Stocking up on supplies in Tulcan, i was ready to hit the rather lonely road through the ecological reserve “el angel”. Well described by other touring cyclists, the turn-off from the busy main road was easy to find and after some passing trucks on the first kilometers, the traffic stopped altogether in the second half of the day and i did not see a single person. Instead, i saw frailejónes en masse. this time with a camera again, after i was travelling through similar regions in colombia without one.
A closer look at the blossoms and furry leaves of the plants.
It was getting foggy again and also really cold towards the evening. As, for other reasons, but like on the road from Mocoa, it was hard to find a camping spot. But in the afternoon the old refuge was reached, were two and a half men were busy restoring the building. There used to be a room for travellers, now i had to do with a windowless corner of the house and was preparing for the coldest night i had on this trip so far. I woke up during the night, probably because i was cold, and as the fog was gone, i could enjoy a look at the starry sky as well as the lights from villages far down below. Which gave me some sort of connection with the outside world again, which i deemed had vanished beyond that seeminly everlasting mist of the paramo. The next morning all that had changed back to this clouded world and i was happy to leave early and start the descent. On the way down, i met Alex from Austria, a cyclist on his way in the opposite direction coming from the very south of the continent at Ushuaya. The dirt road had given way to cobble stone, which is not my favourite surface to ride on. Once i reached the town El Angel, i was back on paved roads, and luckily so, as i really enjoyed the downhill part through Mira ending at the Choca River and its green valleys.
Some stretches of the pan-american had to be overcome and i didn’t stop until i reached Otavalo with the last light of the day.
The “rincon del viajero” hostal has a campground a bit outside of town, which is a good place to stay. Especially for people on their way to the Laguna de Mojanda, as it is along the road leading there.