The vulcano is Ecuador highest, with 6310 meter above sea-level. In addition, the summit is THE place on earth furthest away from the core! I really wanted to climb it, but when Lonely Planet says it´s for experienced climbers with ice-climbing know-how only I had to do it another way – with a bicycle!
I arranged a biking-trip with “pro bici”. We (Eileen, a 63 year old British women (who would have thought that 63 year olds would enjoy down-hill biking? She was cool, and lived by the motto “to do it before it´s too late”), Galo (our perfect guide with) and me) went by car up to 5000m and the “Whymper cabin”. From there it was downhill! The first part was a dusty, quite steep road, with a lot of “vicuñas”. While in the middle the section was off-road, some difficult parts, the adrenaline was pumping, fingers ready on the break and a sharp eye looking for rocks and holes. The last section of the route was through an indigenous valley. During the 7km valley I think I passed through 20 different “groups” of animals and shepherds, and a lot of kids shouting “holá” while smiling.
The whole trip was great! In addition to biking on dirt roads we visited an inca-site, we searched for "hummingbirds" (norwegian: kolibri) and I had some high-speed asphalt-racing before we arrived Riobamba at 2750m.