Ecuador

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by Hektoglider, May 9, 2013.

  1. GuateRider

    GuateRider Long timer

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    Good to see that you are still enjoying it as much as several month back when we met here in Guatemala.
    The last time I was in Baños was 34 years ago; looking at your pics it changed quiet a bit .
    Suerte mis amigos!
    #61
  2. Hektoglider

    Hektoglider One with Life

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    Coming up next; finding the country roads where 3rd gear is fine.
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    Discovering some off the main route backcountry
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    #62
  3. Hektoglider

    Hektoglider One with Life

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    Good to have you following the report! Yes Banos is all tarted up for the tourist, but the area really can back it up.
    We are settled into a comfortable pace on the ride.
    #63
  4. Hektoglider

    Hektoglider One with Life

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    We got going from Ambato heading north. The sky looked like rain so we pulled over & put the rain gear on. As soon as we got suited up the rain stopped.
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    We headed towards Latacunga but took the rural turnoff towards Holguin &,Mulalallo . This turned out to be a great road. We rode on narrow pavement with little traffic crossing the valley at Cusabamba and then arriving at Pujilo. This is classic Sherpa riding, 3rd gear, no big trucks, no rush.
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    We stopped for lunch and gave one bowl of soup to a local guy. I wasn't really into the chicken feet soup.
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    We climbed up past 12,000 feet to the high country on our way to Quilotoa. This was some pretty scenic country. We took the turnoff for the volcanic lake at Zumbagua.
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    At the lake we had to sign in but there was no fee. There is a lot of development here and it looks like they are fixing it up for increased tourism. The view from the top was pretty good, we could see kayaks in the water below. There's a few hostels & restaurants nearby. We didn't stay very long. We had a short chat with some DR650 riders from Quito, before we left.
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    The next section was the dirt road to Sugchos. The first section showed a series of switchbacks on the GPS , but a new straight road was being built, where we rode past some heavy equipment working
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    Soon we were on the old Sigchos road. It went along the edge of a high canyon and circled around the edge following the contour of the land. The road was very rough but at least it was dry.
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    We passed through the small village of
    Chugchilan where we saw some hostels. We continue onwards, with some amazing views into the huge valley, as well as passing by rural life in the backcountry
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    It was 3pm when we arrive at Sigchos and judging by how long it will take to ride out to the main highway, we decide to stay the night. We both wonder what kind of clay tile shack we will be in tonight but are surprised to get a very nice hotel with hot water, wifi and great secure bike parking for a decent price.
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    We go for a short walk and get a few things from the store. The hotel has a restaurant so we eat supper there.
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    Sent from my iPod
    #64
  5. Hektoglider

    Hektoglider One with Life

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    Coming up: cheap people buying cheap gas......
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    #65
  6. Hektoglider

    Hektoglider One with Life

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    It was a cool start to the day with threat of rain. We suited up for the rain but also for additional warmth.
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    Right off the start we got onto some amazing riding on our way back out to the main highway. Great switchbacks and amazing views...a big plus is the road was paved.
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    We descended into the valley then climbed up the other side leaving the blue sky behind. Soon we were into rural farm country as we finished off the " Quilotoa Loop "
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    Pretty good riding man ! Routes like this really allow the brain to totally clear out. Just riding along with no thoughts going in the mind, just a state of being....
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    At the junction we got into the Pan-Am north with a fuel stop.
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    From there we went towards the huge volcano, not knowing much about the Parque National and the rules. At the gate they said no motos allowed. We also needed to pay a guide to go with us further in to see Cotopaxi $50 for 2 of us. We decided to try and see it ourselves sans guide, from outside of the fee areas.
    #66
  7. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Great stuff! Keep up the good work. Really enjoying it.

    Best,
    Juan Sherpa
    #67
  8. Hektoglider

    Hektoglider One with Life

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    We gathered enough info there, that it was possible to ride into the north control and maybe get a view from there as the sky was clearing from that side.
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    We exited back out to the main highway and went in again at Machachi
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    The road soon turned to cobble with a sign "17 km " to Cotopaxi. It was rough going in 1st gear for the next hour.
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    We finally arrived at North Control. The view of the volcano was obscured by clouds
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    No way we are seeing Cotopaxi today, but we will enjoy some more adventure getting back out to the main highway.....to Sangolqui.....
    #68
  9. Hektoglider

    Hektoglider One with Life

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    We had a different road to ride out of there. We will ride north towards Sangolqui /Quito.
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    More clouds, we could see rain in the distance. We met 2 bicycle travelers on the way, cobble must be tough on a bicycle ! They were from France.
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    The road was pretty cool, and soon we were on 20 km more of cobble road. A few images from the ride to Quito.
    The clouds were pretty heavy.
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    That's the most cobble road I have ever done in one day. Maybe 40-50 km of it
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    So it took us about a week to go from Ibarra to Quito.....
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    Heavy black clouds, big city traffic, small motors......we pull into town.
    #69
  10. Hektoglider

    Hektoglider One with Life

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    Sherpa bike prep info:
    Here's some links to the Super Sherpa thread that chronicle the bike prep. As you will see some of the stuff was done almost 2 years ago, as we got ready for the trip but had to postpone departure a few times. Some of the info is about installing the large tanks with the improved rubber saddle mounting, and the other links are about the luggage racks. Maybe it will be helpfull for someone getting a Sherpa ready for longer trips.
    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=263308&highlight=super+sherpa&page=71


    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=263308&page=161

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?p=17085919
    #70
  11. kwakbiker

    kwakbiker Been here awhile

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    Birmingham,UK
    Good riding, I take it its very slippy riding on the cobble bricks?
    #71
  12. Hektoglider

    Hektoglider One with Life

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    We arrived in Quito mainly to get a new tire for the green 2000 Super Sherpa. We also decided to put fresh chain & sprockets on the White 2004 bike. The sprockets & chain were still in great shape, but the strategy is : if we put new ones on now, the white bike will go the full distance. When the green bike final drive fizzles out, we will install the used parts on it, and it should make it as well. That's the plan.
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    We stopped into see the fellas at the bike rental adventure shop in Quito. They were very helpful in lining us up with the local bike shops, where we got the new tire and a chain. They also gave us some advice on routes as well.
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    It's amazing how long stuff lasts on the 250cc. The take-off sprockets look new, and the tire was a 70%tread when it left Texas.....
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    After some work on the bikes we went out for a much deserved dinner at a place we haven't seen in a long time. A nice change from the typico comida.
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    In the morning we have the stove going in the nice cubby hole area, where the wifi signal is fairly strong
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    After breakfast we head out for some tourist duty. We take the trolle bus to old town. The hills are very steep as we hike up to the Basillica and pay the $1 each to go inside. We find out its an extra $2 to climb up to the top.
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    Climbing up past the clock mechanism, we get to the top. The views are pretty good.
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    There is a wooden walkway to go across to the other spire. More views.
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    We get back on the ground and walk through some park areas, missing a significant part of old town Quito. That's ok .
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    If you leave your camping gear behind, you can always buy some here....
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    After a bit of R&R at the hotel, we go go some KFC .
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    Looking forward to getting back out on the roads, we look at the maps....

    Sent from my iPod
    #72
  13. Hektoglider

    Hektoglider One with Life

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    Glad you are into it. Happy Birthday !
    #73
  14. Hektoglider

    Hektoglider One with Life

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    At first I was nervous, but after a few miles I began to trust the traction on it. That's a Trailwing (deathwing) front tire, and then we would see cow crap in places....but it was not too bad. Never slipped out at all....
    #74
  15. poolman

    poolman Gnarly Poolside Adv.

    Joined:
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    Darnestown, MD
    Hektoglider,

    What a coincidence, I am traveling to Ecuador next week and renting from Ecuador Freedom. Your pictures and comments are really helpful as I plan to cover much of the same ground.

    I think that due to the great marketing campaign you and JD have executed, the mighty Sherpa may soon surpass BMW in the adv bike segment :deal. Well, good publicity at least.

    Cheers,
    #75
  16. kwakbiker

    kwakbiker Been here awhile

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    Glad to hear it isnt as bad as it looks.....trailwings....brings back memories
    #76
  17. Hektoglider

    Hektoglider One with Life

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    We finally peel out of Quito, heading for the big Equator monument " Mitad del Mundo"
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    We arrive and pay the couple bucks to go in, take the "1 foot in each half" photo, then a couple more photos.
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    Off we go heading out to the coast, going through a toll booth and some ok mountain riding I guess.
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    We see the signs for the ruins so we go check it out, as the rain begins....
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    We end up exploring some dirt back roads, before heading back out to the main highway. Then the rain came down hard.....
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    We got totally soaked, and seeing as it was past lunch, we pulled into Mindo for lunch. As we ate we discussed the situation and decided to call it a day as far as the riding is concerned. This place had lots of hotels and maybe further down the road options won't be as good.
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    Of course as soon as the bikes are parked the sun tries to comes out again
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    We have a decent supper here and might have to stay a few days to look around.....
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    #77
  18. Hektoglider

    Hektoglider One with Life

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    We had not planned to visit Mindo, but rather were washed in here by the rain. I vaguely recall reading about it and it being one of the areas where the "cloud forest " is still intact & worth a look. [​IMG]
    With a big breakfast under our belts we head out for a morning ride under the blue skies, as the lady says it rains in the afternoon, but mornings are mostly clear everyday.
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    A nice hammock, we will save that for later in the day, we shoot the lady another $$ for an extra night and F-off
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    Perfect way to start the day....
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    We are taking the Eco route....
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    This is a cool jungle road, a bit rough at first, but it gets better.....
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    Traveling through the cloud forest
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    We should have skipped the Mitad del Mundo and came here on this backroad....it goes all the way to Quito
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    We stop here for a coffee....
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    The place is a bird watchers dream...
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    A very pleasant Swiss lady kind of runs the place. Soon we were off again, & met a steady stream of bicycle riders struggling up the steep hill....
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    Next we came upon this sign....we had to go look
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    Basically if you put a line in, you got a fish. Not really what I'm looking for..
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    It costs about $7 to catch two nice ones to take with you. I think they can cook them for you too
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    Soon our road brings us back out to the pavement . It's a pretty cool ride, next time we will ride it all the way to Quito.
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    #78
  19. Hektoglider

    Hektoglider One with Life

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    You will enjoy it here. Things are inexpensive & you can arrive in an entirely different geography in a simple days ride.....
    The Sherpas are perfect ! We can go places that I would not enjoy with a large bike. I feel its safer too, riding less traffic roads & slower speeds
    #79
  20. KLRmonkey

    KLRmonkey Adventurer

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    North Georgia
    Nice RR, thanks for sharing with us.:clap
    Is your trip planned for a length of time, or are you winging it
    to see what feels right?

    Anyway, stay safe out there!
    #80