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Old 07-12-2013, 10:59 AM   #1
brecchi OP
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Joined: Jan 2005
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In Quito, trying to plan a route south....

...having a great time in Quito - an amazing city! After 2 months traveling south from Cartagena on my Bolivian plated Pegasus 250, I just arrived here the other day. lm trying to plan a southern route. Looking at the map, it seems that most of the places people recommend are located directly south Along the Pan Am. I dont have too much interest in heading to the coast, and have decided to skip Guayaquil. All I know for sure is that I would like to reach Loja at some point and cross south from there...

So, can anybody recommend some routes/places/towns heading south from Quito that will keep me off the Pan Am for at least part of the time?

Also on a separate note, I am debating whether or not to go to Otovalo for the Saturday market. I just rode south through there and am wondering if it is worth the trip back up to see this - its highly recommended online but I am getting the impression that it is WAY overrated.

Any links to good Ecuador RR's would be appreciated as well.

Thanks!
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Old 07-13-2013, 12:39 AM   #2
Tradey
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Location: Sydney, Australia / Los Wages, USA / Santiago, CL
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We rode up the east side of Ecuador via the 'jungle' and it was really interesting. Coming back from Colombia, we crossed the border at Ipiales and rode west to San Lorenzo on the coast then south all the way along the coast to Manta. Coast road was great and we spent several days enjoying the beach side towns.

Despite what everyone said how boring Ecuador was, we actually enjoyed it a lot. Spent one week in Cuenca and can't complain about the Ecuadorian healthcare system after 2 days in hospital there with bad castro . Great city and good bikes shops for repairs - one local shop washed and detailed our bikes for $10 - they looked like new !!!

Loja through to San Ignacio is interesting, a mud bog when it rains in parts, lots of ongoing road maintenance and dynamite to clear landslides. I nearly got divorced and thrown over a cliff on this stretch
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Old 07-13-2013, 02:02 AM   #3
markharf
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Turn off toward Banos, then keep going downhill through town into the cut-over jungle lowlands. Turn right on E45 and follow it just past Limon, where the pavement ends (or did a couple of years ago). Turn right at the next opportunity and ask if you've found the back road to Cuenca--best ask three people and compare answers. If so, follow that dirt track up and over the pass, then down through surreal landscapes until you hit Cuenca and rejoin the tourist hordes. Nice route--allow two leisurely days or wake up really early in Banos and try it in one.

I don't know what happens if you miss that right turn after Limon, but I think the road will take you as far as the border, eventually. Maybe it's all paved by now. Try it and see.

Mark
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Old 07-13-2013, 03:15 AM   #4
Tradey
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Limon road is a good route too.

We did E45 then onto the half built E40 (heading north) - good road and getting better and better if you want a smoother ride. Not fully visible on Google Maps as it's not finished. But we did have bits and pieces on our Garmin Ecuador map. I think we hit 45 around Patuca, our Spot tracks were few and far between in that terrain...
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Old 07-13-2013, 03:33 PM   #5
brecchi OP
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Ill be marking these places on the map and trying to figure things out - still trying to decide whether or not to check out the Pacific Coast or stick to the mountains...
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