Day 12: Amazon Rain Forest to Quito

Today is it. The final day of riding in South America. We covered 145 miles on our trek back to Quito, endured a little rain, and incorporated 2 last adventure tours before getting back to the city.

Our first stop was just a few miles down the road in Puerto Misahualli. A small river village that has a large population of monkeys that run free!

Later in the day we stopped at Jumandi Caves for an underground hike / swim. The trip was awesome, but I was super bummed they wouldn’t let us bring our camera into the cave. Our hike started out along the underground river. Our guide shared information about the history of the cave & shortly we came to a section where he informed us we would have to swim across a section of the river. It’s a little creepy swimming in a dark cave!

We hiked just over a 1/2 mile when we came to a waterfall area. Our guide informed us there was a hole in the rock underwater that was several meters deep, but only about 3 feet in diameter. He asked if anyone wanted to hold his hand & drop down into the hole. Of course Shawn & I said yes!!! I am a little claustrophobic, but I couldn’t pass up an opportunity for an adventure & a great story! Shawn went first, disappearing under the water for a few seconds, then the guide pulled him back up. Ewww!!!! My turn! The water was cold, I took off my head lamp & in the darkness climbed into a completely black hole. It was scary!

We finished up our hike & headed back out on the bikes. Almost immediately we went through a little rain. We ran into several showers on our way back. The ride was pretty though. I was sad we missed some of the scenery because of cloud cover.

We stopped in Baeza for lunch. Our instructions said their favorite restaurant was the one with the Coca Cola sign as you enter town. We pulled in, peeled off our wet riding gear & headed in for lunch.

Not long after lunch we rolled up on our final police checkpoint of the trip. Like most others, they waived us on through without asking us to stop.

When we reached Quito we entered the city on the ancient cobblestone roads that the ancient Spanish explorer Francisco de Orella took when he left the city to explore the Amazon. The roads were narrow, and steep with tight switch backs. We had a great view of the city!

As the sun was going down we stopped to gas up the bikes, then arrived at Hotel Finlandia, close to Freedom Bike Rental to settle in for our last evening in Quito. In the morning we needed to return the bikes, then we planned to tour the city one last time before heading to the airport.

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