We get to Riobamba late afternoon. First thing, see if we can organise a mountain biking trip down Chimborazo Volcano. It doesn’t look good seeings that it is late Sunday evening.
As luck would have it, as it usually does. We found ProCycles was open so we hot tailed our way over to them quick smart. Low and behold, they had no tours booked for Monday which meant it would just be the three of us – YEE HAA!
We were picked up at six-thirty to head straight for Chimborazo, which is a dormant Volcano which at its peak is 6200 metres high. He is majestic. He is beautiful. He would allow us to mountain bike down his side – just like a tiny massage really.
At 4800 metres, we jump out and our guide Fausto (who was fantastic) sent us off up the hill to the first Refugio. We did. Of course, up at the altitude, every step was laborious, to say the least. My breaths were many, my steps were short, my exstaticness for being up at this altitude once again was super high. The air was clean, crisp and fresh.
In every direction, the clouds swirled. It was hot when the sun was out.
After taking our obligatory photos at 5000 metres we walked back down to ready ourself for the mountain bike trial – did I mention DOWN THE SIDE OF CHIMBORAZO VOLCANO?
The first part, with the steepness and the sand, was quite technical, but we hit a seven-kilometre stretch of downhill which was all about the zoom zoom – totally exhilarating. Totally focussed too.
The off-road trails were bumpy as heck, did nothing for my altitude headache except confirm there is actually something inside my head (bumping around). We cycled through Indigenous towns. All the locals saying ‘Hola’, waving or simply smiling. Ecuadorians really are a lovely bunch.
All in all, we cycled down almost three kilometres in altitude and around 40 kms.