|12-24-2011, 04:15 PM||#61|
Joined: Oct 2010
The Adventure Begins... Costa Rica to Panama
From Costa Rica I traveled to Panama. I left Uvita early and made my way south and east. I wanted to avoid the main border crossing of Canoas and cross at the smaller, and hopefully more tranquilo, border area called Rio Sereno.
Along the route I came across this bridge.
There were a number of people standing in the middle of the bridge and looking over the edge. I stood up on my bike and caught a glimpse of what they were looking at. I turned around to take a closer look.
First I saw these guys hanging out on a little island.
Then these guys were lounging about near the shoreline.
I guess I better be a little more careful when swimming in the rivers of Costa Rica.
I rode on... and passed through some really lush green hills...
Along some rivers...
And up some mountains...
About 10km from the border, the road turned to a mixture of dirt and wet clay. It was a little treacherous to ride over on my bike, but I slowed down and managed to slip and slide my way through.
I reached the border by noon and checked out of Costa Rica within 5 minutes. Very simple.
I waited in line for about 3 hours to check in to Panama. There were probably only 20 people in line when I arrived. However, the border agent seemed to be taking his time processing he paperwork. If I had to guess, I'd say he processed about one person every ten minutes. To complicate matters, Panama is one hour ahead of Costa Rica. So while it was nearing 4pm in Costa Rica, it was nearing 5pm in Panama. The immigration office had a sign outside that said to the effect that the office would close at promptly 5pm and those waiting in line would be processed the following day.
By the time that I finished all the border crossing tramites (paperwork) it was getting late, right about 5pm. I rode on for about an hour. It started to rain pretty hard, but I rode on because I was passing through a national park with thick forest. I thought about pulling over and camping, but there really wasn't even any open space, just very dense forest.
It was about to turn dark when I came across a hotel near the town of Volcan.
After a long day I was ready for a little luxury. I was drenched from the rain.
The hotel had a nice garden with a stream running trough it.
And more important... enough space to dry out my clothing and a comfortable bed to rest my head.
I checked in and stayed the night.
For the full story visit Costa Rica to Panama and Santiago and A Little Luck
|12-24-2011, 04:27 PM||#62|
Joined: Oct 2010
The Adventure Begins... Panama City - A Crossroads for Ships and Travelers
It was raining again. I drove through it and rolled into Panama City. Riding into a big city is never fun. The streets are confusing and the traffic is crazy. I made my way through the city and eventually found the Villa Vento Hostel. It turns out to be a pretty nice place to chill.
I showered up, met a few people and we headed out to dinner at a restaurant called Arabe. Grant(LA) Damiano(Rome), Allison(Cannes), Angelica(Panama City), Jenny(DC) and Sam(Melbourne).
Over the next few days it rained quite a bit. I stayed in the hostel resting up and only ventured out to eat, drink or run errands.
Every few days, a group of travelers would arrive and a group of travelers would depart. So it is, this life on the road. Guy(New Zealand), Sue(Germany), SuJe(Korean), George(Canada), David(Australia)
I did manage to see a bit of Panama City... the new and modern part.
The Casco Viejo (Old Shell/Old Town).
The Presidential Palace.
The Mercado de Mariscos (Fish Market).
And, I dropped by this little thing called the Panama Canal.
Ships pass through...
...kind of like travelers.
But for most of my time in Panama, I was planning on how to get me and my bike from Central America to South America crossing over the Darien Gap.
For the full story see Panama City - A Crossroads
|12-29-2011, 06:05 PM||#63|
Joined: Oct 2010
The Adventure Begins... Crossing the Darien Gap from Panama to Colombia
The Darien Gap is a 30 mile stretch of land that lies between Panama and Colombia. It is thick jungle that is pretty inhospitable to most human beings. There are some indigenous people, guerrillas and drug runners that do inhabit the area.
There was one group of adventure motorcyclists that crossed through the Darien Gap in 1995 on specially modified motorcycles. Their journey is documented at Outback of Beyond.
For most adventure motorcyclists there are a few options for crossing the Darien Gap.
1. Ship your bike from Colon to Cartagena on a cargo ship and buy a ticket on a separate ship or airplane for yourself.
2. Ship your bike from Colon to Cartagena on a passenger sailboat that will carry both you and your bike.
3. Ship your bike from Panama City to Bogota on a cargo airplane and buy a separate airplane ticket for yourself.
I looked into all of these options.
1. This option cost about $700 for the cargo ship and then $100 to $300 for the passenger ticket. This would take about 2 days of travel and 1 to 2 days of arduous import/export paperwork. I would need to complete paperwork myself.
2. This option sounds like fun and cost about $500 for the bike and $500 for the passage. It takes about 5 days of sailing and stopping at islands and ports along the way. And, I would have to complete the paperwork myself.
3. This option cost about $900 for the cargo plane and $450 for the passenger plane ticket. It takes 1 day and the cargo plane shipping company handles the paperwork.
I looked into option 1 and it didn't really appeal to me. It was not really cost effective and some of the logistics and paperwork seemed problematic.
Option 2 was a real option. I actually rode from Panama City on the west coast to Portabelo on the east coast to investigate this option. By phone a guy named Captain Jack said that there were three sailboats leaving over the next few day. When arrived to check it out, it wasn't true. It is somewhat late in the sailing season and there were not any sailboats leaving until after Christmas. Also, if I waited and elected for this option I would have to complete the paperwork myself.
This left me with Option 3. I contacted a company called Girag and inquired about cargo flights. Each day Girag would tell me that there might be a flight and they would let me know. However, they would only give me about an one hour advance notice. Not a lot of time to pack, ride and prep the bike for shipment. After a few days of missed connections and flights I made it work.
I was in the town of Portabelo on the eastern side of Panama checking into the sailing ships. After finding out that there were not any sailboats leaving this week, I sent an email to Girag inquiring if they had any flights available. I received an email at 3pm stating that I would need to turn over my bike before 4pm to prep it for a flight leaving the next day at 7am.
I sent an email back that I was on my way, even though I was on the other side of the country.
I hopped on Emi and rode. The ride across the country is only about 1 hour in good weather. Luckily the weather was holding up.
Until about 45 minutes into the trip... then it started to rain... and then the traffic slowed down. I rolled into Panama City at about 4:30pm, but still had to cross the town to the airport on the other side of town. I rode through the rain and reached the dock of Girag at 5pm. When I arrived the door was locked.
I looked around the dock and eventually found someone. I mentioned that I was told that I could turn over my bike for preparation for shipment for the 7am flight. To my surprise... they said okay!
I unloaded all my bags, disconnected the battery and siphoned out most of the gas. I completed one page of paperwork and turned my baby over to Girag.
I then caught a ride over to the passenger terminal to book a ticket with Copa Airlines to transport me.
The ticketing agents were not very helpful. I believe that it was the end of the day, they were ending their shift and they did not want to book a last minute flight. I did understand that it was probably one of the busiest times of year for them, right before Christmas. They shuffled me between the ticketing counter and the departure counter. Each desk telling me that the other would help out. Each desk telling me that there were no flights available over the next few days. They also told me that I could not buy a one way ticket to Colombia, that I was require to buy a round trip ticket or show proof that I would be leaving the country.
Eventually, one of the ticketing agents said that I should show up early in the morning and try to fly standby. I resided to spending the night in the airport and trying my luck the next day.
I found a cafe to eat dinner. I was fortunate in that the cafe had internet access. I used my iPhone and Kayak.com to check for fights between Panama City and Bogota. Turns out that there was one seat available on the second flight of the day at 7:45am. I booked it.
I spent the night in the airport... woke up early the next morning.. boarded my flight...
and 2 hours later landed in Bogota, Colombia.
I caught a free shuttle to the cargo terminal and found the Girag office. They told me that the cargo flight had not yet arrived and that I should return at about 4pm. I took this as good news. They had a nice little lounge with a cafe and some vending machines. I bought some food, found an ATM in the FedEx office and withdrew some Colombian Bolivars and kicked back and rested in their lobby.
While waiting I came across another adventure motorcyclist name Ken who was riding a BMW Dakar. He had arrived the day before, but had just received his bike and completed the paperwork. He was on the receiving dock inspecting and prepping his bike to ride. We talked a little and exchanged info.
At around 3:30pm Girag notified me that my bike had arrived. They handed over the keys and bill of lading. I went to the customs office to complete the paperwork. I was done within 30 minutes. I went back to Girag to take delivery of my bike. When they pulled my bike up to the unloading ramp I inspected it. There was some cosmetic damage to the sides and the handlebars seemed to be misaligned. They probably dropped Emi on her side. I reconnected the battery and started her up... she seemed to be okay. I torqued the handlebars a little and got them back into shape. Emi is a tough girl. I signed the paperwork and rode my bike down the loading ramp onto the dock.
I grabbed my bags from the Girag office and I was ready. I asked a local motorcyclist who was hanging around the dock if he could show me the way into Bogota. He obliged and I rode into town. I found a hostel called the Platypus which I planned to make my home for the next few days.
For the full story check out Darien Gap
|12-29-2011, 06:11 PM||#64|
Joined: Oct 2010
The Adventure Begins... New Shoes/Tires
My odometer on my bike rolled over to 7000 miles today. I thought that I'd celebrate by getting some nuevo zapatos (new shoes/tires) for Emi.
I asked a local motorcyclist where I might be able to find a motorcycle shop that sells tires and he directed me to a street called Avenida 1 de Mayo between Avenida NQS and Avenida 10.
The street is lined on both sides with about a half mile of moto shops.
All the motorcyclists ride up and down the street looking for what they need, then pull up on the sidewalk to park.
I found a shop that had some Perelli MT60 tires in the right size for my bike.
In the small garage the mechanics went to work on my bike. I also asked for an oil change and lube. I had them check my break pads and they seemed to still be in good shape.
Afterwards, I rode down the street and found a moto wash.
I had been riding through quite a bit of rain and dirt, so it was nice having my bike cleaned up a bit for $3. They didn't do a great job, but I think Emi appreciated it.
I also picked up temporary insurance for Colombia for my bike. After visiting a few insurance sales offices and being told that it is only possible to buy a full year of insurance, I found Seguros SurAmerica at Carrera 10, #28-49 Edificio Davivienda which sold me two months of insurance at a reasonable rate.day
Now I'm ready to ride the Andes Mountains of South America.
For the full story visit New Shoes
|01-10-2012, 04:31 PM||#65|
Joined: Oct 2010
The Adventure Begins... Colombia
I'm way behind on my posts. Here are some of the highlights of Colombia. Please click on the links to see the full stories.
El Museo de Botero
El Museo de Oro
El Museo de Oro Experience
Happy New Year!
I'll try to catch up.
|01-10-2012, 05:06 PM||#66|
Joined: Oct 2010
The Adventure Begins... El Desierto de Tatacoa
I was starting to feel that I had seen enough of the city of Bogota. It's a great place to take in a little Colombian culture, but I felt like I needed to leave the hustle of the big city and find a little tranquilidad (tranquility).
In Colombia, one certainly has a choice of ecoregions to visit. There are the Andes mountains, Atlantic and Pacific tropical coasts, and the Amazon basin.
However, I had heard about an anormality called the Desierto de Tatacoa (Tatacoa Desert). It lies between two mountain ranges. It is a parched spot where temperatures can reach over 120°F, and it features a variety of landscapes ranging from rippled dunes to carved cathedrals. Sounded pretty unique. I was up for some dry and warm weather after 6 days of rain in Panama and 6 days of cold in Bogota.
I got an early start and rode over the Andes Mountains. Luckily there was not a great deal of traffic, but the traffic that was on the road was moving slowly. There had been a quite a bit a rain over the past month in Colombia and the roads were in bad shape from landslides.
After riding about 4 hours I was welcomed by some warm air. I passed through the town of Neiva in which I was given directions to a small village another hour away called Villa Vieja. In Villa Vieja I picked up some survival water and food. From Villa Vieja, I was given directions to the national park another 20-30 minutes away in the desert.
I passed through a few small villages until I arrived at the national park and observatory. It was about 6:30pm and already dark. I stopped by the park office because I wanted to inquire if there was a place where I might be able rent a tent. The park office was not in the practice of renting tents, but Oswaldo, one of the staff, said that I could borrow his tent. Colombians are just the nicest people and always seem to go out of their way to help someone.
It was ready dark, so I set up the tent right behind the observatory. Oswaldo mentioned that there was going to be a presentation at the observatory about the constellations at 7:30pm. Perfect! A campsite with a little evening entertainment.
Turns out that the Desierto de Tatacoa is a good place for an observatory because it has 170 degrees of skyline, is far from any light pollution from a city and has few clouds and little rain which obstruct observations. With Colombia being so close to the equator, the northern and southern hemisphere skies are visible year round. The presentation was quite good. I learned about some new constellations.
The best part of the night was laying in my tent looking up at the unobstructed desert sky at the millions of stars.
The next day I was woken up by the sun rising and a few random roosters. I gathered my things quickly and headed out into the desert. I wanted to check out some of the features before it turned too hot.
The Adventure Begins...When The Road Ends.
The first thing that I encountered were sand dunes.
There were sand formations created from erosion.
It was almost as if I were on another planet.
There were cathedrals.
The dirt road was perfect for riding. It was compacted dirt with a little gravel and a little sand.
In this area called Los Hoyos (The Holes), in the middle of nowhere, I came across this water hole. It was fed by a natural spring that deposited water into a well. The owner said that there was enough water year round to keep the water hole filled. I dived in and it was a nice relief from the heat.
At the water hole I met this pretty Colombian girl that was visiting the desert for a vacation.
As the sun got high in the sky it started to heat up. I thought that it might be a good time to move on.
When I reached a location with internet service I checked google maps to see where I had been. I was surprised to find out that I was pretty far out into the desert.
For the full story visit El Desierto de Tatacoa
|01-12-2012, 08:16 PM||#67|
Joined: Aug 2008
Location: Chicago physically, Colombia en mi mente.
Right behind you. I am leaving Bogotá tomorrow to head north to Medellín and around Antioquia. Thanks for sharing the info on the desert. Maybe I can work that into my plans.
|01-13-2012, 04:19 AM||#68|
Joined: Oct 2010
|01-13-2012, 05:36 AM||#69|
Joined: Nov 2006
Enjoying the report and looking forward to the rest of it. Thanks for taking the time to share!
'99 K1200 LT
'96 R1100 RT- Gone
'95 K1100 LT- Gone
'83 Yamaha Venture- Gone
'78 Suzuki GS 750- Gone
|01-13-2012, 02:24 PM||#70|
Joined: Oct 2010
The Adventure Begins... San Agustin and Stone Sculptures
I left the desert and headed south and west. There was a town about 250km away called San Agustin that I wanted to visit. The road was in good condition. The weather was cooperating as well.
I crossed the Rio Magdalena a few times. Its a long and wide river that cuts a path through the center of Colombia.
Distances in Colombia can be a little deceiving. 250km is not a far distance, but the roads are often curvy and it always takes a little longer than expected. I arrived in San Agustin after about 4 hours of riding. I found a little oasis at which to stay called La Casa de Francois.
After unloading my things I took a stroll around town. I came across a costurera (seamstress) and asked if they could repair a zipper on my pants that had broken. They could and charged me $2000 Bolivias (US$1).
Around the town of San Agustin there are over 400 archaeological scuptures with stone carved statues and tombs.
At the hotel, I met a girl named Sarka from the Chech Republic and we decided to take a horseback riding excursion to see the sites.
Our guide for the trip was a guy named Carlos.
And my trusty horse was called Aceveda.
As we headed out of town we came across these houses with these mannequins hanging outside.
They are called Año Viejos (Old Years). They are constructed of old clothing for the new year celebration. On new years eve they are burned in the streets to symbolize the passing of the bad times of the past year and welcoming in the new year.
Turns out that Carlos is a bit of a curandero (healer). He knows quite a bit about the local plants and can easily identify plants that can be used for medicine. He pointed out this coca plant which has traditionally been used for many medicinal purposes.
This group of statues was called the El Tablon.
A woman shaman
A man guardian
A woman shaman
We rode on and came across this huge canyon.
This statue is called La Chaquira.
We rode on through coffee plantations.
This group was called La Pelota
A jaguar shaman.
We came across this house built in a traditional way with bamboo, mud and straw. It was near the collection of statues called El Puratal
There was this guardian male shaman.
A guardian shaman holding a baby ready for a ceremony.
An excavated tomb
There is not a lot of information on the civilization that build the stone structures, but if you'd like to find out more about this UNESCO World Heritage site you can visit San Agustin website.
I'm not accustomed to horse back riding. I could tell that I might be a little sore the next day. But I suppose that it was worth it. All in all it was fun day of exploring and horse back riding.
For the full story visit San Agustin
|01-13-2012, 05:28 PM||#71|
Joined: Jun 2010
Location: Playa Azul & Zihuatanejo
SALUDOS, BUEN VIAJE, SEGUIREMOS PENDIENTES DE TU RECORRIDO !!!!!
... tambien me dijo un arriero, que no hay que llegar primero, pero hay que saber llegar ......
xr650L / DR 650 / TRX400FA / C90 ...
|01-23-2012, 08:50 PM||#72|
Joined: Oct 2010
The Adventure Begins...Popayan... Colonial Architecture, Churches and a Corpse
As I moved south, I visited the town of Popayan. It's know for having a pleasant climate, colonial architecture and intellectual people.
I stayed at a nice hostel right on the central plaza called the Park Life Hostel.
There's a number of things to do around the city, but I really just felt like walking the town and doing a little people watching. I encountered some interesting sights.
The window from the Park Life Hostel provided a great view of the Plaza de Caldas.
And the view from the inside the Cathedral.
Empanadas de pipian and a yogurt drink from a restaurant called La Fresita.
The museum dedicated to the poet...
And former president...
Guillermo Leon Valencia.
The Iglesia San Francisco
had a few statues of saints...
and this elaborate nativity scene...
which included wise men, camels and a panda bear.
There was this pedestrian bridge called El Puente de Humillidero...
and this older pedestrian bridge called El Puente de Custodia, which they say priests use to walk across to the poor area of town to care for the needy.
The Iglesia de Santo Domingo.
And it's entryway with intricate masonry.
The Iglesia de La Ermita. See the two ladies talking in the lower left hand corner.
This one lady approached me and was quite disturbed.
She explained that under the black cover in the lower right hand corner there was a corpse. Hmmmm, I thought this is something I would not normally see on an organized walking tour. I didn't know what to do, but I knew that I didn't want to look under the cover. I tried to explain that I was not from Popayan and really didn't know how to help. Also, It was the day before new years and everything was closed. We both just awkwardly muddled around for a bit. I assumed that the priests of the church would know what to do. Eventually we both went our separate ways. I suppose somethings are better left a mystery.
I continued on and saw many buildings like this typical colonial house.
And these colonial government buildings.
This cute old lady was selling her catch of trout along the sidewalk. I believe that she was from the nearby town of Silvia where they wear traditional dress including these stylish bolo hats.
I stopped at a little cafe and had a tamal de pipian.
As the night approached, the Plaza de Caldas took on a different appearance.
Back at the hostel, the owners, other travelers and I shared a New Years dinner of international cuisine. My contribution was Texas Chile and a Baguette. People seems to like it.
Lighting fireworks at midnight.
The pleasant climate, architecture walk and the friendly people of Popayan made my stay a memorable one. I didn't visit some of the other typical tourists attractions, but sometimes a simple walk around a city is an adventure in it's own right.
For the full story see Popoyan
|01-23-2012, 09:02 PM||#73|
Joined: Oct 2010
The Adventure Begins... Colombia to Ecuador
From Popayan I traveled south. The Pan American Highway heading south wound through some gorgeous countryside.
The road was made up of what I call "gentle" curves. Perfect for riding in third and fourth gear on my bike. I would cruise in forth gear along the straights, then drop down to third gear to take a curve, then pop back into fourth gear to cruise.
It was a full day of riding to a town called Pasto. I stopped in Pasto to spend the night at a hostel called the Koala Inn. Nothing really remarkable about Pasto, for me it was just a stop on the way to the border.
I woke up early and headed south. It was about a hour and a half to the border.
Upon arrival, I checked in with the Colombian Customs and the process was quick and easy. I was done in about 2 minutes.
However, there was a long line for Colombian Immigration. It was the tail end of the new years holiday. It seemed like there were a number of people traveling between Colombia and Ecuador for vacations. There were probably 200 people in front of me. I will say that the processing was moving along at a decent pace. But, it took about an hour and a half to get through immigration line.
On the Ecuador side, I encountered the same group of people lining up at immigration. While waiting I did meet some friendly Colombians and Ecuadorians and engaged in some conversation. It made the time pass by a little faster. I also had some time to write some blog posts.
Another hour and a half later, I was through the Ecuadorian Immigration line.
The Ecuadorian Customs processing was probably the fastest I had encounter in all of my border crossings. I was the only one in line requesting a permit, the system was electronic, I had copies of all my documents, the agents were friendly and it only took about 5 minutes.
However in total, the border crossing took longer than I expected... about three hours.
After passing through the border I headed towards Quito. There was a definite change in the altitude and climate. The air was cooler and thinner.
Emi had a little trouble adjusting to the altitude, but she did fine cruising through the Andes Mountains.
The countryside varied between green mountains and stone cliffs and deep valleys.
In Ecuador, I noticed that the buses, trucks and cars were much more aggressive in passing traffic on the highway. They would pass on blind corners, up hills and two or three vehicles at a time. It's interesting how riding conditions vary between countries. I noticed that there were fewer motorcyclists in Ecuador than in Colombia. It was nice riding alongside other motorcyclists in Colombia as a gauge for riding speed and road conditions. In Ecuador, I was on my own.
As I ventured on, I began to run out of day light. I didn't feel like pushing it, so I pulled over in a town called Cayembe. It turns out that Cayembe is pretty close to being at the middle of the world... or in other words...the equator.
For the night, I stayed at a roadside hotel called Hotel La Mitad del Mundo.
The next day I would ride about one and a half hours into Quito. I was hoping that I wouldn't have to pass over the snow capped volcano called Cotopaxi that I could see in the distance. Luckily, I didn't.
I had arrived in Ecuador and crossed over into the southern hemisphere. Nice!
For the full story see Colombia to Ecuador
|01-23-2012, 09:08 PM||#74|
Joined: Oct 2010
The Adventure Begins... La Mitad Del Mundo
The Equator runs right through Ecuador.
At this location called La Mitad Del Mundo (The Middle of the World) they have built a huge monument to mark the spot. I had to check it out.
Here's proof...lattitude 0-0-0. The yellow line is the Equator. From this eastern view, my left foot is in the northern hemisphere and my right foot is in the southern hemisphere.
From this western view, my right foot is in the northern hemisphere and my left foot is in the southern hemisphere. Got that.
If all of this is true, I should be able to balance this egg on it's edge while I'm sitting on the Equator.
There we go. Cool!
But wait, my gps is indicating that the true 0-0-0 is about 00.000.080 north of this yellow line. That would be about 100 feet over that wall and outside of the monument grounds.
So I exited the monument grounds and hopped on Emi to find the Equator.
Ah, after riding a bit, I came across...00.000.000...the true Equator. And it only took 7,908.3 miles to find it.
Emi is marking the spot. Front wheel in the southern hemisphere and rear wheel in the northern hemisphere.
Emi and this large pile of gravel.
The Middle of the World. I've reached it! Somewhat of a landmark and milestone. OK, time to head south.
For the full story visit La Mitad Del Mundo
|01-23-2012, 09:14 PM||#75|
Joined: Oct 2010
The Adventure Begins... Riding Around In The Clouds (Mindo)
I traveled to the small town of Mindo that is situated in a tropical cloud forrest in the Western Andean Slope of Ecuador.
I stayed at a nice little hostel called La Casa de Cecillia. The rooms were in a treehouse like structure made of wood. There was a little alcove between the building and vegetation that made a perfect parking space for Emi.
I took a ride along a dirt road into the cloud forrest to check out the surroundings. I started at about 8000 feet in altitude, the road ascended the mountain and I gained another 1000 feet in elevation. It was cloudy and raining lightly which made the ride strangely pleasant.
The combination of the clouds, clean air, light rain, dirt road, vibrant green vegetation and forrest sounds was a sensory smorgasbord. I would ride for a while, park for a while, ride for a while and park for a while. Just taking in the sights, sounds and smell of the cloud forrest.
After riding through the cloud forrest for a while I decided to head south to a town called Banos. I was told by a local that there was a new road that would take me from Mindo to Los Bancos to Mercedes to Paquimaro to Aloag to Banos. The segment between Mindo and Paquimaro was not on google, my map nor on my gps. But I thought to myself that if the locals knew about it, it must be there.
The road took me along some of the best scenery that I've come across on my travels. The country road carved gentle curves through the hills. It ascended and descended gradually. It was rough asphalt but without potholes. Each corner opened up fantastic views.
It was a single lane that wound through cattle ranches, sugarcane fields and rolling hills. It was an hour of blissful riding.
Then it met up with the highway to Banos. This highway crossed over the Andean Mountains and was two lanes of cars and large trailer trucks. It was cloudy as I passed over the range. The visibility was decent at about 100 feet (30 meters). But it was rainy and cold. I was wearing all my gear - soft shell jacket, motorcycle jacket, rain parka, pants, motorcycle pants, rain pants and winter gloves. My body was warm, but my feet and hands were feeling the cold and dampness.
After about 3 hours of riding I took a little break at a nice roadside cafe outside of Cotapaxi. I had a wonderful meal that included potato soup, pork, rice, papas, fresh rasberry juice and a dessert of tres leches. It warmed me up and fortified me for the last hour of riding into Banos.
I rolled into Banos at about 6:30pm and found a room at the Plantas y Blancas Hostel.
It was a full day of riding. Some pleasant, some grueling. But, it's all part of the adventure.
For the full story visit Mindo
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