A week in Ecuador

Crunched for time to catch up with blogging, ride reports and facebook, I am only posting an overview of Ecuador, but it barely does it justice the week I spent there. It is a beautiful country, with great roads, almost all of which were recently paved.

I shall start with Quito – a city I considered passing up because I don’t like the rush and mayhem of larger metropolises, but arriving on New Years day while Quito was closed was wonderful. The streets were vacant, shops were shut for the holiday and an eerie quiet blanketed the city. We stayed at Casa Bambu which overlooked the city, and has garage parking on a street so steep it reminded me of my San Francisco days. Exploring the city late afternoon turned to night and which unveiled spectacular night lighting.

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A second day in Quito (which disrupted the belief that the city was ever silent) led up to Freedom Motorcycles, were a very helpful Sylvain suggested an alternate route to the PanAm highway…

So a detour to the Jungle I went, riding over the Andes a second time with minimal visibility on wet, curvy roads and where I encountered the rain part of the rainforest.

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And pickpocketing monkeys at the square…

Ate some delicious grilled talapia…

Then, south to Banos where a soak in hot mineral baths thawed me out. A city where there is a lot to entertain you and wisk your money away on activities.

There is no time for frivolity, so next stop was in Alausi, where a train rides up the nariz del Diablo.

and then the clouds got thicker…

Sounded great, but I opted for a visit to Ingapirca Ruins, the largest in Ecuador – and ticket comes with a guided tour.

These doors are not made for tall people…

That evening I settled for a quiet night in Cuenca. Quiet, again because everything was shut down on Sundays. It seems to be a theme for me.

First thing Monday was a run for the border… Rejoined with Ulysses, we rode a 320 mile day, 280 which were twisty mountainside roads over 12,000 ft. passes.

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