Maybe before we move forward we should back up a little bit and talk about this 'security' the State Department
Before leaving I had a look at their site, read it and said, "Hmmmmmm...maybe we're going to have to take this a bit more seriously than we did in Costa Rica..."
Then I went to their page on Costa Rica and read similar warnings. (I don't recall looking at the site before going to CR. Maybe that was a good thing.) Still got the sense that Ecuador was at a higher level of 'be careful' but CR was not Disney World by any stretch.
As Dave mentioned, we checked into our room and the locals mention the possibilities of problems in their own little information booklet. It makes one sit up and take notice.
So after a l-o-n-g day of travel we wander out into the city to see what's around and maybe grab a bite to eat. I don't know how Dave felt about it but I was tired and in no mood to test to see if the State Department or the hotel staff was hyping things up a bit or not so when Dave asked how things were I replied, "I feel like I'm running 'tree to tree' out here."
Little pockets of safety between the room and our destination - where ever that was. Obviously, we survived.
Looking back at the trip as a whole there really wasn't any time that the hairs on the back of my neck stood up to warn me that things were about to go sideways. Matter of fact, once out of the city the whole issue sort of fades away as you interact with the locals. As you may eventually read here we ran into an issue or two where the people were very helpful. We found everyone to be very friendly.
Point of this? Yeah. They
do warn you. Yep. Be aware of it. But keep in mind people are generally good - the people of Ecuador are no different. Use your head like you should and more than likely you'll avoid any trouble. YMMV.
Now, let's grab our shite and head over and get the bikes...