From Macas to Cuenca, Ecuador


The ride from Macas to Cuenca that we choose takes us through a beautiful river valley and west on Route 45. It’s raining in the morning as we go for breakfast and then pack up, and we are told that’s normal for this part of the country.
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While the route has been here for many years I think it’s recently either been paved or reconstructed and it’s a fantastic new road.
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We climb today from about 1000 meters to over 2500 at the end of the day, but we actually go quite a bit higher as we pass through the mountains before dropping back down to Cuenca at 2560 meters.
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Rain creates thin strands of silver here and there across the valley as it coalesces into narrow waterfalls. And some of those converge into a larger few falls. The road continues to climb and curve and double back onto itself. Loads of gravel, rock and concrete are being hauled by all the trucks we see on the road today.
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There are lots of lovely small villages along the way, and we can see the church at Amaluza before we get there. And a few minutes later we park on the edge of the two-lane highway to take a photo of it and the enormous dam in the river just above us.
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As we ride further ahead we can see the lake that this dam has created in the narrow valley bottom.
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We stop in Sevilla del Oro for a pepperoni pizza and coke, which makes this American girl very happy. And then we carry on through El Pan, Paute and other towns on our way to Cuenca. Julio has put us in touch with a friend of his in Cuenca, Roberto, who we hope to meet. Thankfully the rain clears party way through the afternoon so we dry out before we get to town.
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