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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by michnus, Jun 11, 2011.
Good to have you back!
I should have guessed you'd be a Zappa fan.
Zappa isn't dead. He only smells bad...
So good to see you two are well and rolling. Still loving your pace. Who knows? You could still be down there when I’m heading through!
How are the bikes holding up?
How'd you know I've got a soft spot for trains? That is awesome!
Glad to see that y'all are back on the road!
The pig is sulking, it’s not been out in two weeks, I have been over in Wales attending to family business, record high Easter temperatures then Storm Hannah came through in the early hours of the morning yesterday, I left an hour or two before so didn’t get caught in it, gale force winds and with windchill 1C, given it was 25C two days earlier, 33,000 properties without power. The pig is running strong and I can ride again, getting better bit by bit, my hometown where I was last week has a steam railway the “Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway” it’s 2’6” gauge and runs with original locomotive from about 1910 if I remember correctly, mainly voluntary (I worked on it as a teenager in the workshops on the restorations) but a few permanent these days as it has got a bit more commercially viable, it has the steepest non rack and pinion inclines in the UK and close to the steepest I the world.
Hooray for more great photos from adv's best portrait photographer.
In 1st world countries, people and government agencies will go completely bonkers and lose all their shit when they see something like this. Half a slaughtered pig is hanging at the entrance of a restaurant. Order your piece and it gets grilled, boiled, cooked however your heart's desire. It is good meat thought and we had our fair share of pork while in Equador.
We were getting to the end of our time in Equador. Our visas were for 90 days but it was such a mission to extend for another 90days we decided to high tail it to Peru and cheaper living.
The traditional way of life is still alive and kicking but with more modern ways.
And city life with modern Western culture has taken over. Not a bad thing in all as Equador is pumping bustling vibrant country. I just had to throw my Pratt Bitt good looks and the ladies were all too happy to pose for a memorable shot. I had to respectfully decline some offers of marriage. Elsebie also did not like my idea we take a few of them with us
Thanks for the kind words
Wales is one of the places after a quick visit in 2009 that I promised myself I will see before I kick daisies. Glad to hear you're doing well and kicking. Maybe with all the shit in ZA it is better to stay in Wales?
I think if all goes to plan we still have a year around here. The place is awesome and big and it is a bit of a sensory overload. Like a kid in a candy store who's allowed to take whatever he wants. Don't know what all to see and what to leave. But if you are on your way stay in contact please!
We haven't stopped, I just either forget to post or we don't have wifi or I struggle to upload photos. Always some lame-ass excuse.
Let me give you a quick tour of the beautiful city Cuenca founded in 1557. Cuenca (Santa Ana de los Ríos de Cuenca) is in southern Ecuador’s Andes mountains. It's known for its Tomebamba River waterfront, handicrafts, and famous Panama hats.
Its central plaza, Parque Calderón, is home to the blue-domed Catedral Nueva and the 16th-century Catedral Vieja, now a religious museum. The Museo y Parque Arqueológico Pumapungo displays ruins and artifacts from the Incan city of Tomebamba.
it is also a city quite popular with American retirees and its spring-like climate.
The cherry ladies, they sell a kilo of bloody nice cherries for a Dollar or less.
They bake an entire pig in a big oven for 5hours. You get a plate with pork and potatoes and onions for 2Dollars odd. In the local Mercado everything is fresh and cheaper than any other places. it is good old farmers market type stuff.
Cuenca is also home to the Panama hat. " The “Panama Hat” has deep ancestral roots. The aborigines of the coast of what is now Ecuador used “tocas” made of toquilla straw to protect themselves from the sun. The lightness and flexibility of this fiber favored its use to make hats that over time have become a symbol for Ecuador, being a fusion of nature, manual dexterity of Ecuadorians, and their culture."
Why it is called the Panama hat but made in Ecuador. "The construction of the Panama Canal caused a great demand for toquilla straw hats from Ecuador, because of their qualities to protect from the sun. From Panama the hat was internationally known and people began to call it “Panama Hat” even though the place of origin is Ecuador."
The top shelves hats. This one is stupidly expensive due to the fine weave.
What it is made from "The “Carludovica Palmata” is an original plant from Ecuador belonging to the family of cyclantáceas and has some unique qualities. It has fan-shaped leaves growing at the end of their long stems, which are evenly cut into fine shoots and dried to create straw. The most important plantations are in Manabi (Guayas) and in the Amazon region. Its name was chosen to honor Carlos IV and his wife Maria Luisa, who promoted the botanical cataloging of South America."
The hats are all weaved by hand.
There are still many skilled artisans working and doing their trade in the city. It is people that are the salt of the earth good and honest types. @LoneStar was with us in Cuenca and had some good chats with some of the local guys and girls about their unique day jobs.
My two homies, @LoneStar, and Jean Luis, a jewelry guru from LA. There's one groovy thing about overlanding and it is spending time with fellow road rats. Makes for interesting stories and forging of new friendships. Hearing peoples opinions and their viewpoint from where they live to what is different from them about traveling.
Bunch of no-good useless beer drinkers on tour. Such memorable evenings with people from all over the world.
Even with “all the shit” I am here and was glad to be back here on Sunday, Wales is beautiful, but not for me thanks
I finally caught up. Absolutely amazing. One of my favourite reports ever!
Getting out of Ecuador we chose to use a smaller border post in the bottom corner of the country to Peru. Getting there we stayed in a small town with an unusual quirky shady history. The town of Vilcabamba has the dubious reputation to have some of the oldest people living there.
"In 1970, scientists researching the link between diet and heart disease visited the small town of Vilcabamba, located high in the Ecuadorian Andes. The scientists found that the residents of Vilcabamba, who was principally of European descent, had very low cholesterol levels and very few of them ever suffered from heart disease. But as they did more research, the scientists then discovered something even more remarkable — the Vilcabambans enjoyed incredible longevity. Many of the town residents insisted they were over 100 years old. A few of them stated their age as being over 140 years old. And these ages appeared to be verified by birth and baptismal records."
" To put this in perspective, it meant that Vilcabamba had a rate of 1,100 centenarians per 100,000 population. By contrast America had only three centenarians per 100,000. To put it another way, in 1971 America had 7000 centenarians. But if it had the same proportion as Vilcabamba, it would have had 2,500,000."
In the end, it turned out they were very good at exaggerating their ages but it made for a comical story you can read here: http://hoaxes.org/archive/permalink/vilcabamba_the_town_of_very_old_people
Hot summers evening in Vilcabamba and everyone is out in the plaza eating icecreams while kids tear down the place
They do love to get naughty in that town and may also attribute to the health
Pissing with rain while filling up at a local fuel stop. it makes for interesting riding.
There's Peru on the other side of that dirt road.
Another great batch of postings! The architecture of the "blue-domed Catedral Nueva" reminds me of Saint Sophia in Istanbul, although it was built much earlier. I leave you with a Vilcabamba wish - live long and prosper.
Let me start with saying this upfront. It is very difficult and a subjective thing, but, for now, and I haven't been seen half the world, Peru must be one of the top five adventure riding countries in the world. It is gritty with much freedom to ride and do things which in many other countries would be a no-no. If you leave Peru and does not have at least once got frightened to death on a dirt road due to the drop-offs, or road condition, or sheer size and magnitude of the landscape you are riding, you are dead or stupid or never went off the PanAm.
Allow me to start off with the faces of Peru. The lovely people that welcomed us into their amazing country.
Thanks!! Keep em comin when you can!!