Two Gringos in Ecuador

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by swdirtrider, Feb 9, 2021.

  1. swdirtrider

    swdirtrider Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    Oddometer:
    86
    Location:
    Northern Colorado
    When you live in Colorado, don’t ski and just want to go riding, head to Ecuador. Convince a buddy who’s never ridden an Adventure bike and end up having the time of your life. Ecuador Freedom bike rental is your one stop shop for an amazing winter getaway.

    https://freedombikerental.com/

    I’m throwing together videos from each days GoPro and drone footage. I will post a ride report of each day for those with dreams of a quick trip to South America.

    Day 1 Quito to Mindo
    #1
    Vikingtazz, Mcahron, Type301 and 11 others like this.
  2. Natgeo14

    Natgeo14 Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2019
    Oddometer:
    1,718
    Location:
    Des Moines, IA
    I like your drone footage. Did you see a ton of KTM's? I was surprised by the local KTM following in Ecuador. Cuenca seems to be their off-road motorcycle capital.
    #2
  3. third eye

    third eye back road loon Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2010
    Oddometer:
    598
    Location:
    Concord, CA
    following!
    #3
  4. bobbyimp

    bobbyimp Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    112
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Following too....
    #4
  5. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Oddometer:
    2,911
    Location:
    Sherwood, Oregon
    Oh hell yes! Nice work on the video @swdirtrider, good mix of drone and GP footage with some stills thrown in. Given the terrain, not so much using active track on the drone to chase you guys (assuming it's a DJI product). Beautiful scenery man, can't wait for more.

    The group of usual suspects I ride with are heading down to Ecuador in two weeks, using the same outfit you guys used. They're going to be on 701s and smaller ADV bikes (I believe), riding 12 or 14 days. Imagine they'll have a blast.

    Look forward to the next update man, need it right now.
    #5
    CourtRand likes this.
  6. swdirtrider

    swdirtrider Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    Oddometer:
    86
    Location:
    Northern Colorado
    We actually didn’t see many KTMs at all. But we didn’t make it as far south as Cuenca. Mostly it was 250s or smaller.

    @liv2day your buddies are going to have an absolute blast. Court and Sylvia are great guys and run a fantastic company. I can’t say enough good things about our experience.
    #6
    liv2day likes this.
  7. swdirtrider

    swdirtrider Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    Oddometer:
    86
    Location:
    Northern Colorado
    - Getting to Quito
    Probably the easiest city in South America to get fly into from the US. I flew to Atlanta from Denver where I met my buddy who came from Charlotte. We had a 2 hour layover (enough time for dinner and a beer) before the 4hr45 flight into Quito on Delta. It was planned to arrive at 8pm, but due to a mechanical issue with the engine we didn’t end up getting to Quito until 3am. There are also flights out of Miami, Ft Lauderdale, and Houston. Flights were cheap and wide open.
    23D5760F-DE52-40A1-A51A-8BA8E4ED1590.jpeg
    We planned a free day in Quito before starting our trip, so the late arrival wasn’t a big deal. We stayed at Hotel Finlandia downtown, and right next door to Ecuador Freedom.
    https://freedombikerental.com/
    We arranged a cab to meet us at the airport through the hotel. They use WhatsApp, which is easy for those of us that don’t speak much Spanish! For $50 a night in a great location, it was a perfect place for 2 nights before starting the trip.
    C4582034-B872-4B02-8A63-D20DB8E04FB9.jpeg
    The La Carolina area was very safe. Lots of great restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and shopping. It was a great way to get our feet wet in a new country.
    56F178E5-13A2-4EAC-98AE-AB0E1E436880.jpeg
    A5829EB9-F0A3-423C-ABD3-4E979C867B51.jpeg

    29D04C94-F243-44EE-AB3C-AA5FC801F56A.jpeg
    #7
    knight, NSFW, River Rat and 10 others like this.
  8. Vark

    Vark Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2020
    Oddometer:
    1,245
    Location:
    DC Metro
    Very cool trip. Are those F700GS or F800GS you were riding?

    No covid restrictions for visiting in Ecuador, or returning to USA?
    #8
  9. swdirtrider

    swdirtrider Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    Oddometer:
    86
    Location:
    Northern Colorado
    I rode the 800GS my buddy was on the 850GSA. They also have 750s available.

    As far as Covid goes, when we went in mid January, the rules were a negative COVID PCR test 10 days prior to arrival in Ecuador. Once arriving we provided the paperwork printed out from the test. After they verified the dates we proceeded into customs. It was a pretty seamless operation. From getting off the airplane to getting in the cab took less than 30 minutes.

    We made it back to the States before the rules about having a negative test prior to boarding a US bound flight were implemented (Jan. 26 if believe).

    Ecuador as whole was open. Masks were worn everywhere, but restaurants, bars, shops were all open. It was a great experience in the current environment throughout the world.

    This picture really summed up what life is like now. Everybody is out, but with a mask!
    D5D2F2E9-9BCC-422E-97EB-B49D45462A80.jpeg
    #9
    knight, River Rat, HiJincs and 11 others like this.
  10. swdirtrider

    swdirtrider Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    Oddometer:
    86
    Location:
    Northern Colorado
    Day 1 Quito to Mindo
    We both awoke early, eager and excited to head off into the unknown of a foreign land. Neither of us had spent anytime in South America, much less the remote areas we were about to embark on. The little bit of duolingo we had tried, did nothing more than allow us to grab a beer and usually find a bathroom. We realized pretty quick, spending a couple months practicing Spanish would have been nice (but certainly not necessary). Google translator is an amazing tool.
    A quick breakfast at the hotel soon revealed our biggest concern of the day was going to be riding out of Quito. It felt like such a busy place and judging from our cab rides, traffic was certainly more chaotic than at home. So we checked out of the hotel and made the long 2 min walk to Ecuador Freedom.
    6F9ED9AC-1523-47F2-B228-B6D2EA45B644.jpeg

    4B2E5D23-57F7-4882-A3B8-17AF982DD6B7.jpeg

    We arrived to find both of our bikes freshly washed, tuned, and ready to ride. Court and Sylvia do an amazing job of taking care of their customers. It isn’t something they just talk about, they live it.
    3FE60A80-AAC0-4839-B046-4E72654C259C.jpeg

    After a thorough briefing about the weeklong route, rules of road, and basics about what to expect in Ecuador, the next choice was luggage. They equipped us with Mosko Moto panniers and Altrider tank bags. We opted to forgo the rear top box since we wanted to spend more time off-road and didn’t need the space. Mosko stuff rocks, so much so, we both bought new bags for our bikes at home. A quick but thorough brief of the motorcycles and the Garmin GPS, and it was finally time. We rolled out at 11:30 for the relatively short but perfect first day.

    5054A5CD-91EB-4B5E-9D8C-19FED5EC5F19.jpeg
    #10
    knight, NSFW, River Rat and 7 others like this.
  11. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Oddometer:
    2,911
    Location:
    Sherwood, Oregon
    Awesome!

    Supposed to get .1 or .2" of freezing rain/sleet tonight and tomorrow morning followed by up to 6" of snow through the weekend. In this part of the US, that means near total shut down and general chaos :lol2 :lol2.

    So please, keep the updates coming!

    Sweet pics of the bikes and Freedom, look forward to seeing what Mindo looks like.
    #11
  12. swdirtrider

    swdirtrider Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    Oddometer:
    86
    Location:
    Northern Colorado
    Leaving Quito was much less eventful than we could have imagined. Despite how chaotic the roads seemed, there is a sense of cooperation on the roads of Ecuador. You quickly realize drivers share the roads with all kinds of bikes on a daily basis. A far cry from the attitudes in the US. I wish we had some GoPro leaving Quito, but neither of us bothered to check them. We ended up with an entire day of the windshield and dash of BMWs. Oh well. We managed to make our way out of the hustle and bustle within 30 min and made short time to the first stop.

    7325F44B-22B1-4D5C-B6F1-1840A615570B.jpeg

    Mitad del Mundo. This monument marks the Equator (although not quite the actual spot) just north of Quito. It’s a fascinating museum showcasing much of the history and artwork throughout Ecuador.
    542DF5D2-A28F-4067-9A5B-393CA3D514A1.jpeg

    99F8EBE2-35D1-42B7-848B-52D95BAE6EED.jpeg
    7B97C394-9B33-4AAA-92C4-A8811BFA3454.jpeg

    Attached Files:

    #12
  13. strom thingie

    strom thingie Lost and Proud! Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2006
    Oddometer:
    641
    Location:
    Sumter, SC
    I'm in. Looking forward to following along!
    #13
  14. pitbull

    pitbull Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2004
    Oddometer:
    6,716
    Excellent RR so far.
    #14
  15. Speedtrap

    Speedtrap Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2014
    Oddometer:
    108
    I did a 4-day, 2 up with the wife, self guided in 2014 with Freedom. Great company and a great time. Looking forward to the rest of your report and love the drone footage.
    #15
    CourtRand likes this.
  16. HiJincs

    HiJincs Dreamer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    755
    Location:
    Cumming, Jawja
    In for the distance!
    #16
  17. swdirtrider

    swdirtrider Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    Oddometer:
    86
    Location:
    Northern Colorado
    Sorry for the delay...work called Will post more tomorrow.
    #17
  18. BillUA

    BillUA Las Vegas, NV

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2013
    Oddometer:
    753
    Location:
    Las Vegas Nevada
    Also in!
    #18
  19. scurry0

    scurry0 Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 22, 2017
    Oddometer:
    37
    Location:
    east moriches
    Hola Amigo- Standing by for next update. Great job. Helping me re-live those precious moments
    #19
  20. RuckusRider2

    RuckusRider2 Adventurer Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2016
    Oddometer:
    97
    Location:
    Ashland, Oregon
    Following... perfect timing, as I'm seriously considering the same sort of trip myself within the next 12 months. Thank you for the RR!
    #20