No, we're not sampling the Columbian 'white gold', we're riding on top of the world! The Panamerican Highway weaves its way through the Andes Mountains at altitudes reaching almost 12,000 feet. The scenery is breathtaking! In Columbia, it was mainly natural habitat but here in Ecuador, the land is almost fully planted. The checker board squares of fields reach right up to the summits and are so steep you wonder how they ever harvest the crops.
Yesterday, we crossed the Equator and stopped for the obligatory photos and listened to a lecture on the earth's position and rotation. It was interesting to see the GPS reading of 00 000 017.
Last night, we stayed in Riobamba at the foot of Volcan Chimborazo which is the highest mountain in Ecuador at 6,310 meters. What an amazing sight with it's snow-capped peak.
Back to the riding. Cars are much more prevalent here than in Columbia where bikes ruled. The drivers are extremely aggressive and very fast. When we crossed through Quito yesterday, RuthAnn named it the Quito 500. Quito is at 2,850 meters and it 1.5 million population stretches down a deep valley which we could see from the elevated roadway. Its an impressive sight! The roads have been excellent probably due to the frequent tolls that are collected. Bikes were free in Columbia but here we have to pay 20 cents, a small price for such great grins!