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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by ScootersNotBombs, Oct 29, 2018.
Hi people of the internet!
Life is still pretty damn good here in Ecuador!
Had a few ADVers visit-
Anthony, "Chachzilla" from New York rented a little 250 and ripped around the country for 10 days
Dave, "Eastview" from Washington and his wife went on a big tour on a 1200 and 650 BMWs
Kerstin and Sascha from RTWbyBIKE.com stayed for a few days on their bitchin Hondas, heading south.
My Novia, a buddy, and I did a rad 1661 KM trip over Carnival. Details to follow!
How’s the R90 holding up?
The R90 is great! Safe and sound in my Dad's basement! I ride it during the summer and christmas time. Last summer I had it in Wyoming with me!
Here is the route from my birthday trip. That i will eventually write up...
Day 1 Quito-Tena
Day 2 Whitewater rafting Tena
Day 3 Tena to Banos
Day 4 Banos to breakdown, back to Banos...
Day 5 Banos to Cuenca
Day 6 Cuenca (fly fishing and dirt road exploring in lower Cajas. Another breakdown)
Day 7 Cuenca to Sucua
Day 9 Sucua to Quito
School's out, Bikes Out.
For our carnival vacations, Oriana (novia), Brian (loose acquaintance / colleague rider of KTM) and I set out on a big loop south of Quito. The kindof plan was do end up in Cuenca with jungle and mountain adventure in between.
We started of around 0830 and blasted out of quito. Quito is a PITA to navigate through, so make sure you can see and hear your navigation. Besides backing up the autopista after a missed exit, it was easy peasy getting up to Papallacta. Papallacta is known for its hotsprings, but we didnt even put our feet down. After leaving town, the altitude climbs pretty dramatically. Highest point on this cols ass road was well over 13k ft. Probably should have put on a few layers and rain gear, because this is where the rain started. The road wound its way through the Paramo, and back down into jungle-lite (not quite BA Jungle that we would see later, but pretty good. Being a science teacher, i should probably know the name of this ecosystem). Hear the rain really kicked in, and didnt stop till Tena. Brian hit a bomp somewhere along the way, and his top-box fell off.... He repaired it with zip ties and a bungee net, and we carried on. Fun curvy roads through jungle-lite and little towns all the way to Tena.
In metro-tena we stopped for lunch. This was my first time having Encellbolado. After getting chilled and damp, this really hit the spot. Encellbolado is warm seafood soup. Shrimp, onions, yucca, potatoes, fish, etc. meat (???). Way good, washed down with a couple of Clubs (generic green bottle pilsener). Brian did an excellent job of navigating the whole trip, and found several camping spots. We joined him in camping at Jungle Roots Glamping ( https://www.booking.com/hotel/ec/jungle-roots-camping.html ). Legit little spot west of town. We pitched our tents on a yet to be completed structure overlooking the Amazon. I can highly recommend this spot. $5 a person if you have your own tent, $4 breakfast, beerskis on site. compost toilets. Way crunchy, way fun. Parking is at the bottom of a set of stairs that leads up to the campsite. Leave your bike (especially if it is a big one) just off the street till you commit to staying. I dumped my DR trying to get up the dead end driveway and bruised up mi novia's ankle pretty good The rest of the day we spent goofing off around the campsite, riding bikes in the warm Amazonian sunshine, and exploring a nearby swimming hole.
is that a leather wrapped tank?
I think its some kind of pleather. Kindof weird, and also kindo cool in a Knight Rider kind of way
SO day 2.
We went whitewater rafting. Tons of fun. It was set up by the manager of the campsite mentioned above.$60 bucks each for a full day. It was my GF's first time whitewater rafting, and we took a pretty gnarly swim. Do to being a little shaken up, and disappointed that we had been lied to about vegetarian lunch options at lunch, she bailed. Brian and I carried on for the remainder of the day, ending up in Tena proper. That evening we went into town to enjoy some culture. The whole damn bus engoyed a drunk dude making fun of me. ha.
During Carnival its game on. Kids throw buckets of water at anyone driving or riding down the road and silly stringish foam spray cans brutalize everyone! We bought a few cans to participate in the fun.
Secret swimming hole outside of Tena. This is what happens when someone else uses my camera. Canon Ae-1 Kodak Ektar100 film. Low ISo in dark Jungle leaves very little latitude to mess up.
Fern. Art. Duh.
Kids partying Huck Finn style
Oriana and Brian. Oriana had a brace on her leg from the kiss that the Tusk panniers gave her. Black crap on her face is part of the Carnival festivities. Randos just walk up and smear God knows what on everyone.
More Rafting ADVentures. yeah yeah I know these aren't motorcycle pics.
When we left the boats to party, the local kids took over.
Just trying to take a nice picture, and i get attacked with spray foam!
The raft guide and me. Good Times. After this my camera decided to die. Everything that follows from this trip will be from a stupid phone. Where is the character??
Along with our raft guide, there was a safety kayaker who also took GoPro pics
Drive to Banos.
Pretty drive with not too much rain. Ill take it!
As mentioned above, Brian planned almost all of this trip. We finally located "Abby's Hideaway" Below Banos, down by the river. https://abbyshideaway.com/ (Leave the main road like you are traveling to the zoo. Pass the zoo and all the toursty crap. Take the first real road left. Abby's will be a touch down on your Left. The GPS and Google are jacked up)
This place is Killer. Abby is a hoot, and she'll hook you up with a shit ton of Alvacados!! $5 a tent, electricity, hot showers, and a beautiful setting!
We met some cool German fans of heavy metal. And some lame ass hippy clown healers.
We went into town for beers and supplies. Had a beer at Stray Dog pub. Not terribly remarkable. Banos seemed to be a backpacker town. (do you even do yoga, brah?) The campsite was a nice break in the chaos of town!
When we returned to camp we met the clowns.... They were driving a GIANT Mercedes overland rig. I strike up conversation, and immediatly regret it. They are wakked out traveling hippies who make their living from "sound healing" whatever the hell that is. The kind of people who are sooooo much more worldly and enlightened than you. yuck. During dinner (that we offered to share, and they insisted we start earlier) the lady clown was trying to tell Oriana (who is Venezuelan, and eats Arepas 8 days a week) how to make arepas. Beat it nerds. Apparently they were annoying as hell toward Abby with their giant rig, and even stole the campsite's gas for their own tanks. Bye falicia!
Riding above Banos before dinner
The metal head Germans' ford, The lame gas stealing healers turd mobile, and us.
On this stop we also met James, a moto-overlander who passed through Venezuela a year ago!
After a lackluster breakfast in town, we packed up camp and took Oriana to the bus station. (She works at a different school and had to return to work) Brian and I started back toward Puyo to take the jungly route South. We made it about 30 minutes out of town and Brian lost clutch control on his KTM. After doing our best to diagnose the situation, we called my buddy Diego. He runs Race Tech Ecuador (https://www.facebook.com/RaceTechEcuadorOfficial/) and rides those silly orange bikes. There was no fluid in the clutch handle thingy, so he suggested putting baby oil in for the time being. We bought all the little town had, and coundn't get the system bled. After a while we gave up and took the recommendation of taking it to a friend of an onlooker's shop. The onlookers loaded up the bike and we head out.
3 dollar transport
10 dollar repair. Damn, I love Latin America. Sometimes. Most times.
The mechanic cleaned up the clutch cylinder thingy, filled it up, and we were back on the road. This took most of the day, so we head back to Banos. On the road, Brian took a whole bucket of water to the chest and crotch. "Over it" was cussed several times. We ate come steak and went in search of Cerveza Artisinal. Town was a CLUSTER!!!! Kids throwing eggs, water, spray foam!!! A few drinks made it all better. We returned to Abby's this time to stay in the house.
After breakfast and an early start we hauled ass to Cuenca. Super pretty curvy roads south. I really wanted to see Chimborazo (Highest point on Earth BTW) but it was tooooo foggy. Checked into our hostel, Alter Native, late afternoon. We spent some time looking for parts for Brian's clutch. Luckily there is a KTM dealership in Cuenca. Unluckily it is an expensive ass KTM. Add on the crazy import taxes in Ecuador, and the part costs 450 bucks. Dang. He decided to just roll with the rig job. (it is a month and a half later and it is still working BTW) Had some beerskis (https://jodocobelgianbrew.com/) some Ramen, and called it a night.
Day 6 My birthday!!!!
Checked out a museum then went to ride dirt south of Cajas. This was way rad. Super pretty country. I did a bit of fly fishing, and we head back to Cuenca. Then my clutch handle broke off. Derp. We rigged it with safety wire and limped back to Cuenca. We tried to find a welder, but ended up at an aftermarker parts store. $9 bucks got me a Chinese clutch handle with perch installed. Winner Winner chicken dinner. That night we celebrated my birthday at an eccentric craft brew pub "Bar Far Out." I went here in 2016 and wanted to return. The German brewmaster / bartender / janitor has several terabites of music and an encyclopedic knowledge of music. I played Gram parsons, Ramones, John Prine, The Specials, etc. All made for good times. We ate Indian food, made fun of the enlightened tools on gap year, and went to bed. Here's to 35!!!
South of Cuenca. This road goes all the way to the Pacific.
Well, i guess this is where i am now...
We got a fairly early start and drove the paved section North of Cajas NP. Stunning.
The goal of the day was to make it north through the Amazon (that we skipped earlier). A landslide blocked our intended route, and slowed us down, but this day was spectacular! Heading North through the Amazon was killer! If a brontosaurus would have run if front of my Suzuki, I would have not been surprised! Waterfalls, Orchids, Jungle-amazement.
In Sucua we camped at Finca El Piura (http://www.moronasantiagoessangay.com/donde-ir/sucua/finca-el-piura). It is a super pretty old sugar cane farm. They have outdoor showers overlooking the city if you desire to show your booty to Sucua. I did.
That night was INSANE rain. Next morning we didn't dilly dally too much, and got out of town.
I thought it was nine. Did i time travel?
Rained all day. Made it home. Good trip!