Exiting Cotopaxi National Park we continued South pressing through the stunning Avenida de los Volcanes high up in the Ecuadorian Andes. The nights here are cold, the mornings spent getting the blood moving into the toes again but the reward is incredible, watching the sun rise over the Eastern Cordillera, a soft red glow across the top of 4 snowcapped volcanoes. The riding here is unbelievable, open plains, nobody in sight as we follow the compass. I eventually needing more supplies, take a South West heading hoping to hit a town, passing eerily quiet deserted towns, looking like they got 80% complete and people either ran out of interest or money. Actuall tumbleweed crossing my path, the only sign to let me know the world has not ended is the drone of a highway 30kms to the west.
Eventually finding a small village I stock up again and head back into the mountains. Here you have no problem finding open spots to camp, anywhere that can offer a little protection from the wind works well, with nobody for miles around you can rest easy with a camp fire. This kind of freedom is what you hope for, the dream, setting up camp at the end of a day in the saddle. The thought now that I had before setting off of fishing, maybe reading a book are laughable. The truth of it is, making a fire, making sure your horse is comfortable and well fed and taking your boots off is the most you can be bothered to achieve. But the freedom, the chance to really adventure, challenge yourself and break away from the cottonwool wrapped, fearmongering is what it is all about, feeling alive. I truley appreciate this opportunity, knowing there are not many parts of the world where this kind of travel is possible or safe. The fact that freedom nowadays is viewed as a luxury.
I was recently sent information about fellow long rider Geldy Kyarizov, held as a political prisoner in Turkmenistan, please if you have a moment follow the link and sign the petition. A reminder of the fact that free speech and “freedom” is not a luxury allowed throughout this world. Che Guevara once said “let the world change you and you can change the world” Appreciation of the things we have is so important, the ability to enjoy it, should not be a luxury.
This last few days I have had a chance to taste local cuisine and get some valuable route knowledge for the road ahead. A mixture of emotions as we are prepairing for the big push to Peru, entering the final 1000kms the finish line is in sight. Wanting to make the most of what is left of this journey, the planned route will take us once again back into the wilderness, following the INCA trade route. Red looking strong, excited for what lay ahead.
Thank you for reading, for your support and messages. I have said it before but they really are appreciated!