January 13, 2012

The gods have been conspiring against us recently, and limited our ability to fill the internets with tales of our tom-foolery, Tim lost his camera, and the final nail got driven into my laptops coffin, either way that is all miniscule, and we both hope you had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

We arrived into Ecuador late, and the next day made our way to Quito, a very nice colonial city where we had to get some work done our motorbikes before we planned to head to the beach to join fellow motorbikers Mark, Andre and James for Christmas. On leaving Quito, I noticed that Tim and Glenn who were following me had Houdini’d themselves out of my mirrors, so I turned around I found them on the side of the road having a polite discussion with some of Ecuador’s finest.

Glenn explained to me that they had pulled him over, and were going to impound his bike and give him a fine because his license plate ended in a 9, and on Friday’s all vehicles with license plates ending in 9’s and 0’s were not allowed on the road to alleviate congestion.
If the police officers weren’t so serious, the situation would have been quite hilarious.
Then we discovered both Tim’s and my bikes license plates ended in 0’s.

They wanted to impound all of our bikes, but first have us ride to the local police station to get fined. We collectively decided to go on strike, and I got my book out and had a good read and watched the entire Ecuadorian Police force come to see what was up with these crazy motorcyclists that weren’t obeying their instructions (I counted 11 police at one point, and I think there would have been around 20 different officers that were needed at some time or another to keep us crazy travellers at bay). Eventually a big-wig came in the back of a police 4×4 and common sense prevailed, we got let off without a fine or impounding our bikes.

We were also given a nice little leaflet advertising that we couldn’t ride our bikes

Off we headed to Montañita, the beach town Mark and Andre had picked out, the road there being quite impressive – the locals inform us that their current government has been very progressive in furthering the infrastructure of the country (are you listening Honduras and Venezuela?)

The coast line was also very picturesque

We found Mark and Andre, and James joined us a little later.

We had a great time with them all, Mark and Andre cooked some great beef and fish, and Montañita is a really nice little tourist town, could happily spend a couple of weeks (or months!)
Boxing day came, and with larger stomachs, Glenn, James, Tim and I planned to head up to Lago Quilotoa, a Lake in a volcano crater, 4000m up (~13000ft), and on the way there we thought we would share with Glenn and James our typical navigational wizardry – which is, get the best maps and GPS tracks, and then go down roads that aren’t on either of them.

We encountered the typical cows:


Well paved roads:

And fires:

My bike also revealed its party trick of luggage distribution to everyone too, cementing the death of my laptop and my camera lens – and it did so in spectacular fashion, on hitting a pothole it launched my rear box off my bike, into the back of my head – richocheting off my helmet onto the road in front.

Did a good job of bending my bikes rear frame in the process

Pretty sure the extra strong bolts I bought for the frame just paid for themselves though.

We made it to the Lake, then across to Baños (a town, not a toilet!), it was here that Tim and Glenn swapped bikes briefly and discovered an issue with Tim’s steering (which apparently has been there since Nicaragua!)
We headed to Cuenca to celebrate New Years, and get it fixed.

Before watching them attempt to burn the city down

and the nice parade the following day

James caught up with us in Cuenca, and we all decided to head to Peru together, while enjoying a nice roadside Pizza, a Dutch couple, Daan and Mirjam that are riding around the world rode past and stopped. We caught up with them later that day and rode together.

The next day was the border crossing, its fair to say we were crossing at the “less travelled” border

Daan and Mirjam both had a tumble in the mud, we symathized by getting out our cameras

And now we have Peru (and the Dakar!) to look forward too!


3 Responses to “Ecuador”

  1. KevOK Says:

    good work guys , see you soon

  2. Steph Says:

    What a crazy rule about license plates- do they have one for each day of the week?

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