Cress Allwood is an Ambassador for Bramwell International and has set off on an adventure. Beginning with packing up her life and putting the essentials onto her bike, she will begin in Nepal, at some point make it to Patagonia and countless places in between, roaming where her wheels take her. This is the latest update from her..............
After leaving Peru, I spend too many days slogging up Ecuadorian hills in the rain, wondering quite what I was doing. Although the hills were lower in altitude, they felt much harder as I travelled North. Luckily, I found shelter under random roofs most nights. My tent was suffering from the strain of constant use, with water was coming through one of the seams. Finding shelter each night became a priority.
I enjoyed a few days acclimatising in the foothills of Chimborazo, the highest mountain in Ecuador (6,300m) before my attempt on the mountain. Spending a night (well, a few hours) in the lower refugio, at 4,800m I pondered the fact that the only people there were myself and my guide, Raole. At 11.30pm, we put our climbing harnesses etc on and set off. Sadly, after a few hours of strenuous climbing, we had to retreat. At 5,800m the snow was unconsolidated over ice. The risk of avalanche if we continued was too high. I understood why the success rate on this mountain was typically 30%.
The next day, I hopped back on my bike and continued towards Quito. A side loop to a volcanic lake beckoned. A few days later, I found myself walking around the perimeter of Quilotoa, at 4,100m. The drizzle added to the atmosphere, but I was comfy trekking in my faithful Meindl boots and was cozy in my warm kit. Reaching Quito, I had a few days of rest, before flying to Houston to meet a team of Australian students, who I am currently on expedition with.
To date, we have trekked to 5,000m on Cota Paxi and survived torrential rain; spend 3 days in the Amazonian rain forest (learning about Shaman, blow pipes and the fine art of using spear) whilst coping with intense humidity, plus many creepy crawlies. Tomorrow, we will travel to a tiny village near the Eastern coast, to spend a week working at a school, for our project. I have no idea if there are showers there, but there´s no electricity - it should be great fun!