The speed of the car varies as Angel follow various vehicles along Highway 25 - large busses buzzing along, motorcycles weaving between traffic, and ancient pick-up trucks loaded with crops that a bicyclist easily passes are just a few. The scenery is farm fields of rice, banana and cocoa. Angel makes a left and picks up Highway 582 heading east and inland to the higher elevations. Highway 582 hugs the mountain sides, twisting and turning as it takes us up to an elevation of 13,000+ feet in Cajas National Park, then brings us back to 8,200 feet as we leave it on the outskirts of Cuenca. The sun is setting, leaving golden hues on the western sides of the mountains and long shadows in the valleys during the later part of the drive.
At times I feel light-headed, a combination of the elevation and the curves. We chat with Angel along the way, but mostly let him concentrate on the road. This is not a trip I would want to drive, as crazy Ecuadorian drivers will attempt to pass on blind turns or even when they can clearly see a vehicle approaching.
We are appreciative when Angel safely delivers us to our home for the next four weeks in Ecuador, Gran Columbia Suites.