Decent night’s sleep & met up with Tony, Gus & Sue for an excellent breakfast at 7.00 & then onto the airport to meet main party. It’s not difficult to spot 60+ cyclists & 20+ Trekkers, all in yellow/orange Jerseys in an airport like Quito & they all looked surprisingly lively.
After much chaos & goodbyes to the trekkers we were packed into 2 buses & on our way East & South of Quito to the rain forest, with lovely sunny weather up until about 3.00 when the term ‘rain’ in ‘rainforest’ manifest itself & it bucketed down, so much so that the windows on the bus leaked & many of us were sat in puddles (what hope a tent?)
A great lunch of noodles & spinach pie whilst the local kids set off firecrackers behind the Discovery Adventure guides as they tried to give us a bit of a briefing. A local coin of sub 50 pence bought me a great big hand of local bananas which were delicious, as we waited for bus 2 which had a puncture. The road we’re heading down is awesome – very, very steep with snow capped mountains in the distance & this, we’re told, is what we’re coming back up – GULP.
Arrived around 4.00 at the entrance to a cobbled track over a fast flowing river, the road to a lodge which will house most of the party although about 12 of us are to be housed in town at a small hotel. I was billeted with Tony plus the company of 2 large spiders, 2 cockroaches, a beetle & large moth. There was also an ant in the room carrying a load that was simply unbelievable & had we been there longer, we could well have trained him to carry our luggage.
We had a surprisingly comfortable night with dinner in the local town which was heaving. It was clearly festival time with a stage set up & the local talent boys all suited, booted, sweating & strutting their stuff to an adoring crowd. Grasping wallets tightly, we didn’t linger & headed through the market stalls & food stands to bed.