Posts Tagged With: Street art

Day 14: Rest day in Innsbruck (16 June)

It was nice to wake up today and not have to pull on the Lycra and head off on the bike. The biggest challenge today was trying to work out amongst the many selections which was black tea.

My arm and wrist was very sore when I woke up this morning, but I think this is most likely because of all the braking, especially on the downhill yesterday.

After breakfast the first job was laundry, followed by the continuing hunt for conditioner. On the way to the laundry we went past a shop selling shampoo etc so stopped in there on the way back. Success! I now have conditioner called Pfledge -Spulung, moisturiser, more sunscreen, plasters and a new toothbrush 👍.


Golden Roof

Back to the hotel for a couple of hours to catch up on emails, blog and the news, then we went for a wander around before lunch in the old town.


Inns River and Old Town

There were a number of street performers, a lady all dressed in silver with her dog with a hat and a plaster on his paw. Real or not, it evoked sympathy and cash, followed by the Headless man and Charlie Chapman.


The Silver Lady


With the Headless Man and Charlie Chapman


Where’s the Silver Lady gone?!

There were a number of stores selling souvenirs, but nothing of enough interest to try and fit in my bag for the next three weeks.

We had lunch at a restaurant called the Golden Adler.  I had fish fettuccine which was with a fish called Bio Char. It was nice, not creamy like the fettuccine I am used to though. Brett had braised leg of lamb with cremolata, garlic sauce, polenta and vegetables.  We had a bottle of red wine: Kaiser Josef Blauer Zweigeit classic 2015 winery Philip Grass from the lower Austria region. This is the most common red wine grape in Austria.


Lunch at Golden Adler

While we were eating a nun with twins turned up and settled them both into high chairs. One of the twin boys was very friendly, and kept engaging me in smiling and chatting. The mum said they were 12 months old but were born 12 weeks early. One of the boys was smaller at birth and is still smaller, he was not as friendly but I did get him smiling a few times with peek a boo, hiding my face behind a serviette. I felt quite honoured when the mum asked if she could leave the friendly twin with me while she took the other one off to change him.


Gran “baby sitting” while mum changes other twin.

At the back of the restaurant outside the hotel, there was a wall list of names going back to the 1494 Kaifeng Maximilian the first century, two of note: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 1773 and Albert Chamus who was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1952.


The wall

After lunch we wandered around for a bit more, and saw a pretty pink bike with flowers and a basket – I thought if my daughter Kelly rode a bike, I think it would look like this. Then it was back to the hotel for a nap and a couple of messenger calls with two of my children Kelly (blog editor) and Tracey.


Found a bike for Kelly 🙂

We caught up with Janice (who had fallen off her bike yesterday) and she had been and had a CT scan, and thankfully nothing ominous was found.

We had dinner at a restaurant called Ottoburg. It was really nice being able to sit outside and eat without having to worry about the gusts of Wellington wind. I had a really nice rack of lamb for dinner.

Afterwards it was back to the hotel to pack, and get ready for tomorrow.


Central Plazas

Categories: The Odyssey | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Day 42/164: Rest day in Loja

Even though it was a rest day I was wide awake at 5 am. I lay there until about 6:30 trying not to wake up Sue or Jackie who I was sharing with. I decided I would get up quietly and go and sit downstairs and use my iPad until the restaurant opened at 7. Unfortunately I could not find my glasses or iPad in the dark, and ended up disturbing them both :/.

I had breakfast at the hotel, caught up on some emails, then headed off into town to find the bike shop to buy some riding glasses. The bugs and the glare have made the past couple of days a pain not having any. Luckily I bought a cycling cap in Medellin which sits under the helmet and the peak provides some protection against the glare. I got two pairs of glasses from the bike shop, they were USA $57 each which is less translated into NZ $ than I would pay at home. The shop had a great selection of biking components, probably the best of any shop so far. By the time I left it was like a riders meeting at the shop.

After that I went off to look around the town. There were some interesting murals on a couple of the street corners that I took photos of. Then I went to Puerta de Entrada Ala Ciudad Loja which is a building where the entry to the city used to be, built in 1571.

Puerto de Entrada Ala Giudad de Loja ( entrance way historically to Loja now in middle of city )

Puerta de Entrada Ala Ciudad Loja – the historic entrance way to Loja, which is now in the middle of the city

Another view

Another view of Puerta de Entrada Ala Ciudad Loja

View of Puerta de Entrada Ala Giudad de Loja from the other side

View of Puerta de Entrada Ala Ciudad Loja from the other side

I climbed up to the clock tower where I got some great views of the city. I then had a look around the markets and walked around a few squares.

Markets in Loja

Markets in Loja

Street in Loja

Street in Loja

I went into one church on a main square where the statue of the Virgin Mary had been carried to the night before. The church was beautiful inside but I quickly realised they were actually having a catholic mass so backed out again quickly.

Took a photo of the Convento Fermoisaito. (Editor’s note: I could not find any reference on the internet to anything spelled even remotely similar to this (or the way Kaye has spelled it below) – if anyone can shed a light on what the building is actually called, that’d be fab . . .) (Editor’s update: Thanks to everyone who sent through a comment or email about this – the consensus seems to be that it is actually Iglesia de San Francisco (Loja) – and the statue is of Alonso de Mercadillo, the founder of the city).

Convento Fermoisaitonin

Convento Fermoisaitonin

Another view

Another view

In the square was a bus full of military, I thought “Not more protests?”, but no they must have just been there for crowd control the night before.

Interesting mural in the streets

Interesting mural in the streets

Another mural

Another mural

I really enjoyed looking around the town but decided it was time to head back to the hotel. I had some lunch across the road from the hotel, then headed back to catch up on the blog and sort out my bags ready to leave again tomorrow. Rather than stay in the room I went down to the bar to use my iPad.

I managed to skype Kelly and have a quick chat with Lucy :). The service in the bar was pretty hopeless, Ray one of the riders had been trying for 40 minutes to get a drink, and in the end he went in and poured his own.

The update on Phil was pretty much the same: he was talking, but confused and still stable but serious.

The laundry was meant to be back by 2pm, then 5 pm – a number of us were getting concerned that it would not be back before we left and we had no riding gear! The hotel staff reassured us that it would be back, and it was the laundry that they used, and sure enough much to our relief it arrived back about 6pm.

A number of us had organized to have dinner at the hotel restaurant as we wanted to get the chocolate soufflĂ© again. We had a new rider join us here – Emma – and she joined us for dinner. Emma is a student nurse from the UK, and has just finished her second year training, she is going to be a paediatric nurse. Emma is the youngest tour rider here at 22, and is with us for 6 weeks.

Sadly the restaurant was out of chocolate soufflĂ© 😩 but we still had a nice meal.

Then it was off to bed, ready to be up at 5am again. We have two more days in Ecuador, then we go to Peru.

There seems to be a lot more money, and spread more evenly, in Ecuador than there was in Colombia. I say this because the houses are a better standard. There are some really flash houses, but even the most humble houses are a much better standard. The roads are also mainly better quality.

I have seen more snakes here, mainly in the middle of the road squashed, but a couple just lying on the road, chilling in the sun. I certainly am no longer ducking off the road into the bushes, but instead I am waiting for petrol stations or shops with toilets (Bano).

We have a 7 day stretch of riding before the next rest day. Six of the riding days I am confident I will be able to ride the whole day.

Howard Johnson Hotel where we are staying

Howard Johnson Hotel where we are staying

Categories: Ecuador, South American Epic | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments