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Looking for a South America route, starting in Quito

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Looking for a South America route, starting in Quito

Old 04-27-15, 11:31 AM
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Looking for a South America route, starting in Quito

Hello to all,

I want to do a South American tour. I intended to do it this year, but last December I got a much better job at a big company and decided to take advantage of that for another year. So 2016 it will be.

I want to go for about 1 month max. or about 2500km. I commute daily with a load in a variety of terrains, so I guess I can start with a reasonable daily mileage from the start.

One important detail, I want to start from Quito, for a variety of reasons.
I would love to reach Bolivia and the Altiplano, but I guess that would be difficult with my timeframe. Also, I'm not seeing any flights from Bolivia to Madrid or Lisboa. Am I right?

From there, I have two options:
Option A) - do a round trip and end in Quito again
Option B) - travel south from Quito

A few considerations:
- I have no desire to go thought coastal Peru, I'd like to stay inland/highlands
- I prefer scenery quality over distance
- I'd like to avoid road traffic (well, don't we all do?)
- I don't mind to use a bus if I need to and if I don't lose anything interesting that way
- I can go a little over the length/ time I said, if I need to
- Going with option B) I need to end up in a city with flights to Madrid or Lisbon

Any ideas?
I'm budgeting $30,00 a day and $1.500,00 for the flights.

I'm eager to hear your ideas and to see routes similar to what I plan.

Thanks in advance for any help
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Old 04-27-15, 01:33 PM
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Would you consider going north to Colombia instead? The majority of cyclists who have ridden the length of S. America seem to say that their favorite country was Colombia, and southern Colombia seems especially popular. I've been to Ecuador and Colombia, but only went on a few day rides, not really touring. The mountain scenery is gorgeous in both countries. (I've toured in Chile & Argentina, but that obviously won't work if you're starting in Quito.)
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Old 04-27-15, 01:48 PM
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You could research south american cycle clubs to get a local input, in Spanish of course.
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Old 04-28-15, 10:57 AM
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Thanks for the help,

I have no interest in going to Colombia.
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Old 04-29-15, 11:50 PM
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Do factor in acclimatization for the 3000 meter/10000 foot altitude in Quito unless you live at that baseline altitude already. Many years ago I landed there for a tour for two months in Dec/Jan Although in good physical condition with lots of touring miles my body reminded me that less oxygen made a difference. While pedaling a loaded mountain bike on and off pavement at altitudes from 10k to 16500/5k meters required some time to adjust and make more red blood cells.

Ecuador is a wonderful microcosm for much of South America. The playa, Amazonas and the Altiplano. I rode North to Otavalo for the weaving market and circled back South along the Ambato River Road (then just dirt with embedded rocks and stone) onto the flank of Chimborazo (almost 21k feet) riding to 5k meters in the moderate snow in Dec/January when there. Spend a cold night at 16500 in the Edward Whymper Refugio on the concrete floor - glad to be inside out of the wind and snow. Crossed over to Cotopaxi NP and enjoyed a wild night in a refugio made from stick walls stuffed with grass. A perfect magnet for mice and rats. A free standing tent indoors was helpful. After riding as far south as I wanted I rode the one car Ferrocarrile train back to Quito for my flight home - another highlight for interacting with daily life in Ecuador. I won't bore you with the brief military uprising/mutiny that closed the airport delaying my flight for a day.

The Ecuadorans were kind, generous and helpful but thought I was really so poor that i could not afford the 5 sucre bus fare and had to ride a bike! The people made this one of my most memorable tours. Last week I was reminded of that tour in talking to new neighbors next door. Newly weds where the bride's mother was Ecuadoran. I shared my photos with the family. They knew all the places in the photos.

Ecuador today has changed enormously since my ride there. I suspect that the altiplano has not changed all that much. I hope your ride there is as memorable as mine.
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Old 05-03-15, 03:31 AM
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Arctos, thank you very much for your post.

I compiled a route from Quito down to La Balza. Got the tracks from Pedallingnowhere and from some journals at Crazyguyonabike. From there on, I would love to keep going South in Peru
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Old 05-05-15, 05:06 PM
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For more Ecuadorian route options look at Cass Gilbert's While Out Riding blog and Facebook WOR pages. He has some lengthy articles and photos from a recent(2015) ride across Ecuador. Mainly dirt, trail and footpath riding on Fat Bikes. He is currently in Columbia riding.
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Old 05-06-15, 01:03 PM
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I've been reading his blog since 2012 and love it.
That Ecuador route you talk about, the Trans Ecuador route, I've been trying to get it's track.
Seems like the perfect option for me, 1300km, doable in 25 days, can land in Quito, start it, end in Loja, catch a Tame plane to Quito (cheap) and come back...
Seems like I'm going to swap my LHT frame for an Ogre...
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