Thursday, February 23, 2012

Ecuador - Ride Report (Part 2)

Day 3 – Ventanas to Salinas
It was pretty light day on riding, primarily on paved roads with occasional really fun unpaved track, but with plenty of rain high in the mountains. Ecuador strikes you with variety of road conditions, various climate zones due the dramatic changes of elevations and breathtaking views anywhere you look.


above the clouds

After not very long journey we arrived to really interesting mountain town/village of Salinas, which claims to have Swiss heritage by making really good cheeses and not a bad chocolates.  We had reservations in very nice Hotel El Refugio located on the hill overseeing Salinas.
Town greeted us with some sort of carnival; it was very interesting to see crowds of natives all around central square waiting for festival parade to arrive.

We found the nearest drinking/eating establishment and started with beer (good old Pilsener)and local cheese, which is pretty good.
And then parade has arrived

After looking at the parade and checking out other food and alcohol establishments, we returned the our original “HQs” and ordered soup, staple of Ecuadorian diet, and super tasty pan fried lake trout, oh I want more of this fish now.
happy travelers

We also asked store owner where we can buy some stronger liquor and send her little son to guide through the village.
this little kid walks like an adult

We came back to hotel, set chairs around the fireplace, drank local variation of schnapps, started to view pictures from previous days and discussed next day. We were joined by American couple that is traveling through Ecuador, after spending seven months teaching English in a school in one of the towns on the coast. Later three Spanish motorcyclists joined our “camp”, these guys are on a three weeks journey, zigzagging through the country. All us where sharing travel stories and drunk. Serega had to run to the store for another bottle of booze and Spaniards ordered two large pies of pizza for everybody. I can tell you one thing, some of us woke up with a little headache next morning.

Day 4 - Salinas - Daule

A portion of Aleve, cool shower and breakfast, now I am ready to hit the road. We are beginning our descend from the mountains to the plains with rice fields and banana plantations.
getting ready
 we also stopped by some motorcycle shop to lubricate chains and check air in the tires

there are "Christmas Trees" and we have "Helmet Motorcycles"     

 We also stopped at gas station to see these happy dancers

ok, let's ride now we have a long day ahead of us

We rode for good 9-10 hours that day, but couldn't reach the coast and end up spending a night in the really strange town called Daule. We rented rooms in the Hotel Medical that occupies top 3 floors of the hospital.

Day 5 Daule - Canoa

As I said before Daule is an interesting city/town. Here are some pictures that were taken prior to our departure
view from our hotel
getting ready

security guards across the street from our hotel

Ok, good by Daule and hello rod to Canoe. I forgot to mention that Temich's bike had a starting problem, we had to push start it all the time. At some point it stalled in the middle of the street in some busy city and we decided to take matters in our hands and try to fix it.

"that is so cool"

Doctor took matter into his hands

Repairs are done, but didn't help with starting issues and we proceeded to the city of the Montecristi that is renown for production of original Panama Hats. We even stopped for photo session near really pretty church

We are not looking for easy ways, so we found really nice unpaved road that would take us closer to our final destination of the day.

We also have come across of this great night club, it was screaming at us: "Please come in and have fun here", but we had to be in Canoa, so we kept riding.

After long day of riding we  finally made it to our Hotel Baloo. Owner of this fine establishment is Brit by the name Phil, and he lives in Ecuador for the past 40 years.
кабан у кабаны

Барак у барака                

каламбурщик Иванов
"Love Birds"

After the short team discussion we decided to stay here extra day and just super slab 320 kilometers to Quito on Saturday.

sun set over Pacific
 Day 6 - Rest day at Canoa Beach

It is wonderful thing to start the day with a swim in the warm ocean and to enjoy a beauty of the nature.

rest after the day at the beach
 Day 6 - Canoa to Quito

We had to ride 320 km on this day, so we woke up at 6:00 am hit the road a little after 7. We drove about 1/3 of our daily distance to the city of Pedernales that is located a little north of Equator.

During this day we went from the shores of  the Pacific and 90 degrees heat to the cloud forests close to 11,000 feet and riding in a fog, rain and 40 degrees cold. It was unbelievable experience and a lot of fun.

at the finish line
 Ecuador trip happened to become a truly fantastic adventure. Traveling with Barak, Jaimie, Serega and Temich created great and positive experience, and I am looking forward to our future trips around US and the world. Thanks guys for bringing me along on this trip.


P.S. It will take some time for me to edit videos, but they will come soon.