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Old 06-04-2014, 06:31 AM   #1
Ogribike OP
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High Andes Deep Amazon MotoAdventure

During December 2013 I was pretending to work and surfing the net when I came upon Ecuador Freedom Bike Rentals web site. They were planning a new tour called the High Andes Deep Amazon 10 day tour. The tour would take place in May 2014. So I ponied up my deposit and requested vacation time from work.

This is a map of what the tour would consist of.





So I started going over my gear and deciding what I would take with me. During this time February rolled by and the COO gave me a call one morning requesting me to his office. This always meant only one thing, "We no longer require your services in this organization". I was already on planning to leave so it was no big deal but coming from a guy that looks like Mr. Burns from The Simpsons made me almost laugh. Then I realized that I had the trip planned. So while I was hunting a new job I kept telling prospective employers that I couldn't start until after mid May.

A few weeks before the tour I was informed that High View Productions would be coming along to film a documentary of the inaugural High Andes Deep Amazon tour. This would be great to have the tour documented.

May rolls around, I still don't have a job but I have a MotoAdventure coming up. Another wrench in the works was moving from Houston back to Virginia. I had to ship a lot of stuff, sell some and give some away before leaving for Ecuador. A buddy that lived near me offered to store my GS and a place to stay before I left and after I returned. So with everything shipped, sold or given I packed my bags and headed south to join the tour.

Saying goodbye to the GS with a promise of a long ride to Virginia when I return.



Bags Packed and ready to go.



Lets get this tour on the road.





I arrived late in the evening of May 1st and was met by Court and Slyvain of Ecuador Freedom Bike Rental. They got me to my hotel and bid farewell for the night.

My view from my room in Quito.

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Old 06-04-2014, 06:56 AM   #2
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Ogribike,

Looking forward to this one! I rented from Ecuador Freedom last June and was really impressed with their bikes, route suggestions, and overall professionalism.

Your RR will certainly bring back some fond memories.


Cheers,
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Old 06-04-2014, 07:26 AM   #3
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In, planning on going down late in the year for my own adventure.
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Old 06-04-2014, 10:07 AM   #4
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I wake up on Friday and we don't leave until Sunday, I arrived a couple days early to acclimate to the altitude of Quito, 10,000 feet. I stopped by the shop to check out my steed and ask a few questions. The guys were very helpful and gave me some suggestions on places to visit. They also told me to stop in Saturday for interviews that High View Productions were doing.

I also received an email with a job offer I couldn't refuse, so I ran around printing, signing and scanning documents to get that rolling.

View from my room in the daylight.



The shop.



My steed.



I wandered around town for a bit and found a few shops of interest.

Mask shop, I should have picked one up.





I found a bar to eat at I tried the burrito, it was over salted and they set the salt shaker in front of me. It worked, I drank more beer.
I also checked out a Panama hat store and wandered down to the square where the locals were hanging out.





I headed back to my room for a brew before relaxing for the night. There was an interesting sign near the elevator (lift) door.





Saturday morning I headed to the shop to meet some of the fellow travelers as well as the film crew. Interviews were in progress so I waited my turn. Adam and Rebecca from High View Productions were great folks, Adam is from Tasmania now living in Canada, Rebecca is Canadian.





After the interviews were done I had my picture taken with the MS5000 poster and they let me add the sticker to the door, the miles done here would add to my total.





Finishing that Sylvain then took a photo of Court and I then joined in himself.





I wandered out to lunch and later supper with a few beers of course before relaxing for the night with visions of motos dancing in my mind.
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Old 06-04-2014, 08:12 PM   #5
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Okay, I'm getting ready for the next segment which will be Day 1 of the ride. Before we go further, I just want to mention that my offroad experience is limited, mostly hard surface some loose and some water crossings, no single track, I don't own a dedicated dirt bike.

Now let me get my head in the right mind frame and I will start on Day 1 shortly.



BTW, Roanoke Railhouse local beer, Woodford Reserve Bourbon and a Ashton cigar.
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Old 06-04-2014, 10:11 PM   #6
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So I arrive Sunday morning, sizing up my fellow riders and wondering who will not make it and who will have a great time.

I see one guy, Tom, fiddling with his tank bag and it's taking way to long, problem, in my mind. Venia, a lady of Greek decent living in NYC doing well but little experience, nervous while we get ready.

Adam and Rebecca are busy filming and getting their film gear ready.







We finish packing our gear and get ready to head out, I'm assigned position 4, this is due to the comms system, no issue.













Coordinates to the shop, Ecuador Freedom Bike Rental.



Our first goal is to ride to the summit of Pichincha, which is an active stratovolcano at over 15,000 feet. On the way up we find the surface is real loose with a lot of tight switchbacks. Every rider went down except the guide, Court and Adam the photographer, some minor, some with personal body damage. I slowed done a bit to much during a switchback and fell over when I stopped, no damage to the bike or myself. Before the naysayers start up with the "That doesn't look that bad", you weren't there.







We only made it to 13,123 feet, with the way the road winded around we were still two miles from the summit. Court decided that time was getting short and didn't anymore get offs, so we turned around headed down.

The summit, so close.



Riding down, on the way down a few more get offs before we got back to a stable area. Tom was no longer able to finish the day of riding, the driver Sylvain rode his bike while Rebecca the other photographer drove the truck.

















Quick ride down to find some lunch, we found a place having a barbecue and joined them.







Back to the bikes and down the road to the first nights stop.













On our way we were hit with a pretty good rain and hail storm so we found shelter for a bit.















Back on the road, with a brief stop before ending the day.













Time to relax. Hot tub soak, whiskey, beer and supper.









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Ogribike screwed with this post 06-18-2014 at 11:43 AM
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Old 06-05-2014, 07:39 PM   #7
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Day Two starts out nice and sunny a bit chilly with the drone doing a flyby.





We headed out to saddle up and continue the adventure.



As we ride up to a school where they had shop with woodworking items they made. We didn’t get to meet any of the students but some of the group bought pieces. The views were fantastic.











Suiting back up, we get ready to head out.



As we ride on we pass a lot of construction that wave us by until we get to a point where they tell us the road is closed, why couldn’t they inform us of this earlier? Sorry for the blurry GoPro captures, can't help that.









After a couple folks go down we return where we can find another route. As we approach a small town there is a kid on a small dirt bike that tells us we can continue on another road. So we head to that road and do well until Tom rides into a crevice in the road and hurts himself worse. Plus Venia is nervous about continuing after going down twice in the mud.











If you notice the truck had a top box, it was empty for cases like this. We had to load a bike in the back and move luggage to the top box. I was also assigned to carry the drone on the back of the F800. We strapped it down with some original Helen Two Wheels straps that I had and a MC tie down strap.











We made it through the rough spots and worked our way to Quilotoa which is a water-filled caldera and the most western volcano in the Ecuadorian Andes.









Adam and Rebecca flew the drone for some great video after we had a lunch at the communist restaurant that was near the volcano.







From there we headed through some canyon twists where we stopped again for some drone videos.









Then it was on to some higher altitudes where we rode into clouds and rain making it a long day of 12 hours.

We walked up a hill for llama pizza and found Tom was having a very difficult time walking and breathing.

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Old 06-05-2014, 08:22 PM   #8
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This area is going to the top of the next ride list

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Old 06-06-2014, 08:18 AM   #9
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Day Three starts out easy, we take our time getting ready and I spent some time chatting to a bunch of school children that were enamored with the BMW. This happened with the two BMW's in the group often, Dennis had a bunch of young ladies sitting on his bike for photos at a fruit stand stop.











Adam had to give George and myself some GoPro training on the remotes, who knew old dogs could learn new tricks.



We rode out for visits to a cheese factory, yarn factory and a chocolate factory.

Cheese.















Yarn.





Chopping the wool with a machete.











[IMG][/IMG]

Chocolate.







This would also be a shorter day after that long ride we had yesterday. We did ride above 14500 feet into the Chimborazo National Wildlife Refuge. During a stop at a rest area for a quick break and this is where I did the stupid slow move and dropped my steed due to target fixation. The parking lot was gravel and slanted, one rider fell over and I was circling around to park and locked in on the downed rider, boom.









As we left the rest area we came upon an overturned car. Two men were driving or trying to drive the car. One was sitting on the curb looking dazed and the other was trying to figure out how to get the car back on its feet. So we rode up and turned the car back over for them while the salsa music was playing away on their radio. Everything looked good and they were trying to start it as we rode off.













The mountain in the background is Chimborazo Volcano, at over 21000 feet it is the highest point on Earth when measured from the center due to the Earth being widest at the Equator.





We rode into Baños for the next two nights Day 4 being a rest day.













Route, end of day 3.

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Old 06-06-2014, 08:31 AM   #10
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Nice ride report.....sorry to hear about all the drops!
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Old 06-06-2014, 08:57 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blaster11 View Post
Nice ride report.....sorry to hear about all the drops!
+1

I'd be concerned that someone would eventually suffer a trip-ending injury with the repeated falls, perhaps far from medical assistance.

Love the pictures!

Cheers,


http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=891984
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Old 06-06-2014, 07:51 PM   #12
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Day Four, rest day. There were choices of rafting, waterfall repelling, doing some riding by yourself or with a small group or just resting. I forgot to mention during day three we picked up a straggler, a rider from Austin, TX. He had set up bike storage with Ecuador Freedom Bike Rental (EFBR) and when he saw our decals he just joined in. He had ridden up from the bottom of Chile and had to fly back to the States for his girlfriend’s graduation. Diego, EFBR mechanic rode down in a taxi to ride Tom’s bike back to Quito with the other rider following.





Tom was in some major pain and decided to catch a taxi back to Quito and fly home to the States. Later we heard he went for a check up after getting home, three broken ribs and a cracked heel.

Baños is located in a valley with two nice ridges on either side. Adam, George, Eric and myself decided to ride up north ridge and later, Rebecca joined us to ride up the southern ridge.

A healthy breakfast to start the day.



Heading North.











An Imperial Storm Trooper tried to ruin or day, so we made short work of him and placed his head on a stake to ward off others.



We headed back down and made our way back to the hotel for lunch.













Time to head South for the sunset.







We get to the top stop at a restaurant where Adam and Rebecca set up a camera to capture the sunset.











Eric and I decide to ride down before it gets dark and bid goodbye to the others.



On the way down the clouds open a bit so we can see the Tungurahua volcano, this is the one that is currently erupting but took the few days off while we were there.





Back into town and done for the evening.





Time for beer, whiskey and supper.
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Old 06-06-2014, 08:43 PM   #13
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Very enjoyable ride

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Old 06-07-2014, 07:02 PM   #14
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Day Five, we head for the Amazon Basin. It’s all down hill from here, we ride by some great waterfalls and stop at one to watch George ride a wireline towards the Manto de La Novia waterfall.





















The ride included some nice old highway along the cliffs and a few tunnel runs.





Quick stop for coffee.





It was a short day as we arrived to the Napo River and the Cotococha Amazon Lodge. The cabins were scattered about the rain forest with oil lamp lighting and moonlight to see by.





We rode a canoe to a small village where they showed us the way they lived in the past.







Cacao bean, the white pulp around the bean is tasty, but don't bite into the bean.





We also had the chance to use a blow gun, I fell short, Venia hit the target.



Back to the bar for a few drinks and supper. we also saw a few jungle critters.







Tomorrow we load the bikes on a canoe and head down the Napo River.
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Old 06-15-2014, 12:38 AM   #15
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Day Six, time to load the bikes in a canoe and head out. This is the most western point that is water navigable to the Amazon and on to the Atlantic Ocean. As we were taking our bags out to the truck Diego rode up on a smaller bike for Venia, she decided to go from a DR650 to a DR200, she felt the bike was a little to big for her and after quite a few get offs.

Diego rode the canoe with us and it was handy having him along to help load and unload the bikes. Arriving at the loading area., we were warned not to leave things laying out, the monkeys will come down and steal it.









We just started when we stopped at a cacao museum; it was started and owned by woman from the States. She was also doing an archeology dig and was finding some interesting artifacts on an old trail that went through her property. She was amazed at the bikes in a canoe and took plenty of pictures, but we were not allowed to take pictures of the museum.

It felt like another rest day floating along. Adam flew the drone to get some nice footage. Nine bikes in the canoe.







We stopped at a small village for lunch; I had bought along a lot of children temporary tattoos and gave them to Rebecca and Venia to pass out to the children.





It was back in the river after lunch, we did see a few homemade dugouts.













We arrived in Rio Coca finding Sylvain who drove the truck up meeting us on the shore. Unload the bikes and head to town for the night.



A nice walk to supper and a stroll through a park that had a lot of giant hummingbird statues. All I could think of was Jimi Hendrix lyrics from Voodoo Chile, “I have a humming bird and it hums so loud, You think you were losing your mind, hmmm...”.



Our track to this point.



Back on the road tomorrow.
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