02-07-2013, 09:31 PM
Joined: Sep 2007
Location: Okie near Muskogee
Continued from way back to post 1092:
(Again with no spell check on my IExplorer window, so please forgive my grammatical erors)
As I said in the last post I talked Camilo into getting off the PanAm for a different side of Ecuador off the big road. I didn't have to twist his arm too much, it was just "so you know where we are going?" and I was like "sure I've got a gps that shows right where we are" and then we got off to roads way more to my liking. We took off the PanAm a little ways North of Ibarra and headed in the direction of Mira.
We road on smaller roads a good ways and after I noticed something loose on his KLR's luggage rack we stopped in a unknown small town at a gas station right next to a moto repair shop and was glad to be able to borrow a hex key from the shop instead of digging out my own tools. The friendly moto guy also took a picture for us at the start of our new little small road adventure.
Notice his backpack on the rear, it was acting up like a lever later on causing lots of extra stress on his rear deck plate. Got everything tightened up and decided good as any time to swap bikes, I never been on a new KLR and he wanted to try the Big Mexican Whore out. No sooner did we change in small community we got kinda lost getting out and ended up riding some really steep unpaved grades and sure enough my heavy bike was a little too much compared to what he was used to and he dumped her on the side trying to get up one of the tricky spots. I was like that wasn't so bad and came down the steep hill to help him right the bike. I didn't know it was going to get that bad that fast, he got enough taste test to know that he better stick with his much lighter bike and I powered the ole girl up the steep hill and we resumed back on our own steeds
I believe the one of the next bigger towns was El Angle and they where smack in the middle of one of those crazy foam parties and the kids all going wild with the foam. It was a good as any place to stop for a little bite to eat and we parked off the nice central square to lots of looks. We took some pictures of the really cool bush sculptures in the town. Some of the kids covered up in foam, looks like we came into town at the tailend of the bash as the crowds where disperssing.
Welcome; still one of those weird to me Spanish words
Crazy man in the bush:
Camilo thought it was pretty cool too, neat little place and pretty park and tile job:
I was getting spoiled again hanging out with other native Spanish speakers, I had no problem doing the navigation if someone else wanted to do the speaking, now I could really go get into trouble with the Garmin now that I had someone to really be able to ask questions to the locals
We got some cokes and chicken for a nice little lunch right off the sqare and then continued on our way kinda Northish.
We got on a lot smaller roads and ended up going into so National Park that know appears to have been El Angle Ecological Reserve according to Google Maps. We came up on another ranger looking station and as the weather was kinda nasty no one was about and I wasn't wanting to risk getting held up again to some kind of no motor passe deal so since there wasn't a gate we just kept on riding into the clouds and rainy weather enjoying the track.
We where coming in right behind so recent rains so we kitted up for the cold and wet times sure to come, taking smoke breaks as we pleased. Camilo smokes and when I'm riding with another who smokes I'll usually bum to burn a few, just to keep in practice
Good roads to ride:
Nice scenery too, weird catus like stuff:
The weather was all over us, I sent Camilo on ahead to test the road for my big girl since his was going to be easier to out in case in got bad.
It was a good idea because not much farther along the track and inoccent looking little water hole became a unexpected trap as he wasn't carrying much momentum to get on through the gooey stuff:
It's almost like a culvert had been dug up, a deep little ditch hidden below the water, I skirted the side without much trouble.
The little track had it's bad spots and they where progressively worse with the rains, little river tracks:
We someone kept dodging the wet weather that was all around us and was coming up on us. We got to another nice smoking spot and took a good water break. Whatever the sign says:
I added a little momento, doesn't look like people come out this way much but I did see some evidence of some rouge riders on dirt bikes as it appeared this spot was used as access to some single track in the area that I can only bet is illegal. Probably why motos are banned from so many of this damn Ecuadorian parks Hell I just want to ride on the existing road and see the sights.
These roads have a tendency to make you happyWorked for me:
Camilo felt good about it as well, screw the PanAm
Damn fine day riding, even if it's wet and cold!
We could see from our position that our luck was running out with the weather and shortly after we started back up it was on us hard, first the heavy rains came and the road really started to fill up in places and careful attention required. And damn if didn't start hailing on us right as Camilo slide off into a whole that required a little bit of labour to get free from. This stuff was really slippery, I know it dosen't look so bad
We got him pulled out and I took on point:
After awhile of this nice and wet track the rains blew on elsewhere and we came back out of the highlands and rejoined the PanAm right before the border crossing back into Colombia. We stopped again for a smoke break and to ring our the water. Camilo had his own ideas
We rolled on into the familiar border after topping off all the tanks with the cheap stuff and got signed out of Ecuador easy enough buy as it seems there is always so kind of holiday and the Colombia aduana was backed up. This is a time it sometimes helpful to have a Spanish speaking and sometimes it is not. I think this time was the latter as Camilo could take a more agressive verbal approach to the official that was no where near my limited aduana talk vocabulary. I would take the "poor puppy dog eyes" approach and hope to gain some sympathy for the official for traveling many thousands of miles to be in his/her presence. It's worked before but know we had picked our battle and it was again time to burn a more than a few as we waited along with the rest of the trucker lot for the issues to be resolved. IIRC Camilo was actually told "come back tomorrow" As is said, Patinece is a Beautiful Virtue and today it was had. After a decent delay the official was able to process us back into one of my favorite countries, me being slightly relieved as my bike had overstayed it's last official temporary importation and this crossing proved to me that no record of it existed
Viva Colombia, I'm back in the land of milk and honey and more expensive gas, but okay with that
I'd asked Camilo about the church in the valley if he'd ever seen it and I was astounded to know that this Colombian had never seen the place having traveled as much as himself I then took it upon myself to show him this marvel of a church in a valley, really special place. We went to the overlook point as the day was nearing it's end and stuck good conversation with a local about the bikes. His little boy was having a ball climbing over the bikes and playing at the controls. The guy had a pizza place that sounded good and seemed to me like he was offering us a good place to eat and maybe a place to stay. However Camilo I decided to go ahead and head down in the valley and go for a celebratory beer now vacated of the day tourists as the night set in. Super peaceful place to have a cold beer and reflect on the days ride, it was good.
Really both happy to be back in Colombia again it was time for a little party as we would be splitting ways tomorrow as we had different schedules. Today was the 17th of Feb and I was scheduled to be in Caracas for a flight on March 1st. Also had to meet back up with Adam Lewis in Cali for some bike maintenace and then on to Medellin and back up to Cartagena to bring back my old shock that I'd left with my friend John Pierre last year and then hop over to Caracas and fly home in time for my brother's wedding and finishing up my taxes.
But tonight it was time for a party, we bombed out the hotel room with all our wet gear trying to dry, took some good hot showers and headed out to see what kind of hell we could raise in Ipiales.
Well you see Ipiales is not exactly a hot bed of activity for night life We ened up in a couple of shady places and was introduced to some of the finest offerings of the bordertown and made do geting back to the room before the sun rose. Tomorrow I would be treated to Colombian tipico comida, place Camilo knew in town.
The countdown had begun...T-13 days