Quito

 


As of September 1, 2005 we are now in Quito, Ecuador!

The trip has begun.  Before we start the pictures I would like to describe the kind of trip this will be, and how I think it will be slightly different than others.  First of all, we have spent over ten years preparing for the adventure.  This is not going to be a "Get on the BMW R100GS motorcycle every day and head further south".  The adventure is a "HUNT". The preparation has included acquiring and reading hundreds of books, many of which are extremely rare and collectible.  A few of the books are from private printings of fewer than 1,000 books.  I have scanned hundreds of pictures from these old books (the collection of old books is listed on a link on the prior page).  The plan is to find the same landmarks taken in the photographs from these old books, then attempt to re-photograph the landmark as it appears today.  The goal is to take the new photos from the exact locations as the old photo.  As we are successful, I will include, on this web site, the "Then and Now" photo's.   

Here are a few samples of what we will be looking to photograph.

This is the "Plaza Independencia" in Quito, Ecuador (1954).
San Francisco Monastery located in Quito, Ecuador (1943).
Buenos Aires (1908).
Santa Lucia in Santiago, Chile (1948)

Hope you don't find this journey too boring, but it will take time.  We have planned on approximately 1 1/2 years to travel slowly, but completely through South America.  We left Los Angeles on Monday, the 28th of August, 2005 and arrived in Quito, Ecuador on the 29th.  The BMW is not yet here.  It got lost in shipping from Los Angeles to Miami, where it was going to be put on a ship for Guayaquil, Ecuador.  The shipper has now agreed to make up some of the time, and now the bike will be air freighted to Quito during the next few days.

Sunrise over Chiapas, Mexico.  I followed the pilots route with the Garmin 276c GPS, which I brought to mount on the BMW when it arrives.  Altitude was 37,000 feet.
Clouds over El Salvador.
Lake Arenal on the left.

Arenal Volcano on the right.

Sandy, trying to rest during our 4 hour layover in San Jose, Costa Rica.

We went 38 hours with out sleeping.

Our first view of Quito, Ecuador.

The capital of Ecuador is located at an elevation of 9,250 feet.

Sandy, happy to be standing on South American soil for the first time.
It is extremely clean in Quito, and VERY friendly!
We are keeping our eye out looking for the "Gangster" that owns this motorcycle.
I was surprised that a 150cc engine could get this much metal moving.
Looks like it is dual sportable!

Wednesday, the 31st of August, 2005

This is our first complete day in Quito.  We walked about 8 miles through the older sections of the city, which was founded in 1585.

We were completely surprised by the number of people that ride motorcycles in Quito.

Does any one know who makes the "Ranger"?

Motorcycles do make a lot of sense based on all the narrow streets.

We saw many older people carrying heavy loads on their backs.

Some carry large pieces of furniture.

The Church of San Francisco, overlooking the Plaza Independencia.
Church of San Francisco.
A local native.

Looked like a Honda, but the label was "Xintian".

About 2 inches of fork travel.

As you walk, you pass thousands of places like this. 

I started taking pictures of every home, as we walked by, but finally realized that I can not take a picture of every home in South America!

This kind of scene is repeated over and over again, as you walk through Quito.

Can't wait for the motorcycle to show up.

We are both getting short of breath walking up hills at 9,200 feet!

Different section of town specialize in various products. 

This area had block after block of people with sewing machines, ready to mend your torn clothing.

There were shoe repair areas, potato salesman, and ballet shoe sales.


A Honda Hero

This was one of the larger motorcycles seen.

This was on the street of "7 Crosses".

About every 2 blocks there was another church and another cross.

Tourist are few and far between!

That is a good thing...

Another Quito Plaza, and Sandy, who complained rarely about the length of the walking and the altitude.

This should be good for losing a few pounds.

This is also a good thing as the "Jesse Bags" for the motorcycle weight in at over 130 pounds!

Traffic is orderly, but quick!

A lot of horn honking, but usually to notify other drivers as cars go through the narrow streets with the many blind corners.

The President of Ecuador lives in this home.......

Basilica del Voto Nacional, in the distance.
For 2 dollars you can walk through out the Basilica.

This includes climbing up into the clock towers on narrow ladders that are almost verticle.

This is the view from one tower to the other.
Every vista includes at least 3 or 4 church steeples.
I thought that Santa Barbara had a lot of red tile roofs.

Nothing compared to Quito, Ecuador!

 


As I said early, I think that all the homes deserve a photo.....

 

A native selling oranges.
Our first room of the trip, located across the street from the "South American Explorers Clubhouse".

Joining this club is of high consideration for anybody planning on traveling in South America.

We are going to a lecture there on Thursday night.

A 200cc "Advant".
On our walk to dinner we passed a motorcycle repair shop. 

I am going to go back and find out what the green motorcycle is (in the window).


We had a fine Italian meal before retiring for the night.


Note to Jacob, our grandson: I have told you that the water in the toilets spins one way above the equator and the opposite direction below the equator.  Here in Quito (we are 14 miles south of the equator), the water spins every which way!  I woke up last night around 2:00 am and realized that I had not yet checked the spin direction, but after about 10 flushes, the direction is completely random.


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