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Old 05-12-2014, 11:08 AM   #1861
toooldtocare
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Wow, really enjoying this thread. Keep going, and be safe.
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Old 05-12-2014, 02:13 PM   #1862
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Ecuador is beautiful. My wife and I spent some time in Quito when we were down there to climb Cotopaxi. I would certainly recommend the ride in to the base of that dormant volcano, and checking out the Tambopaxi hacienda there.

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Old 05-12-2014, 07:38 PM   #1863
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I blame you two for taking up four days of my life.

Gene you and Neda are great people, just spent the last four days reading from start to now, and have enjoyed all your travels so far, hope to one day meet you two, I want to travel from Alaska to the tip of south America, so I take great interest in everywhere you have been, But now with everywhere you have gone and things you have done, there is no way I could do it in the time frame I was allowing myself, Thanks (very Disappointed look on my face), keep it up love reading about your adventures.
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Old 05-12-2014, 07:42 PM   #1864
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Nice to see ya'll finally got out of Colombia. I thought you had taken up permanent residence there.
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Old 05-12-2014, 07:54 PM   #1865
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Show lots of Ecuador pics, my wife and I plan to go there for an extended vacation some day.
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Old 05-15-2014, 06:46 PM   #1866
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Thanks for all the Ecuador suggestions guys, we are a bit farther than the blog suggests, so not sure if we'll hit all the recommendations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by theskymaster View Post
An it is a good idea to use twitter and instagram for the updates.
Thanks for all the retweets, Ali! Much appreciated!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sandsman View Post
Show lots of Ecuador pics, my wife and I plan to go there for an extended vacation some day.
Trust me, taking pictures is not a problem for me. It's sorting through them that's a chore...

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluestar View Post
Nice to see ya'll finally got out of Colombia. I thought you had taken up permanent residence there.
We kept re-applying for a permit extension, they did slip us a citizenship application the last time we renewed...

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Originally Posted by Me4speed View Post
I blame you two for taking up four days of my life.
Glad I could help out!

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Originally Posted by Me4speed View Post
But now with everywhere you have gone and things you have done, there is no way I could do it in the time frame I was allowing myself
We travel *very* slowly. There are so many people that have blown right past us, so if you're looking to cover mileage, it is possible to go "top-to-tip" in a much more shorter timeframe that we have. I remember we met a guy at the HU meet in California in the middle of October 2012. He goal was to make it to TDF for Christmas!

Not our style, but to each their own! However, it does show you what's possible if you're looking for some happy medium.
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Old 05-15-2014, 07:14 PM   #1867
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See if you can get to the market at Otavalo on Saturday's but the real non touristy part is the animal market at 5am before the touristy market starts, all the farmers from the hills around bring their Llama's,cow's, pig's etc to sell, it is on the outskirts of town and it is great.

Thank you for your ongoing effort with this RR we know it a lot of work also thank you for your sense of humor.
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Old 05-16-2014, 03:22 AM   #1868
mattsz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lightcycle View Post
Thanks for all the Ecuador suggestions guys, we are a bit farther than the blog suggests, so not sure if we'll hit all the recommendations.
This is what's frustrating for me about this format. I've recently finished binge-reading all the Ridedot travel blogs, in chronological order. But there were so many times I wanted to comment - on things that happened years ago! So, no point. But I'm caught up now... look at me, I'm all topical and relevant! Who knew?

Are your twitter and instagram updates more current, and are they telling or showing different info or images than what you're posting here? Wondering, because if so it might provide the impetus for me to finally sign up for those services (quoth the luddite... I guess I'm all obsolete and irrelevant after all! Hey you kids, get off my lawn!!)

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Old 05-16-2014, 09:02 AM   #1869
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattsz View Post

Are your twitter and instagram updates more current, and are they telling or showing different info or images than what you're posting here? Wondering, because if so it might provide the impetus for me to finally sign up for those services (quoth the luddite... I guess I'm all obsolete and irrelevant after all! Hey you kids, get off my lawn!!)

^^^ this. Me too, including the "get off my lawn" part.
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Old 05-19-2014, 11:21 AM   #1870
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Hey Neda and Gene.

I just caught up with the blog. Last entry was almost 2 months ago. When is the next blog entry coming?
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Old 05-19-2014, 11:44 AM   #1871
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Hey Neda and Gene.

I just caught up with the blog. Last entry was almost 2 months ago. When is the next blog entry coming?
Hey quattroman, check again! They've been on the move, their last entry was just a week ago!
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Old 05-19-2014, 11:55 AM   #1872
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+1. The blog entry is dated 3/22, but Gene is obviously a slacker busy, and only posted it just a few days ago.

You're up to date!
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Old 05-20-2014, 08:18 AM   #1873
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Quote:
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Are your twitter and instagram updates more current, and are they telling or showing different info or images than what you're posting here?
It's mainly another notification tool for new blog posts, but there are a few pictures from our past trips, as well as some that we've not published on our blog - some motorcycle stuff we used to do before our big trip.

Quote:
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When is the next blog entry coming?
Quote:
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Gene is obviously a slacker busy
Bastards! You all obviously have no idea how time-consuming binge-watching Game of Thrones writing blog posts can be!
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Old 05-20-2014, 08:58 PM   #1874
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Updated from http://www.RideDOT.com/rtw/152.html on March 26th, 2014



Riding south from Otavalo, I'm staring at my GPS instead of the winding road ahead of me. I'm watching the latitude count down and giving Neda a play-by-play over the comms: N 00°00.300, N 00°00.200, N 00°00.100, until finally... S 00°00.001! We've officially crossed the equator and we're now riding in the southern hemisphere! Whoohoo!


As always, Neda is waiting in the southern hemisphere while I take my time getting over the equator

There is a monument off the side of the road right at the equatorial line, so we pull off to take some pictures and celebrate. This is a pretty big moment for us, because we've ridden north of the Arctic Circle and now we're at the middle of the Earth! However, I just calculated and we've actually traveled further longitudinally: Anchorage, Alaska to St John's, Newfoundland is about 97°, while Deadhorse, Alaska to the Equator is only 70°!

All this travel over this quarter of the Earth really accentuates the fact that we're crawling across a humongous ball. Add to it that this ball is hurtling through space, and that just blows my mind and really puts into perspective where we are in this universe!


Equator monument is in the shape of a huge sundial

This monument was erected to show how the ancient civilizations in the area were aware that this was the centre of the Earth, and used the sun, stars and landmarks on the horizon to map the passage of time. We spent a bit of time here celebrating our achievement of crossing into the southern hemisphere. We took some funny videos that when I review them now, aren't nearly as entertaining as we thought they would be and will probably never see the light of day.... :)

On a depressing note: We've been trying to chase warmer weather for months now, and the irony that we're crossing the equator on the day after the Northern Hemisphere's Spring Equinox is not lost on us. So as of now, we're celebrating the Southern Hemisphere's Fall Equinox and heading towards winter. Sheesh!


Traffic down the main street of historic Quito

Quito should only be about an hour south of the equator, but we encounter heavy traffic once we hit the centre of town which means that we are arriving late in the afternoon. The skies are darkening as rain clouds move in and we scurry from hostel to hostel trying to find suitable accommodations.


Kate and Ras join us on a whirlwind tour of Quito

We met Kate and Ras (from California) in our hostel back in Otavalo, where we realized that we had actually seen them way back in our hostel in Popayan in Colombia - they had the room across from ours. It was obvious they were on the same circuit as we were, except they were backpacking, so we kept in touch via the Internet and when they arrived in Quito, we arranged to meet up with them again.

Since they were traveling a bit faster than we were (who doesn't), we got a taste of what sightseeing was like when you're normal tourists. We joined them on their whirlwind one-day tour of Quito, seeing all the churches and squares in the area. It was exhausting! We weren't used to the pace and the high altitude of the city had all four of us short of breath, and huffing and puffing up all the hills

It was really good having someone to talk to in English. It made me feel more like myself again, if only for a little while before I had to put the No Fumar Espanol mask back on my face. :(


Basilica del Vota Nacional (Basilica of the National Vow), the largest church in Quito


Oh Boy... George...

I really love those hats that all the Ecuadorians are wearing, so I try one on. I don't think I have a head for hats... Too much hair...


Neda surveys the city from the top of the Basilica


Colonial buildings line the city plaza


Iglesia de la Compania (Church of the Society of Christ)


Selling shawls on the street. I love the traditional outfits!


Outside the church, rain clouds develop

Raining every day in Quito. Not surprising. I've been looking through all of our pictures on this trip and the last time we had a stretch of days of blue skies to ride under was back in Mexico about a year ago. :( All our pictures ever since have been under white or grey cloudy skies. *sigh*

Despite the weather, Quito is a very beautiful, colonial city. The capital city of Ecuador and the second largest in the country, it's got a nice mix of old and new and the streets are kept very clean. After Kate and Ras leave the day after, we're going to stick around a bit and see more of the city.


Inside the Iglesia de la Compania, everything sparkles in gold! Mesmerizing!


Statues inside the church keep watch wordlessly over the faithful

Instead of climbing the large hill (El Panecillo) where the giant statue of the Virgin Mary stands overlooking the city, all four of us cram into a cab and try to get some pictures from the top of the hill before the imminent rains fall on Quito.


45-metre tall Virgin Mary


Lots of other people at the top of the hill enjoying the view

We said our sad goodbyes to Kate and Ras and spent the rest of the week exploring Quito at our own pace.


This is more Neda's pace...


Watching the birds dive around the town square


Tipico (local) food are a nice cheap sustenance, about $2 for a full meal including drink. However, we're craving a bit more variety


Strolling down the historical streets of Quito


One afternoon, we hop on the bikes, ride to the modern part of the city and splurge on sushi!
Best that we've had on this trip so far! Words can't describe how happy we are!!!



Hanging out at the shoe-shine bench in the main square


Pensive in Quito

We've spent four days in Quito trying to figure out where to go next. I think we just may have a plan to escape this dreary cold and wet weather...
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Old 05-20-2014, 09:31 PM   #1875
manshoon
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The last photo of Neda has the look of uncertainty. They say all the dark drudging days of clouds and rain bring depression. You best find some amber tinted sunglasses or sun to brighten your moods.

I had a doctor tell me sun lamps work wonders also, in doors when it rains so much here in the PNW.

I moved East of Seattle and the area I am in never seems to rain, a hour here , a day here or there for the last 8 months. My luck though will be the place burns down because of it and drought. lol.

Safe travels to you both.
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