QuickPeek: Rain. Border Crossing. Parade. Ecuador!
We planned yet another early start and were out of the bed at 6 and on the road at 6:20, but we stopped for a bit of bite and coffee and got on the road proper at 7 AM. The day looked cloudy and we figured we might not have to fight the heat, which proved to be the case.
The route out was pretty, and apart from a 3 km stretch of boulder, the rest of the route was generally pleasant. The oil pipeline followed all along the way today too, and I spotted a few oil wells on the route. Guess they are slowly encroaching into the Amazon, bummer about the oil companies wreaking havoc. The road was all rolling hills, but a little bit better than the past couple of days.
As we went past a military post, we were threatened with rain. We sotted a shelter and stopped off for a bit of waterproofs. Luckily for us, just as we got into the shelter the rain poured heavily. I suppose it’s one more environmental factor for Krista to get accustomed to. The rain slowed down a bit and we got back on the road. in 10 mins, the rain started again and I got back on my jacket. I skipped my rain pants hoping the rain might stop soon, but the huge downpour continued all the way into Ecuador. My boots were soaked, bummer.
We got to the Puente International and looked around for the Immigration post. Turned out that they had a combined Colombia-Ecuador immigration post about 3 k’s inland from the border. The road on the Ecuador side was pretty sweet, but I felt that the traffic was a bit badly behaved. There was not much vehicles and not much of an issue, but something to keep in mind I reckon.
The immigration was painless, though I had the complication of the old and new Passports. The Colombian side gave me an exit stamp on my old passport and the Ecuador side gave me entry in the new one. Sweet. I just had to get them a copy of both my passports and Colombian exit stamp which cost me a dollar at the shop nearby.
As we rode into Ecuador, we passed a small town where a school parade was ongoing and we decided to stop for a bit of grub. The people were friendly and we got a decent meal and head out in the relatively cool weather to the town of Lago Agria. In this town there was a Warm showers host, and we planned to stay a day with him and plan logistics for the days ahead. We planned to head to the Pacific coast and were considering options on riding of bussing it across the Andes.
We stopped at a fast food joint to get in touch with our host. Unfortunately, we couldn’t contact our host and decided to go for plan B.
Krista had found a Volunteering gig for us using her networks and we had a nice opportunity to take care of someone’s house along the Pacific Coast. We planned to get there by the end of the month and it looked like riding up and over the Andes (this time climbing 4000m), might take us more days than we might have. We looked at options and decided to bus it across the Andes. We weren’t sure where to head to and while at the bus station, found a direct bus going all the way to the Pacific Coast to a town called Esmeraldas. It would be a 5 day ride from there to our destination and we decided to catch the 5 pm bus out of Lago Agrio.
Route: La Dorada (Colombia) to Lago Agrio (Ecuador)
Distance: 47 Km
Road: 3 Km gravel while heading out of La Dorada. Otherwise well paved. Well paved roads in Ecuador.
Traffic: Moderate. Mosty ones trying to cross the border.
Expenses: SG$ 32.97
Comments: Heavy rain, was a welcome change from the hear. though soaking wet, it was enjoyable.