Es posible que no es posible, pero vamos a ver. (you'll have to make it to the bottom for a translation)
It's been a tough couple of weeks for us on this Long Road South. There will be a full new post coming shortly, but for now here's the skinny... We're currently in Tulcan, Ecuador. After escaping the heat of Mexico and spending a fantastic week getting to know Bogotá, we descended out of the mountains right back into the same conditions that we left behind, only worse. Neither Schwan nor I had ever experienced temps in the mid 90's on a cloudy day. We never want to again. It took only two days of riding in Colombia to confirm that my body simply cannot handle that kind of heat and humidity while riding.
We holed up in an air conditioned room in the steamy town of Girardot to try and decide what to do. At this point it had been over a month since I had a good day on my bike, over a month with Kelly having to take the extra burden of nursing me through the heat. The heat had broken our resolve and we decided we needed to reevaluate the whole trip. After some heartfelt consultations with friends and family over Skype, we came to the conclusion that we needed to consider all options - calling it quits, changing our mission to be one of outreach rather than continual riding, changing locations to somewhere more feasible to ride on our own. We were within a hairsbreath of calling the trip all together.
One option was to bus to Ecuador, where we could stay at elevation for nearly the whole country, thereby eliminating most of the heat, while adding mountains and high altitude riding into the equation. Ecuador, we thought, was possible. The rest of South America, we're still not sure. Was it worth it to ride for another month and then find we could go no further? Eventually we decided that yes, it was definitely worth it. When would we ever have a chance to ride through the high Andes again? Missing out on such an amazing opportunity because of the chance of future failures was counter to the whole mission of our trip.
We got on a bus (three actually) and rode for 24 hours through the spectacular landscape of Colombia. We hate bus travel but it got us to where we needed to be. So here we are, in the high mountains of Ecuador. It kind of feels like we're starting all over again. We still have no idea how we're going to cope with the incredible terrain that lies ahead. One pedal stroke at a time, I suppose. It's possible that it's not possible, but we're going to see.