16 October – Day 86
Cuenca, Ecuador to Loja, Ecuador
We’re getting close to the border with Peru now, and decided to break up the ride there into two 200km days, with Loja being the halfway point. A shorter day on the bike meant that we had time to spend the morning wandering around Cuenca again – only to confirm that yes, we did really like this place. Possibly the highlight of Adrian’s morning was spotting two other overlanders (on 250cc bikes, fully loaded with gear!) from NSW, complete with NSW number plates. I honestly don’t ever see Adrian as happy as he is when he’s chasing down, and then speaking with, other bikers. I think it’s somehow related to this special visual skill he has for spotting bikes… seriously… I will see a tiny black speck on the horizon that could be a car, or a bird, or a spot on my sunglasses… just as Adrian lets me know, through our intercom, that it’s a Suzuki Vstrom xx model (or whatever it is). Unbelievable.
Anyway, the ‘short’ ride to Loja wasn’t actually that short – at least in terms of time. The road was very windy, constantly up and down, and wet from the pouring rain. So it took us over five hours to make the 197kms, by which time we were very hungry and just a tad cold. The latter was not helped by the fact that our riding jeans got wet before we put our wet weather gear on… so we were essentially riding in wet clothes. Not fun.
Loja was ok.. we didn’t really see much as by the time we’d found accommodation and food, it was dark and (predictably) raining. The town centre area seems pretty nice though – and it would be somewhere that would be worth having a walk around some other time.