Friday, 14 November 2008

up the peaks into the jungle & back again - Ecuador

very pleased after 3 great publications in quito thanks to Patricio and Aon.

Mike. a great rider on his ktm 950. great fun with large adventurous tendancies.

Jeff who i met in quito and his alien queen resembling KTM 650. He helped loads as a translator with the el comercio interview in quito.


Riding out of quito was easy. I couldnt help feeling quite satisfied with the way the publicity rolled. I have to be honest though, i couldnt have got the attention of the big newspapers without patricios help. I wont ever be able to say thanks enough in a lifetime to Him and the Aon office. The same with Peter, Alvaro and the medellin Aon office. Still riding with minnesota mike , we caught another rider leaving quito. Jeff, from alberta canada on another KTM, but the slightly smaller 650 version. still a proper, tough adventure machine. how am i sposed to keep up with these 2 ?,,,,,,, we left the city getting lost and riding north. after finding our way again we headed south easterly. the map showed a secondary route, skimming the amazon jungles rim. Quito is relatively not that high a city, but riding the road we chose, sank down into the sweltering heat of the jungle. the secondary rode became a dry stream of loose rocks and boulders, that throw the front end of the bike into sharp aggresive directions. my arms ached and my heart raced everytime i picked up the pace only to be shocked into an almost stand still by the bike suddenly charging for directions i didnt want. The road was littered with shadows of giant leaves and strange trees of many a shape and size. all kinds of shades of green. dappled sunlight and the dramatic sounds of insects and gawd knows what. Villages of bamboo came and went. Faces of the residents smiling at us. At any stop the kids come charging over shouting and excited. great kids, not shy at all. The road was bad for half a day, then it suddenly became smooth black stuff once more. i wanted to get down on my knees and kiss the stuff, with relief. Mike and jeff thrive on the dirt. i couldnt keep up. For me super dirt riding is painful in my learning, but on looking back i wouldnt have the road any other way. one day i will master it and do what they advise, in, when in doubt throttle out, skimming the surface in a straight line , instead of screaming in my helmet and sliding into ditches. with mates cracking up at my wetness. Night came. a town with a beautiful rapid river view. hardly any cost to the room. the rain fell all night , making me doubious of the next days ride in slush and slpperyness. it wasnt that way though. the road had dryed and we blasted out of the jungle rim and back up into the clouds heading for cuenca city. That ride was one of the best yet. the tarmac wasnt bad. the again sinuous cliff side racing up into the familiar mist. the clouds running along side at the same speed. pina con leches at all stops. ecuador is amazing. a hidden gem, as is all south america. one hour in the jungle, one hour in the andes. and back again in a day. I still couldnt keep up. those KTMs are fast. My KLR isnt, but i still love her. shes still going strong after 13000 miles. only 2 parts have dropped off. parts i dont need. Cuenca. another gorgeous colonial town. balconies of all colours again. huge wooden carved to perfection door ways on all edificios, big or small. we have to park our bikes in the hotel restuarant. no one minds. From cuenca its a few hours ride to the border with peru. the mountains are growing. now there is 3 rows back of going darker peaks, instead of just one in view. We must be nearing peru i think. My right side panniers decides to fall off. No problem. no bolts or fittings have broken. phewww, i am lucky ! ..... I cant believe my nite watch either ! its the only watch i have ever had that takes a right old battering and doesnt even have one hairline scratch on the face. it really does do what it says on the box ! it really is a tough adventurous watch. We loose jeff. oh well, im sure he will show up along the way.


up out of the amazonian jungle into the andes once more
ecuadorian andian town high up in through the mists

oops. on the rim of the amazonian jungle

the jungle. hot and beautiful. the riding was getting hard. roads of rocks that send the bike dancing in steps i found hard to dance with.

kids from a jungle town. full af laughter and inquisitive inteligence. they spoke in broken spanish and kechua.

jungle town kids

the riding get interesting heading up into the clouds

slippery roads get the heart racing and the knuckles a shade of white

ecuador andes

splash. the waterf falls into the mountain roads. ecuador

in one day. the mountains down into the jungle then back up into the mountains. incredible shocking vistas along the way.

ecuador . enjoying the tarmac while it lasts

the KLR can be fast. honest

splash again.............................. NEXT INTO THE NORTHERN DESERTS OF MYSTERIOUS PERU !

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