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ROUTE cuenca - loja
Travel

This is a monstrous journey climbing and descending the mountains, through forested valleys and over páramo. This is the Austro – the southern part of the highlands which is more like a plateau and doesn’t feature any volcanoes. The views are still fantastic. I don´t think any part of the last 150km is actually flat. In 2005 we had to take a detour to cross a river as the bridge was ´broken´. Careering down a dusty track hugging the cliff we came across a Flota Imbabura bus which had broken down. Lots of trucks and 4x4s were stacked up, unable to pass it. After about 40 minutes, as people were starting to contemplate what they were going to do stuck in the middle of nowhere without food or a woman ( I was alright – I had some biscuits in my bag), 2 guys emerged covered in oil from under the bus and it rolled off, negotiating the narrow space between the trucks waiting in front.

We got off the bus in Saraguro to eat and then got chatting to the guy in the tourist office to kill the hour before next bus. He ended up driving us to a local fiesta then into Loja, drinking some vodka chicha sort of alcopop mix that they sell in 3 litre bottles.


 



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