Josh Goes to Ecuador

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by ScootersNotBombs, Oct 29, 2018.

  1. ScootersNotBombs

    ScootersNotBombs Been here awhile

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    #1
  2. ScootersNotBombs

    ScootersNotBombs Been here awhile

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    Venezuela was beautiful and full of adventure. I really hope things turn around for her.

    But....

    Fun times in Ecuador! Yahoo!


    This is my 12th year teaching high school science, and my second international teaching position. blah blah blah

    I looooved my KLR in Ve, but now I am on a DR.

    My gf and I rented one from Freedom motorcycle rentals (who I can not recommend enough), rode around the mountains and attended the Quito Distinguished Gentleman´s ride. Fuuuuun little thumper!
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    After lookin and searching, a friend found me a DR on facespace. This little amagito cost $7200 bucks. Yup. Ridiculous. 26000km, 2011 DR650.
    Everything is pretty expensive down here.

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    With my ¨Cultural Exchange¨visa, passport, $65 visit to a notary with the seller, $35 with transfer fee for wiring $$ from my Bank of America account, it was mine. More info on the paperwork later...

    Note the Brooks Brothers´belt used as a strap for my bag. haha. I brought ZERO gear with me in August. There was some kind of a luggage embargo. I had to move to a new country with everything in 2 bags. I even left my Chemex coffee maker at home!!!

    First long ride on the new DR

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    Next weekend is a 4 day holiday. We plan to visit Cotapaxi and Quilotoa.
    #2
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  3. ScootersNotBombs

    ScootersNotBombs Been here awhile

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    #3
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  4. ScootersNotBombs

    ScootersNotBombs Been here awhile

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    A little info on Quito...

    (A tent space fella wanted to know a little bit about Ecuador. Here is my response. Maybe it is helpful to ya)


    ¨Yes, you are welcome to stay with us for a few days! We would love the company. If you want more privacy, or to just do your own thing, i wouldn't be offended and could recommend some nice places to stay as well. We have a spare bedroom with a twin bed, and a spare bathroom. For planning purposes we live in "Gonzalez Suarez" neighborhood.

    I have flown smaller SA airlines as well as Delta to Quito (UIO airport) Both did just fine. I would double check with the airlines as some have VERY restrictive luggage details. I was only allowed 2 checked bags at 23kg / 50lbs each. With this being said, defiantly avoid the slightly cheaper spirit / jetblue etc flights as they will bend you over with luggage fees. The quito airport is about 45/50 minutes to central Quito. Expect 20-25 bucks for a cab each way. Traffic can be waaaaaaay dumb.

    Bring a shit ton of 20's and 10's. US cash and coins are accepted everywhere, but big bills are QUITE often rejected. Cash is King. I have a US CHASE credit card that i use all the time. Most US banks (i have BOA) work at the many ATMs (my fee is $5 every time) A handfull of 1s (bills and the 1 dollar coins) will help with small transactions like in town cab rides. 2 bucks will get you from most places to most other places in a metered cab. We also utilize Uber. Easy peasy. Busses are like 15-25 cents.

    Talk with Freedom about what gear you will need. They provide a helmet and can rent you all other gear (gloves, pants, jacket). They have all the bike luggage, spares, tools you will need.
    In Quito it is basically always fall. I wear long pants and a light sweater / fleece almost always. The exception would be in the sun. It instantly warms up to t-shirt weather very quickly. Add another layer for riding around Quito But it gets cold in the mountains. Hot on the coast. You can buy sweaters at the artists markets for around 20 bucks. These make great souvenirs but aren't the technical gear you may want on a bike. Bring your own high quality sunscreen, and nice high quality sunglasses, as it an be double the USA price here. You can find any camping / technical outdoor gear here, but expect to pay at least 2x the price. Food from grocery stores is a touch cheaper, restaurants are around USA prices, fancy beers are expensive (but worth it in my opinion) Due to crazy import taxes everything you buy that isn't made here is crazy expensive. It can be quite rainy here. Most people i know don't drink the tap water. Motels hostels etc will have filtered water, so reuse water bottles unless you hate the Earth. For my Nalgene i always cram some clothes inside so i don't have wasted space.

    Meds can be bought mostly over the counter. Ive been told that anti diarrhea meds are hard to find. I keep Imodium, pepto, and Ciproflaxn with me. Risky street food is tooooo good to pass up :)

    Make high quality color copies (3x) of all your documents. An international drivers license isn't a bad idea (AAA can help you with that)

    Quito is an awesome city. There are tons of parks to explore, museums, and day trips. I highly recommend spending a Sunday here and renting a bicycle for the Ciclo Paseo. They shut down a major N_S road to only bicycle traffic. Great way to see the city The infrastructure for tourism is awesome here! Last time i checked the Ecuador Lonely Planet was free for kindle download.
    Old Town is where all of the classic museums and cool old churches are.
    Parque Carolina is a fun modern park to get tasty food and watch people
    Parque Metrapolitano is a HUGE park with tons of trails, green space, and mountain biking.
    La Floresta is where the hip like to sip coffee and look at art.
    Teleferico to visit Pinchincha mtn.

    A few days in quito will allow you to his the highlights. More for excellent day / overnight trips.
    Sorry if this was a rant! haha¨
    #4
  5. EvrythingAwesom

    EvrythingAwesom Long timer

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    This hillside with few trees but manicured? box hedgerows -- what's the reason (use for this). Sheep grazing?
    #5
  6. ScootersNotBombs

    ScootersNotBombs Been here awhile

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    I think its cows
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  7. stormdog

    stormdog Long timer

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    I sucked in science
    I don’t speak Spanish
    Never went to college
    And I am 30 years too old
    But otherwise I’d be into a teaching gig like that.
    Good for you
    #7
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  8. ScootersNotBombs

    ScootersNotBombs Been here awhile

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    OK, i am stupid slow on updating this. But I promise i will!!!
    This little DR has been so much fun.
    #8
  9. ScootersNotBombs

    ScootersNotBombs Been here awhile

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  10. doppler94

    doppler94 Adventurer

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    Great story and photos so far, keep the sharing at your pace.
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  11. ScootersNotBombs

    ScootersNotBombs Been here awhile

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    Ok.
    Coffee is made, gringo podcast news on the ears, tons of student papers to grade, Time to Update!


    I bought the DR from a dude on facebook. My buddy and fellow teacher Brian found it through an enduro group. Bikes here are crazy expensive. In Venezuela i sold my 13KLR for 1000 bucks. Here in Ecuador bikes are easily twice their price in Gringolandia. (There is a HD dealership in my hood that sells the new sportster for like 40k, dad will not be getting a $90 T-Shirt for christmas. Gimme a break). So i was ok paying around 7k for a decent 650. This dude wanted 7800, i rode it, loved it, it had some farkles i wanted, talked him down to 7200. Done, Bunn. Later that week (after i wire transfered the loot to the seller, $38 fee) he picked me up from school and we found a notary. (i'll post later about how to get all this junk done). The seller was pretty sad to see it go. I promised to sell it back to him when i leave (this may be a lie).

    At my local mechanic's place i paid to get a giant long back bbq rack ("Parilla") and some side racks for Tusk boxes. The BBQ allows for a huge bag to be strapped on the back and the top box to move back about 6 inches which makes a world of difference. The DR with the chimbo top box on it makes it a little tight for me and mi novia. Winner winner BBQ dinner. On my f650 in Ga i have Touratech boxes, we'll see how these compare. Ready to roll.

    Neither Brian nor I had licenses or registration. Good time for a trip! We had a four day weekend (Thursday = Cuenca Day, Friday = All souls day) so we planned a trip and departed Thursday 8AM (ish). Plan was to visit Cotopaxi (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cotopaxi) and then Quilotoa (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quilotoa)

    Getting out of Quito was a S##T show. uggg. Don't really remember how we did it. Mr. Garmin will have the deets. BUUUUUUT. Once we got out of the burbs, the road was killer! Pavement to cobblestone (not like the fancy Savannah kind) to Dirt to muuuud to good times! We rode this up and down for a few hours. Riding in this part of the world is awesome. Mountains, llamas, working family people, volcanos, all wrapped in clouds!

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    We were a little wet and a lotta cold when we arrived to Secret Garden Hostal. (http://secretgardencotopaxi.com/blog3/) We had to stand around with everyone in the common rooms before receiving instructions. Good food, good times. This pace is pretty nice. You can take a poop and look out over the valley and upon Cotopaxi. Loo with a view! Chilled, read, rested, drank, good times. 40 dollar bunk beds i think. All meals included.

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    Next morning we packed up and headed down toward Machachi and toward Quilotoa. This road was paved and glorious! Twisty, splendid, freezing, Ecuador. I thought the equador was warm.... Ecuador is bitchin.

    We pulled up to The Black Sheep Inn early afternoon. (http://www.blacksheepinn.com/) This place is raaaaad. Crunchy little place in the clouds a touch outside of
    Chucchilán. We drank tea, ate cookies and banana bread, played disc golf (highest in the world dawg!!), and hung out with teachers from another school in Quito. Way fun. I can not recommend this place enough. They have composting poopers! No splash no problem!!! You do your poo and cover it up with wood shavings! I felt like a hamster! Like a super woke vegan one. Also, cant recomend this place enough. There is a cheaper place closer toward town called The Cloud Forest. Not nearly as cool...

    We rode to the Quilotoa crater the next day. Amazing view that reminds me of Crater Lake in Oregon. If your gringo lungs are stronger than mine, feel free to walk down to the lake. A horse will carry your fat butt back up! Beautiful ride down to Latacunga. Then we hauled ass on the Autopista back to Quito. Good times.
    #11
  12. ScootersNotBombs

    ScootersNotBombs Been here awhile

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    Straight chillin

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    This rascal was interested....

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    Me and GF / copilot

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    Shot of Secret Garden
    #12
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  13. ScootersNotBombs

    ScootersNotBombs Been here awhile

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    Moovin right along

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    View from the pooper at Black Sheep

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    Walking back to the Black Sheep after a beer run

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    #13
  14. ScootersNotBombs

    ScootersNotBombs Been here awhile

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    RIP Carlos

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    Quilotoa

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    And another of Cotopaxi
    #14
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  15. ScootersNotBombs

    ScootersNotBombs Been here awhile

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    Blue line good times

    Attached Files:

    #15
  16. GS Weaver

    GS Weaver idiot

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    Awesome report, I am subscribed! I visited Quito in 2017 to do some climbing with www.andesclimbing.com. Highly recommend them if you and the gf want to check out some of the volcanoes! Rucu Pichincha and Corazon are relatively easy (depending on your lungs!). Diego runs the company and is based in Machachi. Have you ridden the El Teleferico? I believe it's the highest in the world, or something like that. Ecuador is such a great little country. I'll be looking for updates!
    #16
  17. ScootersNotBombs

    ScootersNotBombs Been here awhile

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  18. ScootersNotBombs

    ScootersNotBombs Been here awhile

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    Thanks! Not a big climber, but the Teleferico is on the list!
    I want this to be a resource for folks visiting Ecuador, so any info is welcomed!
    #18
  19. td63

    td63 Been here awhile

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    In! Great pics! Beautiful country....

    Rang in this year with a group of college students over winter break, doing do-gooder stuff up North, in a little village outside of Esmeraldas and then we headed up near the Columbian border, Carchi province, to a place called "Moran" or "El Moran", in the wildlife sanctuary, which was utterly, utterly stunning -- would make for great riding! You can get seriously isolated up there.

    Just a day in Quito, where the local NGO is headquartered -- seemed like a cool city.

    Good luck with the new teaching gig!
    #19