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Old 01-07-2013, 07:01 AM   #615
ONandOFF's Avatar
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: Shenandoah Valley riding wonderland
Oddometer: 6,971
I'm telling you, you're blasting through Ecuador too fast! While Al is right about going from Quito to Banos via Baeza and Puyo being better than via Ambato, that's anticlimactic compared to heading west to the coast first. Now you gotta understand, I've been on these roads, albeit in private vehicles and busses, yet to do so on Moto. Not to be mean, but in your haste to blast through Ecuador, you've missed a great portion of what the country has to offer. Knowing what I know, this is how I suggest routing through Ecuador from Quito. It would only add a week or so to your time there, but increase your experience tenfold.

West to the coast, take a quick peek at the real Mitad del Mundo (where you took your pic in Cayambe is not it), take a gander over the Pululahua overlook, and stay in Mindo Loma, on the left just before the road to Mindo, and say hi to Patricio. This area is the Cloud Forest. Then head west to the coast, take the squiggly road north of Santo Domingo to the main road up to Esmeraldas, then work down the coast (the road is dubbed "la ruta del sol") checking out the many gorgeous beaches along the way. Take special note of Bahia de Caracas (good place to stay), see Montecristi, Montaņita, and the Iglesia en forma de barco near Manglaralto - Olon up on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

Enjoy the ruta del sol to Salinas, head inland toward Guayaquil, drop down toward Playas then east thru El Morro to the end of the road and take the Mangrove (manglares) tour in boat. Come back up and through Chongon, and check out the city of Guayaquil, don't miss the malecon 2000, parque de iguanas, barrio las penas - climb to the overlook, the overlook with the statue of Jesus, the two overlooks on the hill along the estero salado and malecon salado, side of the stadium (between los ceibos and urdaneta), monuments, amazing shopping malls, painted bridges, a huge 'terminal terrestre', etc.

When you're done, head over the bridges crossing the Daule and Babahoyo at the confluence forming the Guayas, up and through the bosque nacional las Cajas to Cuenca to stay at Casa del Sol and say hi to Luis. Hit the overlook at Turi. Next north to Alausi to stay. Climb up to where the saint San Pedro overlooks the place. You are surrounded by mountains! Facing the town center, look left about 9 o clock and see that dirt road winding up that killer hill.... I was dying for my XRL fo blast up there!!! La Nariz del Diablo is within a mile or two. You might get lucky enough to get a ticket there to ride it.. I'm sure there must be a way ride into to the bottom of the Nariz if you're industrious enough to dope it out. Alausi is on level with the top of the ascent.

From there to Riobamba. Check out the town of Guano to the north. Shoot up to Chimborazo to the west, and back. Head to banos, and - if the ruta por Tunguragua esta cerrado, go through Ambato. Enjoy, then from there drop down to Puyo.... watch this road! Like most, it's beautiful but dangerous. There will be some waterfalls to pause at. In the oriente, shoot south through Macas, Zamora, and on to Loja to enjoy. From there south to Vilcabamba to hang, and then take that road south to cross into Peru on the road less traveled.

That's my advice, Most riders make essentially a beeline through and miss much more than they experience, then tend to spend extra time further south to make up for it. At the rate you're going, Bryce, you'll be at Ushuaia in two weeks! Perhaps you can ride back up and catch some of what you missed on the way down!

Stay safe
Let's ride!!! - No offense, but there've been a lot of people over time who were just as sure, yet got it wrong. - Una necedad, aunque la repitan millones de bocas, no deja de ser una necedad. - "you know that I could have me a million more friends and all I'd have to lose is my point of view" (Prine)
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