Tripstagram pt. 4: Quito to Mancora

My journey on Instagram, part 4, from Quito, Ecuador, to Mancora, Peru.

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The last few days in and out of Cotopaxi National Park were pretty incredible. I joined up with Michael for the ride to the park. The first day was mostly sunny and we could see Cotopaxi's iconic cone in the distance. After a burst of rain, we camped in a farmers field, then continued the endless cobblestone ride the next morning. The cobblestones ended as the landscape and skies both opened up – the views more than making up for the rain. We got to the park and Michael headed off the hard way through the park, while I, with my heavier load, took the easy way. This morning I got close up views of Cotopaxi and hitched a ride up the mountain and hiked up to the snow line. Up next – the Quilotoa Loop.

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Good morning Isinlivi. You seem like a good spot for a day off.

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This is Father Antonio Polo. In 1970 he arrived as a missionary in the poor village of Salinas de Guaranda in Ecuador and helped transform it. He helped the locals receive training, materials, loans and more to start up a number of community cooperative businesses. Today the town of 1,000 is home to manufacturers of cheese, chocolate, salami, wool, soccer balls and more that export their products across Ecuador and beyond. All the businesses are locally owned and the profits are returned to the community. Salinas is held up as an example as a small town pulling together to lift itself out of poverty. I just happened to run into him while on a short walk yesterday and he invited me to his home for a coffee.

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Click here for part five.

Categories: bicycle touring, South America tour, UncategorizedTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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