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    Dag 1.001 – Riobamba -> Ambato (hotel) (UK)

    Riobamba -> Ambato (hotel)
    Distance (km) : 59
    Time on bike : 3h 31m
    Brutto time: 09.00 – 14.00
    Avg : 16.6 km/h
    Max.speed: 66.8
    Total (km) : 39.946
    Altitude: 2.577 m
    Difficulty: 2½ of 5

    Rolling farmland in central Ecuador...

    There are eucalyptus friends, pine trees and other aromatic seductions on today’s stage to Ambato.
    The first 2½ hours are hard climbing up to a ridge (ca. 3.300 m) that constitutes the provincial border between the Chimba and Turungua Provinces. Then it’s time for a reward. From the top it’s almost all down to Ambato some 25 km down the valley.

    Hey baby!

    The weather is overcast, gloves, rain gear and woolen cap’s on, and my bike odometer informs that the temperature is around 15C but it makes for a nice cycling weather nonetheless. Impressive views of the mountains all around me.

    Ambato street scene...

    “God, this is so easy”, I say to myself when I’ve found Hotel Nürnberg smack in the centre of Ambato, first try and at just 7 USD for a clean, cable-TV room with private hot shower and the usual little touches like towel, miniture soap and poo paper. Staff’s friendly. I feel like i heaven.

    Another nation mad about the chicken!

    Ambato main square...

    My guidebook was wrong (again, dare we) in stating that: Ambato’s biggest drawback is its choice of hotels. There are a couple of exceptions, but overall it’s a dismal, overpriced lot, and comfort rarely seems to correlate with price.

    Enjoying half a day off in Ambato...

    Ambato is a surprisingly nice acquaintance. The provincial capital city has a population of around 160.000 inhab., but this Sunday afternoon the street are almost empty. Everything’s closed apart from numerous mobile ice-cream vendors that all seem to make pretty good money today, coz all there is to do, so it seems, is to sit in one of the many shady parks and kick back with your kids and an ice-cream.

    Ambato street scene...

    Ambato's newish cathedral...

    The (relative) silence, the green parks, the colonial buildings and churches, the Rio Ambato that cuts through the city (and the generous sunshine) all make Ambato an instant favourite Ecuadorian city of mine. Doesn’t take a lot, does it?

    Ambato street scene...

    On this day..

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