Leaving Banos was pretty easy, and a long downhill stretch towards the village of Rio Verde began.
This area is famous for its waterfalls, and there was plenty of opportunity to stop and take photos on this very scenic route.
In places, tunnels cut through the mountain, although bicycle routes over rough tracks through forested areas provided the cyclist with an alternative route.
As I descended lower, the temperature picked up by a few degrees, and finally the sun came out. It had seemed a long time since the sun was shining strong enough to make me feel it, and it felt good ! That said, no doubt I will be moaning about the heat in a few days !
After Rio Verde, the overall descent continued, although there were some short, sharp climbs thrown in. I stopped off for breakfast along the way, and an awesome one at that !
After three hours of actual cycling, I rolled into Puyo, and booked into a hotel from one of a cluster on the main road leading in. Six dollars was an absolute bargain, and gave me a room with cable tv and bathroom. Talking to a few people, it seems like I should be able to carry on a along this route 45 to the town of Loja, and miss out Cuenca altogether, despite my map indicating differently. One thing I will have to get used to down here is the return of mossies though, which were kept at bay up at 3000 metres.