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Old 01-14-2013, 07:45 PM   #211
Sunday Rider
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I figured Mrs. RexBuck would slow things down

Glad you are doing okay.

Will need a fix soon, so get busy.
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Old 01-14-2013, 08:59 PM   #212
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That Chinese place is still there? I ate there only once

Casa Helbling is a great place to reacquaint yourself with the Mrs and after that you've got the Galapagos to enjoy
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Old 01-14-2013, 11:51 PM   #213
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I check in on you almost every day. I'll be damned if I can figure out how to subscribe
Nice to have the little women drop in now and again.

I followed your route in a VW bus back in 1975. I shipped from Aguadulce to Buenaventura (port of Cali) in the hold of a ship transporting panela.
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Old 01-15-2013, 06:11 AM   #214
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete_Tallahassee View Post
I check in on you almost every day. I'll be damned if I can figure out how to subscribe .
Go to the top of the page, just above where it has the pages listed. Click on Thread Tools. A box will drop down & then click on "subscribe to this thread" you'll have options to how often you want to be sent updates.

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Old 01-18-2013, 05:22 AM   #215
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Originally Posted by Sunday Rider View Post
I figured Mrs. RexBuck would slow things down

Glad you are doing okay.

Will need a fix soon, so get busy.
Yah, having her here is great but it sure messes with my routine. It's tough but I'm coping.

I promise, if we don't travel today, will do another now, otherwise will be in 3 or 4 days
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Old 01-18-2013, 05:25 AM   #216
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One of those places you eat at only once . . .

Using Casa Helbling as our base while in Ecuador. It is a great place. Probably even learn a little German through osmosis.

Quote:
Originally Posted by moto-treks View Post
That Chinese place is still there? I ate there only once

Casa Helbling is a great place to reacquaint yourself with the Mrs and after that you've got the Galapagos to enjoy
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Old 01-18-2013, 05:31 AM   #217
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Wow - what an adventure that would have been. I'm sure I've seen your old VW bus still slowly chugging along down here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete_Tallahassee View Post
I check in on you almost every day. I'll be damned if I can figure out how to subscribe
Nice to have the little women drop in now and again.

I followed your route in a VW bus back in 1975. I shipped from Aguadulce to Buenaventura (port of Cali) in the hold of a ship transporting panela.
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Old 01-18-2013, 08:09 AM   #218
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I sold it in Asuncion, Paraguay.
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Old 01-18-2013, 07:31 PM   #219
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Originally Posted by RexBuck View Post
Yah, having her here is great but it sure messes with my routine. It's tough but I'm coping.

I promise, if we don't travel today, will do another now, otherwise will be in 3 or 4 days
Okay you have redeemed yourself with this fill in post.

Looking forward to your posts when you get back to "normal' .

Cheers
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Old 01-18-2013, 08:13 PM   #220
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Dec 31

I had a day to kill and get half-assed orgianized before Mrs RB arrived on the first. Thought I would wander over to Freedom Bike Rentals about 2 blocks from Casa Helbling. They have a great website with loads of information about travelling in Ecuador. Met Sylvain in the store and he offered to order a new rear tire for me when they send their next order in. He and Court who I'd had some email correspondence with are great people.




Then went over to the “Gringo Mall” to see if I can get an Ecuador chip for my POS phone and maybe track down some of the apparently mandatory bike insurance.

Here's the “Food Court” on the top floor . . . any questions why it is called the “Gringo Mall”?





Next to the store to get my cell phone chip was this abomination. My God, what were they thinking? Like a Siren, the draw was almost insurmountable but, I persevered . . . kinda.





Got my chip for about $7 - damn phone still doesn't work right. Didn't find the insurance.


On the way to the Mall, walked past this huge yard full of tow trucks and driver training cars, trucks and buses, a bunch of simulator vans and a little mini-road system. The Ecuador Auto Club’s driver training program. Impressive. This was a small part of the huge yard.






Also saw a number of these bike racks. Apparently the City sponsors a really cheap bike rental program. Kind of goofy looking bikes but, cheap transportation






Since Colombia, have been noticing people with dummys of all shapes and sizes. At first they were being used by groups to stop people for donations. Then started to notice them sitting in front of stores then see them on the front of cars.











Even Casa Helbling had one





Some people apparently make them and sell them and the masks on the side of the road.













The tradition is that the dummy contains all the bad luck of the past year and on New Years they are burned or, even better, blown up – destroying all the bad luck and letting you start with a clean slate for the new year.


Went to find dinner at a restaurant a few blocks from Casa Helbling an area nicknamed Gringolandia – amazing how the Gringo theme seems to permeate in this town. Lots of bars, restaurants and hostels.






Some of locals getting primed for New Years party.





The restaraunt is mama Clorindas which serves authentic Ecuadorian food. Had the Llapingachos with 2 meats - sausage and pork, which are hidden under the fried egg. Excellent!






Desert was Pristiños - a pastry kind of like Horse Blankets you get at the County Fair with a really good sauce to dip in.






The New Years fireworks/firecrackers started at about 10 o'çlock and went steady for at least 3 hours. When I mean steady, think of a string of those little firecrackers we used to get as kids then multiply that by a few dozen, constant and much louder. I’m sure some of them would be a decent fraction of a stick of dynamite. Look outside and the town is enveloped in a cloud of burned black powder.

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Old 01-20-2013, 01:18 PM   #221
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Jan 1 – 4 Quito

Mrs RB arrives today. Get out to the airport early (I’m not toooo excited ) and fortunately see her get off the plane. I’m hanging around the exit for a long time wondering what is taking so long – she hasn’t come out yet and all the others waiting for arrivals have left. Expecting there is a problem with her bags as she changed planes in LAX and this isn't the first lost bag when traveling through there.

Finally a guy comes out and gets me – sure enough, no bags. Of course I was mainly concerned about the three litres of Mobil 1 and the oil filter along with the replacement LED spot light she had with her. For some reason completely beyond me, she seemed to be more concerned about all the other stuff she had brought along.

Needless to say, they came through with the bags the next day – oil and lights were all ok . . . thank God!

Taxis are really cheap in Quito – paid between $4 and $8 for the 20-30 minute cab ride between Casa Helbling and the airport - the $8 ride was the morning of Jan 1 . . . understandable. Most towns in North America the cabbies hit that number before they even back out of your driveway.

Found a nice simple restaurant near Gringolandia and I had a pollo la plancha and Mrs RB settled for a salad






Kedgi came into Quito the next day and was staying at a Hostel a couple of kms away so joined us for dinner. Wound up eating sandwiches in the back of some dodgy restaurant. Welcome to Ecuador Sweetie. However, Ulysis and Alison showed up later on and it was great to see them again as well.

Got all my bike maintenance done and she’s good to go for another 10,000 km. Got all of our stuff reorganized for our trip to the Galapagos with everything we don’t need there stored in one of the many storage rooms at Casa Helbling. The bike of course, will remain in its great parking spot in the storage area of Casa Helbling.







It’s amazing how much crap you have to deal with when you are reshuffling things for, essentially, three trips: My big trip, our trip to the Galapagos and our trip around Ecuador. Different things needed for each. It was great that Claus and the Casa Helbling were able to handle all of our storage needs and we were grateful to be able to use it as our base of operations in while in Ecuador.

Kedgi came over again on the third and we grabbed a cab to the Historic downtown for a wander around and dinner. Of course, what didn’t join us was my camera which caused me to have a hissy fit when I realized the extent of my idiocy. Oh well, it is such a neat place Mrs RB and I decided to return the next day in the daylight.

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Old 01-20-2013, 02:57 PM   #222
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"Of course, what didn’t join us was my camera"
Holy Cow, what were you thinking.
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Old 01-21-2013, 06:23 AM   #223
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"Of course, what didn’t join us was my camera"
Holy Cow, what were you thinking.
Hmmm, hadn't thought of that angle . . .
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:31 AM   #224
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Jan 1 – 4 Quito Historic

Got back downtown with my camera this time. For my penance, I'll inundate you with pictures of churches, buildings and a few people.

Basílica del Voto Nacional - On the way to the historic town square spotted this huge old church and told the cabbie to let us out. Turns out this is the primary Church in Quito started in 1883 and took over 100 years to complete. It is apparently the largest Neo-gothic church in the world and is modeled after Norte-Dame in Paris. Side view - note the spire on the left and clock towers on the right - I'll talk about them in a bit.



To give a little idea of the size of this thing



and notice the statue of the dude at the front door . . .



. . . that'll be El Papa or better known in our world as the Pope who visited here in 1985

Instead of sticking the usual Gargoyles around the building, they used images of local animals





The high point (no pun intended) for us was climbing the gazillion stairs to the upper part of the church - yes it was wheezin Geezer time again, the city is over 9000 feet. First get a birds eye view of the main church



notice the roof structure

Check out the stained glass



and then head up some more stairs. Walk across the top of the main church on this ramp



then up a set of steep stairs to get back outside by the Spire




Once outside, climb up a couple of steep flights to the platform in the Spire




Great views including the clock towers and the religious statue on the far hill



and a nice view of part of the city



Then back down, across the ramp and up more stairs to one of the clock towers. Then up these funky spiral stairs to the top.



Great views again




The differential connecting the clock mechanism to each of the three clock faces



the cool old clock mechanism



This is getting long so I'll do the rest shortly
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Old 01-21-2013, 11:47 AM   #225
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Jan 1 – 4 Quito Historic - Número dos

We walked around the old town, up and down the steep streets. Random pics of streets and buildings




















Took in the main museum. These ladies studying some Native Art




We were at the Museum for about an hour and the entire time we were there this lady was lecturing this young fellow. This was at the edge of a display of some outstanding photography




Outside we ran into this young bunch of athletes. Wonder who might be on their way to the NBA?




Out in the Independence Square, these guys were discussing Nuclear Fusion or politics or how many beers they drank last night





or how to get arrested





I told Mrs RB I took this picture to capture this little old lady lecturing the cops . . . honest!





A couple of interesting faces




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