El Burro - hibernating In Uruguay

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by TeeTwo, Jan 11, 2019.

  1. TeeTwo

    TeeTwo Been here awhile

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    About 50 yards from the rock pile there was another group, including males, who where laying a footpath and building a retaining wall. In a couple of years Quilitoa will have the feel of a small Colorado resort town. The community is doing a nice job with the development, classy look and feel to what they have accomplished so far.

    On the ride today I witnessed another couple of community based projects, one was agricultural, up on a hillside and the other a group of about 50 civilians (male and female) were improving a dirt road off the main highway. Community seems to be a big deal here; nice to see that cohesivity.

    T2
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  2. TeeTwo

    TeeTwo Been here awhile

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    Cotapaxi did not give up her secrets to me yesterday; Chimborazo was more forthcoming today. 160 miles on the clock taking me from Pujili to Alasui, with a loop through Chimborazo park, in the hope of seeing the highest peak in Ecuador at ~20,500 ft. Punched through a layer of cloud, reached a peak altitude of 14,407ft to be greeted by parting clouds, some sun and a decent look at the dormant volcano.

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    As the picture shows it is pretty much desert up at that altitude and is home to vicunas, of which I saw several groups.

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    Interesting strata revealed in a cutting on the descent into Riobamba.

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    …..…..
    #42
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  3. TeeTwo

    TeeTwo Been here awhile

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    …. the valleys heading down into Riobamba are cultivated. It looks like the market garden of Ecuador; fields of herbs, a variety of veggies along with livestock.

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    Not at all sure of the significance of the decorative elements on the corners of this bridge.

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    In Alausi for a couple of nights at the Hostel Europa. Checks all the boxes for ~$27 a night double room private bath, breakfast.....and the first time on his South America trip I have added cold water to the stream of hot water in the shower. One starts to notice things that back home are taken for granted.

    A good day.

    Cheers. T2
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  4. TeeTwo

    TeeTwo Been here awhile

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    Yesterday was a chill out day. Got the bike washed to remove the accumulated crud, cleaned up the chain and lubed it, checked the fasteners, all good and tight. Tire pressures spot on, the Outex tubeless conversion kits work really well. El Burro is in good shape so far.

    Rode the Naris del Diablo train from Alausi this morning then moved the 100 or so miles to Cuenca for the night. Hotel Angosta, checks all the boxes and close to the old city, just a couple of blocks away. $20 inc. breakfast.

    Thought I would share a couple of moto pics.

    This one from Quito; I think he has at least anther couple of hundred in the rear.....

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    Aspirational in Cuenca...the bike is actually a Chinese Shinray...but you gotta have dreams.

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    A shiny new CB500X will set you back $12,000 here in Ecuador. It was the Euro spec with the HISS security system, not surprised at that price.

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    ….and the Cuenca Mass Transit system goes live next month. Still testing.

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    …....
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  5. TeeTwo

    TeeTwo Been here awhile

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    The Nariz Del Diablo train ride is well worth the $33. Clinging to the mountainside the 45 minute ride (one way) goes through some spectacular scenery. The train is met at the turnaround point with local cultural activities that were well done in my opinion, not the usual cheesy tourist servings. All told a decent 21/2 hour excursion. Back in Alausi by 10.30am, check out of the hotel and on the road by 11.30 for the shortish hop on decent roads to Cuenca.

    The track can be seen in the valley running along the base of the cliff just to give a sense of the gradients this journey covers.

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    The cultural museum and a dancer.

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    …..….
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  6. TeeTwo

    TeeTwo Been here awhile

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    ...and Cuenca is an appealing town of moderate size. The old town was exceptionally clean.
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    Off to chow in the café in the hotel.

    Cheers. T2
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  7. liv2day

    liv2day Is Anyone Here a Marine Biologist! Supporter

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    :lol3 :lol3

    That's one well-loved rear tire, can't believe the thing hasn't blown given the cords showing. Hope the rider doesn't hit something even remotely sharp :eekers :eekers

    Damn...is that price due to import tariffs or taxes?

    Always good to have a chill day :thumb
    #47
  8. liv2day

    liv2day Is Anyone Here a Marine Biologist! Supporter

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    That train ride looks fantastic! Really neat terrain to experience, especially from the comfort of a train car. It also looks like there might be some trails that head off up into the hills? Imagine there's great off-road riding to be had there?

    Great set of updates @TeeTwo, enjoyed the pics from the train ride and the town of Cuenca :ricky :ricky
    #48
  9. TeeTwo

    TeeTwo Been here awhile

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    Ecuador seems to be a country of regional food. Today was the pig on a spit region, you could have anything you wanted for lunch as long as it involved roast pork. The ride from Cuenca to Macara, a 6+ hour, 240 mile traverse also revealed that in this part of Ecuador farm animals wander the road untethered (cows, horse and foal, pigs, goats and burros). The road was in great condition and twisty as you like, so care was needed on blind bends. Of course the usual cadre of pissed off canines gave chase once in a while. Topes don't seem to have made it here yet in any great numbers.

    The sun was out for much of the day and only a few areas of low cloud impeded visibility. It was a good day, even the military doc check I was pulled for, about 25 miles out of Macara, was a polite and quick affair.

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    Tomorrow...Peru!
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  10. TeeTwo

    TeeTwo Been here awhile

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    Saturday I shipped out of the Hotel Arrozales and was at the border, just a few miles outside of Macara, by 7.00. One day this will be a very nice crossing judging by the facilities being built, though not much seems to have happened recently. As of now it is a few huts. Cleared out of Ecuador in 10 minutes. SOAT, entry stamp and TVIP in Peru all done in 45 minutes. The day was looking good, but went pear shaped in Tambo Grande; the road to Olmos, my destination for the night, was closed. No big deal, just re-routed....but at a stop light the guy in a pick-up in front of me decides to change lanes and first goes into reverse to do so; I had no where to go. He rides up on my front wheel, but fortunately I get him to stop before he nabs the forks and front fairing. He drives off, I pull to the side to remove the torn up fender, check things out and then ride on.

    About 4 miles out of town there was a concrete based water crossing about 30 ft wide, the water is running pretty fast. Well, half way across the front wheel looses traction on the algae coated concrete, which I inspected more closely than I desired. Slow speed, no damage to me a few grazes on El Burro. I got soaked with the river water which stank like fish. The Klim gear still pongs a bit. Fortunately, it was a hot +90F day, so was dried out by the time I reached Olmos (after another 8 similar water crossings, none as treacherous as the first). Halfway through the trip the console dies, fortunately it was just a fuse (stop/tail light) that caused the outage. Set about putting the rear half of the fender on, protect me and the radiator from road crap. Other than that the road to Olmos was decent, though it does appear to get washed out once in a while.

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    The bike seemed to handle fine after both incidents. It has a little head shake between 32-38 mph, which is only apparent with hands off the bars, which I have noticed in the past with the Heidi K60's. The fender stayed secure over the 230 miles to Chachapoyas, which was a much better day....

    T2
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  11. TeeTwo

    TeeTwo Been here awhile

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    The sun was out, it was hot down in the valley. Leaving Olmos for Chachapoyas the road starts to climb after 15 or 20 miles. A little fog going over the pass and then on the other side...wow...it reminded me of why I am here.

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    .....
    #51
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  12. TeeTwo

    TeeTwo Been here awhile

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    Two contrasting days. I liked this one better!

    Stayed at the Hostel Ecolodge in Olmos, nice pool which was welcome after a hot and crummy day. Restaurant in the hotel, the food was good.

    At the Hostal Orquides in Chachapoyas based on a review by Battdoc. Good stop.

    Cheers. T2
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  13. battdoc

    battdoc Old Enough

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    Fantastic T2 - this refreshes my jaunt through Salento. Yvette has the place closed for family during my time there. But she was nice enough to recommend La Serrana in Salento, which was great stay. I loved Southern Colombia. Have a blast friend.
    Cheers!
    #53
  14. battdoc

    battdoc Old Enough

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    Ask the owner of the hostal about a visit to the two lookouts near Chachpoyas, It was raining and foggy for me, you may have a better luck.
    Cheers!
    #54
  15. liv2day

    liv2day Is Anyone Here a Marine Biologist! Supporter

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    Damn, sounds like a rough welcome to Peru :eek7 :eek7

    Glad you were able to get it sorted for the most part, and the scenery is spectacular! Are you going to try and get a new fender? Not sure how much off-road you have planned, but riding off-road without a front fender...no fun (not much fun riding in the rain w/o one either :(). Did the guy even get out of his truck to see if you/the bike were ok? An ass move if he didn't.

    Hope the concrete surfing didn't leave you bruised or too battered, remember crossing a couple vados in Baja that were sketchy like that. Really like the pictures you posted, great waterfall shot and the valley you rode through was great.

    Keep the updates coming :thumb :thumb
    #55
  16. TeeTwo

    TeeTwo Been here awhile

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    Monday was a great weather day so I decided to crack on to Celendin, where I am staying at another of your breadcrumb hostals, the Villa Madrid. Staying two nights as it is a really nice place to recharge myself.

    Vados ...is that what they are called? I used a couple of different names at the time, but will use vados, it is nicer and I appreciate the comment, broadened my education.

    The valley leading into the mountains after exiting Chachapoyas was a flat relaxed ride. Spotted an old block built bridge which made a pleasant change from the utilitarian concrete and metal rails.



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    About 200 yards up from the Leymebamba mummy museum the road was closed; it was 10.40 am and it started to rain, the road would not be open until 2pm, or so I was told. A detour was posted to Balsas, but as I couldn't see it on the map I decided to go take a look at the museum.

    Interesting stop for an hour, a few comments in English and German. They have over 200 mummified skeletons in the collection from babies on up. Some with evidence of death by blunt force trauma, though I doubt they called it that at the time. Still, dead is dead.

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    While chatting with the staff I mentioned I was waiting on the road being opened, they scoffed at 2pm and said it was often 4 or 4.30pm. They advised taking the detour, said the first 10 km was rough but after that if was a good road, to be taken in first of second gear. It would put me in Balsas by 4pm making Celendin good for 6pm, accounting for stops. They said the views would be worth it. The description of the road, the timing and the views were spot on.

    The road branches off to the left, 200 yards up the hill from the museum, routing to Atuen > Chugibamba > Pusac > Balsas. As you rise from Atuen there is a good view of Lago Los Condores - I forgot to take a picture...doh. But here are a few others along the way to Balsas,

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    ......

    Attached Files:

    #56
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  17. TeeTwo

    TeeTwo Been here awhile

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    ......
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    This is the run into Pusac, down in the valley. The road marker at the point of the photo; 9km or 5 miles . The road visible on the mountain on the right leads to a lot of switchbacks, quite the descent.

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    The valley out to Balsa...it hit 102.9F.

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    ...and the climb up to get over the bump to Celendin.

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    Cheers. T2.
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  18. TeeTwo

    TeeTwo Been here awhile

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    Celendin is a nice town, it currently has the San Isidro festival going on, lighting off fire crackers...bands, the usual fiesta.

    A nice church in a well kept square,

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    Cuy anyone....? They look worse raw and have not encouraged me to try one cooked.

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    The skin from a pig's head put me in mind Hannibal Lector..., yum.

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    And I finally understand why the sidewalks are so raised up from the street, they make for a perfect spot to sit and chat. hats have changed here from up north.

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    The wheels continue south tomorrow.

    Cheers T2
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  19. liv2day

    liv2day Is Anyone Here a Marine Biologist! Supporter

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    That detour looked awesome, especially dropping down into the valley (though the heat not so much).

    Good updates @TeeTwo, so cool to see the area. In that last pic, there are several small displacement bikes parked on the street - other riders exploring or something else?
    #59
  20. TeeTwo

    TeeTwo Been here awhile

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    The road from Celendin to Cajabamba was a joy to ride. Great surface and on the day it stayed mostly dry.

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    Found a decent spot for a break and a bite at roadside..

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    Stayed at Los Casonas a block from the main plaza and on the road through town. Room was small but the hot water worked and the bike was safely tucked up in their garage. Again, I was pleasantly surprised at how clean the town was, the plaza looked especially nice at night.

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    There is a significant carved statue on the hill overlooking the town. I have not been able to find out anything about it searching the web.

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    T2
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