Equador

Crossing the border into Equador.
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First stop Ibarra.
Overlooking Ibarra
Overlooking Ibarra
From Ibarra we made a day trip to the Saturday market in Otavalo and rode to Laguna de Cuicocha in hopes of seeing Volcano Cotacachi …unfortunately the ceiling was too low, but we had great views of the lake.
Otavalo market
Otavalo market
Ecuador, origin of the Panama Hat
Ecuador, origin of the Panama Hat
downtown Otavalo
downtown Otavalo
Laguna Cuicocha
Laguna Cuicocha
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Next stop crossing the Equator. We first crossed the equator while driving the Pan American Highway.  Not demarcation, but the gps showed it to be so.  We continued on to the official monument just outside of Quito to mark the event.
Parked on the Equator Nov. 23/14
Parked on the Equator Nov. 23/14
The equator
The equator
Making it official
Making it official
 Quito
Hotel Sebastian Quito
Hotel Sebastian Quito
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Cathedral Quito
Cathedral Quito
Waiting
Waiting
Equador is already more than a month ago and some of the details escape us.  But the overall impression is that of great contrasts, from the dry coast to the lush Avenue of Vocanoes and through the  mountain passes joining the two. There was also a very strong contrast in cultures arriving from Colombia.  As we mentioned before Colombia was vibrant where Equador felt much more reserved and impoverished.
We made our way from Quito via Cotopaxi and Quevedo to Puerto Lopez on the coast.
Leaving Quito
Leaving Quito
Price of gas in Ecuador.
Price of gas in Ecuador. Currency American dollars.

Not only was gas very cheap, but all tolls, and there were many, were free for motorcycles.

Through the pass in Rerserva Ecologic Los llinzes we reached altitudes of 13,180′, our highest pass so far.  We had views of beautiful cultivated terraced lands.  The rudimentary enclaves of inhabitants dotted the landscape and left us wondering how they keep warm and where they get their cooking fuel from living in such isolated circumstances.

A snack before entering Reserva Ecologic Los llines
A snack before entering Reserva Ecologic Los llines
Into the Pass through the Reserva
Into the Pass through the Reserva

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Over the top
Over the top
Arriving in Quevedo
Arriving in Quevedo
Our hotel in Quevedo
Our hotel in Quevedo
En route to Puerto Lopez on the coast we weren’t prepared for the dry and burnt landscapes that would greet us.  It was the end of the dry season and there was a lot of agricultural burning going on giving a grey hue to the already monotone landscapes.

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 A site for sore eyes when we reach the coast.

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Upon arriving at Puerto Lopez we had the good fortune of passing a small welding shop that Lindsay visited to have the bracket for the ktm driving light repaired.

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 Puerto Lopez.
The beach
The beach

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The fishers

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Our digs.
Our digs.
En route to Guayaquil via Salinas November 28.

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From Guayaquil we rode to Cuenca through another incredible Pass in Parque National El Cajas.

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Stopping for lunch to enjoy the view.

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 Arriving at our hotel in Cuenca. The owners of the Hostel Posada de Angel were kind enough to let us park just at the back of their breakfast areas as they had no other parking for the bikes!!
Hotel Posada del Angel
Hotel Posada del Angel
Our room
Our room
 A taste of Cuenca
The Square Cuenca
The Square Cuenca
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The market
The market
No waste
No waste
no odour and no mistaking your purchase
no odour and no mistaking your purchase
Rode from Cuenca to Loja, again riding into the highlands of the Andes.

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Loja
Loja
Tracy and I were greeted with a questioning look as we entered the Grand Victoria Boutique to check in for our stay…..we decided the receptionist had never seen anyone decked out in riding armour!
Grand Victoria Boutique Hotel
Grand Victoria Boutique Hotel

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We took a day ride abutting Parque National Podocarpus from Loja to the small mining town of Zamora.

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Riverside homes in Zamora
Riverside homes in Zamora

 

Boys inspecting the bike
Boys inspecting the bikes

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On our descent from Zamora into Loja the bike died and we found ourselves coasting into town. As we were running out of ‘coast’ we pulled to the side of the road to contemplate what was happening.  The bike had just had it’s scheduled maintenance done in Cuenca, which had to do with the fuel system.  Lindsay discovered that the mechanic had forgotten to open one of the fuel lines exiting the tank. So fortunately it was simply a turn of the screw 🙂    Great relief.
Left Loja for Huaquillas to position ourselves for the proverbial border crossing, this time into Peru. Originally we had planned to cross at La Balsa, but information told us that the road conditions were questionable, so we decided on the coastal route.  Landscapes on the coast are always a shock after being in the mountains.

 

From Loja
From Loja
Towards Huaquillas
Towards Huaquillas
En route.
School bus
School bus
Rural transport?
Rural transport?
Arriving at our hotel.
Arriving at our hotel.

 

Hotel del Sur
Hotel del Sur
A room with a view.
A room with a view.
Tomorrow Peru
Tomorrow Peru

 

2 Comments on “Equador

  1. How wonderful it must be to be travelling in new territory. What a different world South America seems, and each country and its people so unique as well. I just finished reading “The River” by anthropologist/ethnobotanist Wade Davies. He was Richard Evan Schultes last graduate student at Harvard.Lots of very interesting history; especially on Colombia and Ecuador. A quickly changing continent. Travel safe and enjoy!

    Like

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