Ecuador 1


On Wednesday, the 14th of September, we are still waiting to get the bike released.  We now have 2 complete days tied up, with no results.  We decide to make the best of it, and visit the old section of Quito, again, and attend another concert.  This is a jazz concert held in the plaza in front of Theatre National Sucre.  I have never attended a concert with a backdrop as beautiful as this in Quito.


The concert was covered by the local TV station.
Ended up buying the CD....
No, the smoke was not caused by a passing bus...

It was a REAL disco smoke machine...


On Thursday, the 15th of September, we finally hit pay dirt, and the bike is released.

We have been looking at this "Mission Statement" for the last 3 days.  Can anybody tell what Exactly their mission is, as I do not have a clue.

One letter which customs produced for us, was typed three times until they got the content correct.

If this mission statement has anything to do with efficiency, they are not living up to the Mission!

And finally the bike is extracted from the secure area.
The bike came out fine...

Not a scratch!

I was wondering how I was going to de-crate the bike, but as soon as it appeared, I had 10 helping hands.
It was less than 2 minutes to get this far.
Put the front wheel on and connect the battery.

Insert gas....
Install the wind screen, mirror and hand guards.

And, COMPLETE!  Now it was time to take the bike back to the Hostel, and install the alarm and luggage.


We almost hated to leave Quito, as the owner of the Hostel became a friend.....
And we are now 100% ready to start the trip!

 

I think.......


So off we go, heading south through the Andes.  The ride for the next 80 to 100 miles is in a wide valley, but our altitude rarely drops below 10,000 feet, and we rise as high as 11,500.  But we never felt high, as this is known as the "Ruta de Volcano's".  The peaks are in the 16,000 to 18,000 foot range.


Every way you turn has views like this.

Scenic overload!

Another volcano....

Cotopaxi...... 2nd highest in Ecuador.


Washing huge carrots.
It was lunch time, but Sandy wanted to RIDE!
This is called COY in Ecuador...

A church in the valley.
When we get to Ambato, we turn east for Banos and the Amazon Basin.
We drove 12 miles total, to get to an "Adventure" resort.

At $220.00 per night it was too adventurous for us.

The view obtained for $220.00 per night.

That is the city of Banos, in the bottom of the canyon.

Our $40.00 Hostel, in Banos.

On Saturday, the 17th of September, we leave Banos, to head northeast to drop into the western edge of the Amazon Basin.

One last photo of Sandy and our Hostel, in Banos, Ecuador.
Notice the way the Ecuadorians farm on the steep mountain sides.

Even the greenhouses are built on 45 degree slopes.

A waterfall in Banos drops right into a hot springs.
They have real horses and mules, but for pictures they use mockups....
The picture does not do this waterfall justice.

It was very tall.

We are about 1,500 feet above the river bottom.

The road in this area had 1,000 to 1,500 foot sheer drop offs into the canyon below.
This 30 mile ride is through the "Ruta of Waterfalls".

Every mile or so, there is another fall.

Sorry about the wires....

Because the walls of the canyon are as steep as they are, they built this section of road with at least ten tunnels, some of which were VERY long.

Then the day gets good.  We encounter our first dirt road.........


Neat old swinging bridge across the river.
Another view of the bridge....
The bridge tips easily, as you cross it.

I guess that is the allure of "Swinging Bridges".

Roadside flower stand.

Here we are, nearly to the floor of the Amazon Basin.  According to the GPS, we are slightly over 2,000 miles, straight line, to the mouth of the Amazon, yet our altitude is down to 1,700 feet.


It had been a long day, so we starting thinking about FOOD!

Note to self, again, we are no longer in Kansas.

Sandy now has a change of mind, and seems that she is no longer as hungry, as she had earlier stated.

Any guesses on the weights of these things?

So I stop again, knowing Sandy will get grumpy if she does not eat soon....

Again she passes up another meal.

Maybe Sandy is getting sick?

We were in the village of Puyo, where Sandy seemed to have lost her appetite.

So, in an attempt to lure Sandy to go farther, I suggest that maybe Tena might have some excellent dining opportunities.

I did not realize when I took this picture, that the balance of the distance was dirt and rock road...

The modes of transportation vary in the Amazon Basin.

This mode of transportation is relatively fast....

 

This mode is slow....

The colors of the following pictures are very washed out, as the skies were overcast.  Sorry...



Some of the homes of the Amazon Basin....
Room with a view.....
Again the lighting resulted in very poor photographs.
Hey, at least the clouds came out nice...
Saturdays must be the wash days, as it seemed that every house had hanging cloths.

A small village........


Roadside "Lobster Claws".
One more river crossing...

One lane, with dust.....

This was 30 miles back on a dirt road. 

Go figure.....


We spent the entire day on the bike, and only covered 90 miles.  The GPS states that our average moving speed is only 18 mph.

Guess I am getting old and slow!

View, over looking river, from our $20.00 room...

The town of Tena is split by a river running though it.

This is the foot bridge which connects both sides of town.

We have not yet found the road which connects the town.

Sandy's appetite finally returns, so we dine overlooking the river.

The Ecuadorians are still friendly in the jungles....

The view from our table...........
The beer comes is huge bottles, so one is enough, and hey, it's costing me a whopping $1.20!

I had my 4th pepper steak in a row.

I am going to have to change my eating habits back to fruit, or the BMW's suspension could fail prematurely!


As the pig use to say.... "That's All Folks"

for now...........

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