The three musketeers left Riobamba and set off for Alausi to take the Nariz del Diablo train (Devil’s Nose). The train is famous for winding through the mountains with passengers sitting on the roof. However, we learned that passengers are no longer allowed on the roof. It’s all fun and games until someone gets decapitated… The tickets were also sold out so we decided to press on for Cuenca where we attended a football match. Marty insisted we sit in the student section and it was crazy. We quickly learned the chants and continued to scream and clap. On three occasions dynamite was set off in the stands and we ran for cover as our ear drums were nearly blown out. Unfortunately, Cuenca lost but before the game was over some fans got in a fight right in front of us and dozens of police came to restore order. We climbed up the rafters for a better view and Marty snapped this photo.
The next morning I split from Marty and Charles. We had different timelines and aspirations for the journey so I decided to part ways and keep on solo (you never know, we might meet up again down the road). Charles is riding with Marty for a bit. You can check out Marty’s blog at: http://martysouthamerica.wordpress.com/ Diego sent me a knobby tire from Quito and flew it into Loja so that’s where I headed. I got the tire and now have a some fresh rubber for when I hit Bolivia.
Bright and early I left for the border from Loja. I chose the Macara border in the mountains. It was far more scenic than the coastal panamariana crossing (which I’ve heard terrible rumors that it’s the worst crossing in South America). The ride was beautiful through the mountains. I’ve noticed that I always say that these roads are beautiful. Well… it’s true! I’m so fortunate to explore this beautiful land.
The border was ridiculously easy and after the usual chit chat I’m off to Peru…