Finding Freedom...World Wide Ride

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by BcDano, Jul 19, 2012.

  1. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,393
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    We headed out south of Quito again and were entertained sort of at the light. I’m not sure it’s juggling if there are only 2 items.

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    Screen Shot 2013-11-08 at 8.11.36 AM by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

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    FILE0085 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

    Riding on the silky smooth Pan American Highway you see some strange vehicles.


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    FILE0095 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr


    Turning off the highway south of Lasso on to the initially cobbled road towards Chugchilan, then we headed off road.

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    There were a few small patches of pavement that came out of nowhere.


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    FILE0189 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

    We then began rising into the mountains.

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    Here there were some very steep and hairpin switchbacks.


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    There were lots of indigenous women herding sheep and goats.

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    FILE0495 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr


    The views were stunning.

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    DSC07844 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

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    What is crazy is that about every 45 minutes you will come across a bus on this crazy road and so you need to be extra careful on the corners.

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    FILE0818 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr


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    DSC07846 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

    We arrived in the village and to the Mama Hilda hotel. This place is a common stopping point for the people walking the Quilotoa Loop. There was a fire burning in the lounge wood stove, up to, which we all gathered to warm up.


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    DSC02115 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

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  2. salvadorfrieri

    salvadorfrieri Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2010
    Oddometer:
    125
    Location:
    Cartagena, Colombia
    Great ride, amazing road! Good to know your foot is OK. I hope Dan has been behaving. How are you on schedule?
  3. decodent

    decodent CyberGypsy

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,418
    Location:
    Marin County, CA & Ketchum, ID
    Wow ... looks like beautiful riding. Glad your foot's doing better. That could have set you back a bit.
  4. SixDays02

    SixDays02 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    Oddometer:
    276
    Great roads and great trip! :clap
    Keep it coming! :thumb
  5. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,393
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    Amazing road for sure! My foot is OK but super painful to walk and I imagine it will be 6-8 weeks. I'm hiking and walking anyway though.

    Dan is doing well. But off beer and ice cream until after the wedding in Dec. we need to fit into the clothes we packed in September for our Family to bring on the cruise.

    Hugs to Paola

    Sara
  6. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,393
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    The on and off roads here are epic. You would not believe these crazy dirt roads up and down the Andes. Pictures just don't express it.

    I am SO thankful I'm not at home getting ankle or foot surgery that would really have messed up our trip. As it is we are now about 3 weeks behind our planned schedule with all our delays. Bike dying part 2 to come. We decided last week we will spend sone more time here in Ecuador and then book it the 5000 km to Santiago for our flight dec 13. That said we will now stay another full season in SA and not ship to Europe until spring 2015 instead if 2014. So we can come back next dry season to Bolivia and Peru. Ahhhh darn.

    Cheers Sara
  7. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,393
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    Sixdays

    Hey thanks!! We hope to be in Croatia sometime in 2015?? You will have to let us know some routes then!!

    Sara & Daniel
  8. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,393
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    Now we continued on the planned route to El Corazon. The road was pretty good dirt and thankfully it was not wet.

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    Screen Shot 2013-11-08 at 8.05.57 AM by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

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    FILE0064 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

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    There were a few areas with landslides.

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    Suddenly there was this silky smooth pavement. This was just a few km before the Laguna Quilotoa.

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    FILE0241 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

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    At the Laguna a kid representing the tourism board checks us in. We really wanted to take the bikes up the path to the crater, but the guard said no. We learned from Court that he just drives up and lets the guy yell at him.

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    FILE0350 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr


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    el corazon 12 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr


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    el corazon 11 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

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    The pavement of the Pan Americana lasted about 12 km until we headed off road again and over the mountains to El Corazon.

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    el corazon 21 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

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    At higher elevations you are in the clouds, and apparently in January and February it is totally fogged in on these roads.

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    Today there are some switchbacks, but none as steep as yesterday.

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    We stopped in the village of Apagua for a snack of sweet manderinas and a drink.

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    el corazon 51 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr


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    Further on the route we had amazing views of Cotopaxi volcano in the distance to the north.

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    el corazon 42 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

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    el corazon 41 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr


    Riding along some of these ridges we felt like we were looking down thousands of feet.

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    We were so lucky it was dry mostly and not foggy.

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    el corazon 50 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr


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    el corazon 53 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr


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    el corazon 44 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

    Next we happened upon a festival in the town of Angamarca. One of the local ladies came over and said hello and explained what was going on in the dance. The people were dancing the entire day to the band playing. Stopping here created a crowd around the bikes and especially the GPS.

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    el corazon 58 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr


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    el corazon 54 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

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    Now we were on the final stretch to El Corazon about 35 km or an hour away.

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    el corazon 46 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

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  9. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,393
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    About 900 meters before the town of El Corazon there was a sign for the town and a small church. We stopped to ask for directions, and dah dah my bike would not start. Luckily for us it was an all down hill coast to the central square and then to the only hotel in town. It is incredibly lucky for us that this did not happen 25 plus km from town on this narrow mountain road with nowhere to set up a tent or get immediate help. Again we set up the GS 911 and found the stator was dead. It seems the job done in Mexico to rewind this stator was not good.

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    rescue missions 1 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

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    rescue missions 2 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

    The next day we managed to get one of the hotel owner’s sons to agree to drive the bike the 4 ½ hours back to Quito. No one else in town would do it before Monday, which was in 2 days away.

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    rescue missions 5 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

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    The first 50 km of this was off road to get to the Pan American highway. Dan rode his bike and I had all day to practice Spanish. We stopped here on the road where the trees roots are actually keeping the rock wall stable.

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    rescue missions 12 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr


    Part of the route we took out of the town was different than the one we took in. It was about 15 km shorter, and a much steeper route thru the mountains. Arriving back at Ecuador Freedom Motors Court and Diego were there to help us out.

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    Screen Shot 2013-11-08 at 9.01.45 AM by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

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    rescue missions 14 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

    Another lucky break was that we met another client of Ecuador Freedom, Tim, who offered to let us ship our parts to his office so that his wife can bring them when she comes down next week to meet him. This is Celina the Moto Pero! Court was kind enough to host us at his place for a couple of days. We may trade in the bikes for one of his scooters. Since Dan had the luggage on his ride, Court got the dog and me as pillions.

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    salinas 1 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

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    The next morning we were going to head off on Dan’s bike and book it down the Pan American towards Riobamba and then back track to our original route to Salinas. Court got a call from Sylvain that one of their tour clients had burnt the clutch on a brand new bike about 3 hours away from Quito. We decided to help out and loaded a replacement bike up and headed north past Minto.

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    Screen Shot 2013-11-10 at 1.52.09 PM by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr


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    rescue missions 19 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

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    A few km farther up the road was a hike to the cascades. We did the 30 min hike to swim in the pool, and then enjoy some fresh squeezed sugar cane juice as a reward. Might gave been a bad idea on the toe.

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    rescue missions 24 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

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    rescue missions 23 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr
  10. decodent

    decodent CyberGypsy

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,418
    Location:
    Marin County, CA & Ketchum, ID
    Wow, the adventure continues. Cool that you continue to document your trip so well even when adversity strikes.

    Bummer about the Bimmer. Do you wish that perhaps you'd taken a different bike? Like a KLR, DR650, or V-Strom? Honestly, hearing about the issues you've had, you've pretty much convinced me that I don't want to do a trip like this on a fancy bike.
  11. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,393
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.

    I did make it 33000 km with no problems. Plus my inseam is 27 inches so this is pretty much the only choice i have. I tried all the others I can't touch the ground.

    Sara
  12. JetBiker

    JetBiker Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2013
    Oddometer:
    12
    Wow I'd die to go on a trip like that someday!
  13. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,393
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.


    Hey thanks

    Just do what we did sell everything you own and go! You will never regret it.

    Sara & Daniel
  14. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,393
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    Finally we headed out again more than a week later than planned.

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    Screen Shot 2013-11-08 at 8.07.36 AM by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

    We booked it down the highway to Ambato and then on the secondary roads including this one thru and amazing 60 km slot canyon.

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    salinas 2 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

    Then we headed up to 14500 feet on the north side of Chimborazo. This is the highest peak in Ecuador and since the earth is elliptical it is the farthest point on earth from the center of the earth.

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    salinas 5 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

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    From here we rode the 23 km off road to the cheese making village of Salinas at just over 11,000 ft.


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    salinas 22 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

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    The next day we rode on the highway farthest from the earth’s core along the south side of Chimborazo and then off road the 8 km up to it’s base at 15894 feet.



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    to macas 14 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr


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    Very soon after you spend hours going down. We stopped for lunch in a small village and opted for fried fish instead of Guinea pig. I am a giant here at 5 ft 4 in my boots (5 ft 1 without).

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    to macas 24 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

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    to macas 26 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

    We needed to cross a valley from one road to another and this involved a very long construction zone. The rest of the ride was a smooth curvy ride. After about 70 km we had not seen a single other vehicle and we began to wonder if the road was actually closed. We were very relieved when we saw a bus coming up the hill.

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    to macas 27 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

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    We had planned to stop in the village of Alshi, but arriving there we found no hotels so we had to keep going. 25 km further is the large town of Macas. Here we found a fairly big hotel on a quiet street and parked the bike in the lobby. The best part of the hotel was the ice cream shop next door.

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    IMG_2375 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

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    This town is famous for the legend surrounding a painting of the virgin that apparently under went some miraculous changes in about 1500 AD.

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    IMG_2372 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr
  15. salvadorfrieri

    salvadorfrieri Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2010
    Oddometer:
    125
    Location:
    Cartagena, Colombia
    Sara, so where's your bike?
  16. marior97

    marior97 marior97

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    313
    Location:
    San Salvador, El Salvador
    Hola Sara and Daniel
    Just updated on your great RR !!!:clap:clap:clap:clap:clap
    We hope your toe heals to 100 % soon and that lulus stator get to you with no problems
    Keep on the adventure !
    Un abrazo amigos
  17. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,393
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    Lulu is in Quito waiting for parts. 😢
  18. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,393
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.

    Thanks so much! My foot is much better finally this week. We are back in Quito today and the parts have arrived. Daniel will fix my stator tomorrow. Then we will head to Cuenca. Hugs to my girls!!

    Sara
  19. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,393
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    Today we had a short ride to the holiday resort town of Bańos de Agua Santa named for the many hot spring spas or baths of sacred water in the town. We did see this huge snake on the way to remind us we are not in Kansas anymore.

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    DSC08015 by Worldwide Ride.ca, on Flickr

    The first 130 km north is a strait road thru the jungle and the last 60 is a curvy road along the river and there are several almost 1 km long tunnels.

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    It is the adventure capital of the country, with hiking, biking, and rafting. The near by Tungurahua volcano has been very active lately and the road on the other side of it is currently closed. The town has been evacuated in the past, but the last time was about 10 years ago. The route of evacuation is painted on the streets with big white arrows. We did a walk about to one end of town to see some of the spas and the large Cascada of the Virgin. The water here is supposed to be blessed.

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    The Basilica here is also dedicated to the Virgin of the Holy Water (Nuestra Señora del Agua Santa). It is named after the vision of the Virgin Mary they say was seen near the waterfalls and it was built with volcanic rocks. The inside is lined with paintings depicting the Virgin's miracles, including saving the church from multiple volcanic eruptions and saving people from other disasters.

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    The next day we rode along the route of the cascades and then up the mountain to try to see the active volcano.

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    The famous tree house has a view of the lava flows and the volcanic measurement equipment.

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  20. decodent

    decodent CyberGypsy

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,418
    Location:
    Marin County, CA & Ketchum, ID
    Wow ... these latest pics are cool. It feels like the the quality of the experience - the landscape, etc. - is getting better.