Driving above the clouds
Leaving Cuenca this morning we head to El Cajas National Park. Famous for its clear, cold lakes, rivers and streams the park is also home to Llamas and Alpacas. We stop at the visitor centre to enjoy the views over a large lake and surrounding mountains. After a 5 minute drive further on we find ourselves at the highest point of the route, at over 13,000 feet altitude. From then on it is downhill, passing through rain forest and cloud forest on route to the coast. The views are tremendous and we stop for lunch overlooking the valleys and clouds below. It is a magical sight.
Our lunch stop is a café that Richard knows from previous trips. Even though we have brought our own lunch boxes the café owner allows us to use the tables and chairs, and the facilities. We purchase some drinks of course and leave plenty of excess lunch food for the family. Heading for the coast we stop to visit a family owned cocoa plantation. The whole family greets us and we here about their way of life and how cocoa is grown and harvested.
Nearing the coastal city of Guayaquil it is clearly getting warmer and more humid. Time for ice creams and then a final approach to the city and our destination, the Hilton Hotel. Two nights rest before Galapagos!