Quito 3

Pictures posted on Monday, the 12h of September 2005.

Here I am, with cheap gas available, and nothing to burn it in.

Diesel prices are $1.03 per gallon!

So here we going, utilizing Taxis and Busses!

I sat on a "Rock".

Looked like a "150cc".  Maybe I ought to toss Sandy and the Jesse Bags in the back, and get on with this adventure.

The bed of this thing also dumps, which would make unloading at Motels and Hostels very easy!

Before I go on with pictures, I have a few comments.  I think that many people travel and search out what they expect to find at certain destinations, whether it is temples, ruins, art galleries, neat roads to ride, museums or topless bars!  After spending a week in Quito, I realize that I have posted pictures of EXACTLY what I was looking for in Quito.  That included the old churches and buildings from 200, 300 and 400 years ago.  But I am going to come clean.  Quito is much more than what I have posted so far, so I am going to show you the other 80% of Quito.  It is modern, growing and clean.   You may not find the pictures interesting, but you, as I, may have a little different tilt on Quito.

High rises like this go on for miles.

See, there is another side to Quito.

It appeared more modern then most apartment buildings in Los Angeles or Hollywood!

Although Quito is at 9,250 feet, most apartments have flowers hanging from there balconies.

The weather is in the 70's most days.

Another modern apartment building, reflecting another.

So, since I can't ride, we walked around town, and stumbled on many motorcycle dealers.

The first dealer was a very modern Honda and Yamaha dealer.

I did not get a picture, but under the glass counter near the cashier was the DVD "On Any Sunday".

I asked about it and the gentleman stated it was very good and featured "Malcolm Smith".

No, really!

Although they deal with Yamahas and Hondas, they sell many models not available in the United States.

For you older riders, doesn't this front fender mount look very similar to the old "Preston Petty" after market brackets from the late 60's and early 70's?

This is another bike available world wide, but only sold in the United States during 1991 and 1992 (a guess, don't jump all over me if the years are wrong.  I am a sensitive guy!)

It is a V twin, 650cc, TransAlp.


Over the years I have ridden with some off-road Ducati guys (yeh, Allen N., John D. and others).  This sign reminded me of our rides to Baja, with you guys on your "Lucky Strikes"!   Hey, have any of you guys traded in those monsters for a nice shiny KTM 950 yet?

Yes, Quito even has a Harley dealer.

I know that there is a Harley plant in Brazil, but all the Harleys sold in Quito are from the United States.  The interior of this dealer was on par with the nicer dealers at home (not as nice as yours, Tom R.).

They also sold Ducati's.

They had a 999 Grand Prix model (for $34.999 US).

Marketing photo inside dealer.

Very upscale.

During our walk, we stumbled on a Shopping Mall (hey guys, I am without wheels, and remember, I am trying to show ALL sides of Quito.

This was a Nordstrom's type store, with Nordstrom like prices.

The entire shopping center was on par with the nicest malls in Orange County, California.

This was the food court, in the mall, which was MUCH cleaner than ANY mall in Southern California.  The people are orderly and clean, and pickup after themselves.  They do not expect others to pick up after themselves.  Again, please remember the reason I am posting these pictures is to show the other side of the country.  Not just the view that you expect.  I was certainly surprised.  I am not expecting you to think some pictures of a mall are interesting.

Incidentally, we are still traveling by busses and taxis.  There is NO graffiti or etchings in any windows (like busses and telephone booths) that is now common in Southern California.

Today we rode on a tram, to the top of the mountain directly West of Quito.  The top of the tram is almost 14,000 feet.

The tram climbs from about 10,000 to 14,000 feet.

 Although the picture does not show it, the climb is nearly vertical.

The view of Quito, on the ride up.

View of Quito from the top.
This is the view, in the other direction.

Notice the hillside farming.

Even though we are only 14 miles South of the equator, it is COLD at this altitude.

Ultra modern food court at the bottom of the tram.
Fondue Bars, Argentine Restaurants, Disco's and other facilities at the base of the tram.

They are also marketing this tram as a night time destination.

There is also an amusement park at the bottom of the tram. 

Very upscale and clean.

One last picture of Quito on the way down.  For perspective, this picture shows about 20% of the city.  It is a large city, with a population of 1,800,000 individuals.

In closing, please don't take any of my comments wrong.  This trip has just started.  The reason I am so enthused, is that I am finding out that South America is very different then I expected, and in a positive way.  We spent an hour talking to an Ecuadorian Airline pilot, and he stated that Ecuador has seen a lot of growth and improvements during the last 8 years.  That is a good thing.  The United States has many positive and negative aspects, as does Ecuador.  But the first impression I am getting here in Ecuador is the respect of others, which seems to be disappearing, to some extent, at home. 

One last closing comment for the day.... We are in and out of Internet places on a regular basis checking on the status of the bike.  There are many Brit's here.  Hey Brit's, what's up with the cigarettes?

Posted September 9, 2005       GOOD NEWS....... THE BIKE WILL BE HERE ON TUESDAY!

On Thursday we were walking are legs off, and heard there was a British lady in town that was on a BMW, riding around the world!  Hey, there are only 1,800,000 people here.  Let's try and find her.  We had heard she was having problems with her bike and found out that there was a good BMW motorcycle dealer in town.  We also checked her out at  www.HorizonsUnlimitied.com ,  which is a very useful site for long distance travelers.  We found a lady traveling on the web site, named Cynthia Milton, doing it on a R80GS.

So, on the bus and across town, and lo and behold, we find Cynthia.  Her valves were bad due to bad gas in Peru, so she was having a complete top end performed.  She has almost 250,000 miles on the bike.

She had a bad accident in Southern Chile on May 2nd, 2005 and broke her collar bone, punctured her lungs and broke 4 ribs.  The bike was nearly totaled.  The BMW required a new frame, forks, wheel, brakes and a lot of other things which she rattled off very quickly in her British ways.  Ed and MaddBrit...... Before you ask, yes she smokes!

Cynthia was very lucky.

This happened at about 50 MPHs.

To brake a spoked wheel like this takes a lot of IMPACT.

I have never seen a spoked wheel destroyed like this.

The frame and front end were totaled.

The handle bars were good.....

She was riding with some guys from Holland.


Thank God they were riding together.


She needed help on this unlucky day.

New frame installed.
A month later she was riding again.

She had the good luck to be able to stay with a doctor while she recovered for a month!

Here is her bike in Peru.  Big load for a little lady (weight that is..... not here motivation or drive!)

We are having dinner with her tonight.  You know that even though we don't have our bike yet, this trip is starting out great.  I am sure we will have a nice night out.  We are now very excited knowing that our bike is coming Tuesday.  I will finally be able to twist a throttle!           Cynthia's link is  http://www.cynthia.boxerman.co.uk/  .

Sandy and I walked about 5 miles back towards our room and decided to live it up at a Fondue restaurant for lunch.

Yes, those are peppers in the eye sockets!  And no, this is not the Fondue restuarant!

Had an excellent lunch of chicken, sausages and chesses.
Very good.....
In the middle of the city, we found this drivers school for cab drivers.
Seems like this concept works as we have seen no Taxi accidents yet!

Pictures posted in the 12th of September, 2005

Since we are planning on heading to jungles soon, we thought that it would be appropriate to get one finally dose of culture, while in the Andean highlands.  So we got tickets for the Teatro Nacional Sucre, to see a performance of "The Man of La Mancha", performed by a group from Santiago, Chile..

The front of the Teatro.
It was a formal event.  Even saw a few mink coats.

The group consisted of 1 harpsichord, 4 stringed instruments, 2 singers and a percussionist.

The Theater was built in 1878 and restored in 2000.
We don't expect theaters like this, in the jungles of Ecuador.

Although we have visited Quito many times during the last two weeks, we were informed that seeing the various plazas at night is a totally different experience.  On Sunday the 11th, we went for a walk around old town.  This is Church of San Francisco. 

The view from the steps of the Church of San Francisco.
Looking another direction from the steps of the same church (Church of San Francisco).
The steeple of the same church as the picture above (Church of Merced).
Closer view of the Church of Merced.
The city is littered with buildings like this.

Just another Church.


The guide book states that an estimated 25% of the ground in old Quito is covered by Churches.

The President's Palace.
Yep, another one....

The Basilica.........

That's it for the night shots......

A few pictures from walking around on Monday (the 12th of September, 2005)

This fountain is in the patio of the Church of San Francisco.

The white stone is alabaster.

The light actually shines through the rock.

Neat Cross, Sky, Clouds and Buildings......

The interior of one of the smaller Churches.

Some type of Military band performing in front of the Presidential Palace.
Same thing, different angle....

I believe that this newspaper article states that 90% of the motorcycles in Ecuador are imported from China.

Well, that's it.  Bike should be here tomorrow!

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