Biking Dutchman? Really? Well… despite the name (insider joke, nothing against the Dutch!!) I opted-in for a full-day bike tour at Cotopaxi volcano. Almost did not make it to the tour: a) the day before I incurred an eye infection due to flying sand during the Quilotoa hike and b) they almost forgot to pick me up in time in the morning. But Edgar,my driver, hit the gas pedal very hard for the 2.5h drive from Chugchilan to Cotopaxi National Park. We made it just in time.
We drove through Cotopaxi National Park to our starting point at 4.500 m. Basically seeing nada due to heavy fog. Unloading the bikes, dressing up (cold, ice-cold, ice-ice-cold wind up there – around 5 degrees) and off – or better down we went. Riding downhill a very bumpy way – my poor wrists really got shaken. Than almost straight, mostly single trails through the Paramo landscape at the base of the volcano. The view uphill sequences left me quickly short on breath at this high altitude. Scenic lunch and than the last downhill part with amazing last views of Cotopaxi Summit.
A feeling for the conditions…
I had such a fantastic day, very happy I did the ride. The weather has been amazing as well: from foggy 2m sight conditions in the morning to a super sunny afternoon – with perfect views on Cotopaxi summit. So clear, that I could see the dark lines on the glacier – the ashes of the active volcano. After a quick dinner (with my Dutch travel friends Rianne and Mark) and one episode of Orphan Black” I feel dead-tired and happy asleep!
Some impressions of my day: