 2 lane motorway doesn’t make it very nice to cycle there. The entrance to Riobamba is quite crap as well. At least, the views are very nice. Very.

Riobamba is a much nicer city than what I had expected. Besides, it offered me some great sun and a view of the surrounding mountains with clear of clouds! Nice way to finish the day!

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