Halfway up the hill into Quito, I realised I probably wasn’t going to make it to the bus. I pulled into a layby to look at the map and consider whether I should begin the tedious business of persuading a taxi to take me and my bicycle, or see if I could flag down someone with a pickup..
A bright yellow landrover pulled in behind me, the driver evidently stopping for something to eat. On the back was a bike rack- two bicycles there already, and room for a third. Fate was apparently on my side. “¿dónde vas..?”
Twenty minutes later I was in the centre of Quito – still around 15km to go, but with trivial climbing by comparison, and time enough that the puncture on the way did not matter.

Sixteen hours on the bus took me to Macará. Bright eyed and fresh as an old sock, I cycled off in the strong sunshine, and over the bridge into the Republic of Perú.

The only respite from the merciless sun is the hairdryer wind from the south west that begins in the early afternoon. Far from the mountain air of the Andes, even the reflected heat from the road is impressive. Rice, bananas, and other crops are grown here, but clearly water is a constant problem. There are many bridges that cross only dry riverbeds.

I’m setting a gentle pace for now, but it’s good to be cycling again.