While in Cuenca I made a half day trip out to El Cajas National Park. Less than 45 minutes away from the bustling city streets I was riding through a pristine river valley.
There is a paved road that cuts through the small park so I decided to go out and back. The ride was fun and the scenery was beautiful. I hardly saw other cars or trucks on the road the whole time. I stopped by a small lake where a group of llamas were grazing. What a beautiful view. I hiked around for a bit before getting back on the bike.
With dark storm clouds moving in I decided to head back to Cuenca. On the way I saw a dirt road off on the mountainside so I looked for a way to get up there. I finally found a small dirt road and followed it up into the mountains. Around each switchback a pack of dogs would hear me approaching and already be on guard ready to chase me. The road kept going but it started to cut around to the back of the mountain so I turned around. It had a nice view of the city further down the valley.
Once off the dirt road I rode by a few restaurants that were roasting pigs out front. I stopped at one just to take a picture but then decided I might as well have lunch there. The food wasn’t as good as I was expecting but it was an experience.