"I can speak to my soul only when the two of us are off exploring deserts or cities or mountains or roads."
-- Paulo Coelho
Driving through dense fog is a stressful challenge. Breaking through that fog and getting above it can make for a relaxing drive, especially in the Andes mountains. These mountains are gorgeous.
|Driving above the fog in the Andes|
Taking the road less traveledThe route Scott and I take from the coastal city of Guayaquil to the Andes mountain city of Cuenca is generally less foggy with fewer cars than the shorter and more popular route through El Cajas National Park.
Our drive goes from sea level to 3400 meters before we descend into Cuenca, which is at about 2500 meters. Fog has occasionally made our five hour drive take seven or more hours.
Neither of us is a big risk taker when it comes to roads. We only drive during the daytime. We leave Guayaquil by Noon so we are likely to finish the drive before 6:30 sunset. If our business takes us past Noon, we stay an additional night.
On a recent drive, the fog played with us. We began as usual, in the sunshine of Guayaquil. As we approached the mountains, a low cloud cover settled in above the banana, sugar cane and mango fields.
|Banana field under the low cloud cover|
Ecuador road hazardsIt is not uncommon in Ecuador for cars to pass slow moving vehicles on blind curves. Not all of them use their headlights. We always watch for cars in our lane going the wrong way.
There is a risk a fresh landslide might be around the next bend. Most people who live along the road do not have cars so they walk on the shoulder of the road. Dogs, chickens, cows, sheep, horses and pigs all live along the the road. Some are tied up, some are not. It is stressful driving despite being lightly traveled by autos.
Rising above the fogNot that far into our climb, we entered bright sunshine. What a shock! We were above the fog! We were not even to Suscal yet, where the fog sometimes begins. The blue sky was such a refreshing sight to see.
|Above the thick fog|
Picture perfect AndesThe rest of our drive was in perfect conditions. No landslides were in the way, people and animals stayed on the shoulder of the road and no one came close to hitting us while passing on a blind curve.
The mountains are beautiful with fluffy clouds floating above them.
Do you take longer routes to avoid hazardous roads?