I sweated profusely and my heart knocked like a hammer inside my chest as I ground my teeth on the way uphill. A vehicle carrying a family honked the horn as it overtook me and then stopped. A man stepped out of the car and came running to me.
“Are you Okay? Do you need anything?” he asked.
“Do you have water?” I could hardly speak.
“No water, but I have something else!” he hurriedly opened the boot of the car and handed me an energy drink.
I took the drink and downed it one go. He stared at me in silence and then went back to his car and returned.
“Take this mango as well. You must be hungry!” he looked very concerned.
After having a brief chat with me, he then introduced me to his wife, daughter and his two sons who were sitting in the car.
“Do you want a lift to the next town?”
“No, thank you! I must cycle all the way!”
“The next town Zumba is only 10 km from here. You are almost there. Bienvenidos a Ecuador! (Welcome to Ecuador)!”