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From Otavolo to Home in twice the time (another shortcut story)...

We have driven from Quito to Santo Domingo (when we were only 5 days in country), and we have driven through Latacunga a couple of times.  As we were happy to get through Quito in record time, we figured that, at 9400 ft, everything was down hill from Quito, so we looked at our map to see the best way to get to Quevedo, where we planned to spend the night.

 

 

As you can see Quito is in the upper right, Santo Domingo, upper left, Latacunga lower right, and Quevedo lower left...sort of a square...ON PAPER!  So Rox and I discussed just how do we want to drive the two side of the square to get to Quevedo...We both love the Andes, the scenery, the indigenous lifestyle, and colorful costumes and little towns, so Rox suggested that we go through Latacunga, and I said that sounds just fine...it actually seemed a little shorter drive...NOT!

 What we had forgotten was that the road from Quito to Santo Domingo was just one big downhill run through valley after valley.  Well, after we had  been driving the spine of the Andes for a couple of hours toward Latacunga, we remembered that we had to go Up and Down, Up and Down, Up and Down as we traversed peak and valley after peak and valley--basically going nowhere fast, as we going up and down and not forward much...

So...finally we get to Latacunga, which is at the intersection of valleys and rivers, of course.  You know what that means--it means that we now have to drive UP, UP,  UP, to get out of the valley--maybe to has high as 12,000 feet.  (those browner smudges on the map mean higher altitude).

Now, many of these roads are brand new now that the President has been building 1000s of miles of new highways, but being the mountains, there is still work being done and there are still landslides...and the road still goes through mountain passes, 1000's of feet high...

So you get the picture...

It was a great day to drive, so we took some pics along the way...here are a few...

 

As you cam see, we are level with a bunch of the really high peaks, and can look way down into the valleys.

 

This is a little shepherd hut...it is cold tending sheep at 11,000 feet!

 

 

 

 

 You never see sheep up here without a guard--don't know what the reason is...wolves, dogs, foxes???

llamas are good guards--they spit at the bad guys...

 

Tomorrow, we continue with pictures of the jungle on the west side of the Andes...plus an adverture in road building--as we wait! 

Posted on Wed, April 27, 2011 at 07:16AM by Registered CommenterBob & Roxanne | CommentsPost a Comment

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