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Old 01-21-2014, 10:37 PM   #3511
JDowns OP
Sounds good, let's go!
 
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Bassett, NE
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _cy_ View Post
checking in from Tulsa ... what fab pic's!!! good to see you back on track again ...
Good to hear from you! Look forward to seeing you later this year sometime on my way to Texas. Give my best to the TTPC crew.

Your ADV pal,
Nebraska John
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South America and back on a 250 Super Sherpa Minimalist Adventure
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Old 01-21-2014, 11:14 PM   #3512
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Joined: Mar 2005
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Where was I? Oh yeah, dropping out of the chilly mountains into an arid canyon:



The temps climbed into the nineties down here. Super hot. The road followed the river and there was road blasting down the way:



. After waiting fifteen minutes, I figured a moto could make it through the clean up. So I headed down and did the dirtbike weave through the front end loaders and boulders on the highway. The dust was a little thick but nobody yelled at me as I motored through.

Then switchbacks up into the cooler mountains once again;



Kinda reminded me of Wyoming for some reason:



Stopped for gas. Two gallons. Three bucks. Not sure if you can see the sign, but regular is called extra down here. It is $1.48/gal. And Super is $2.10/gal. I think I can ride all over this country at those prices:



I was going to stop in Ibarra, but it was only 2pm. Plus this road is pretty dang fun. So before you know it I am in Quito. Wandered around looking for the hostal that Hektoglider mentioned in his ride report. Didn’t have much luck. But I did run into the main catholic church. Boy is it a doozy:





My camera isn’t big enough to take it all in. I was reading Jackie and Valentino’s ride report and saw that they climbed to the top of the towers for a killer view of the city, so that is on my bucket list.

I get a lot of great ideas reading ride reports. But the Zentrum Hostal that Hektoglider mentioned was eluding me. Thank god I met Juan Pablo at a stoplight. He is a great guy. Fireman or bombero as they say down here. On a KLR650, he said, “follow me amigo”. You meet the nicest people while you’re wandering around lost in a large third world city. Here is my new ADVpal Juan Pablo after he rode across town with me following to the Zentrum Hostal:



What a great guy! Although if you think about it, you’d do the same for some lost ADVrider wandering around your neighborhood. I know I would.

I think I’ll spend a couple days here fixing things. My laptop bag coil zipper abraded from all the pounding it has taken and came apart. I lost three bolts off the bike in the last week, need an oil change, and the front tire with 20k could stand to be replaced.

So far Ecuador is fine. I’ll keep you posted. There are some great places to ride in these parts. I look forward to posting more pics and stories from the roads less traveled.

Hasta Mañana mis amigos de aventura,
Juan Quito Burrito
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JDowns screwed with this post 01-22-2014 at 09:49 AM
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Old 01-22-2014, 08:48 AM   #3513
demetri
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May you have many more peaceful, sunny miles. Thank you for being an inspiration. Cheers!
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Old 01-22-2014, 09:42 AM   #3514
pdks
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Really enjoying living vicariously through your posts ...thank you and keep the shiny side up!
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Old 01-22-2014, 11:22 PM   #3515
DeeJay Rider
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You are a good man, John.

Thank-you for sharing your adventures. It's greatly appreciated, especially in the cold and dark of a northern winter when a guy can get feeling a little low without some kind of moto action.

Gracias, Amigo,

Ride Safe,

David
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Old 01-23-2014, 06:22 AM   #3516
JDowns OP
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Joined: Mar 2005
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Spent yesterday relaxing here at the Zentrum hostal in Quito. Another minimalist arrived shortly before me on this Honda CGL125:



Frank (fronk) from Holland is a 52 year old Dutch fellow. Very interesting character. Mostly sails around the world but is touring northern South America for the next few months. He bought the Honda for $500 in Peru from a fellow Dutch traveler who was returning to Holland. Not a bad deal for a new bike with only 7000 kilometers on the clock. I had thought of flying down to Santiago Chile and buying one of these before I decided to ride the Sherpa down. They are $1600 new and are easy to sell on. Plus parts are available everywhere and they are easy on gas. Not bad if you don’t mind putt-putting down the road at 50 mph.

Frank is a mechanic so he changed the sprockets and put a decent D.I.D. o-ring chain on and some new tires. Got some adjustable needles for the carb along with a selection of jets for leaning things out in the higher Andes riding in Peru and Ecuador. He was going to get a Honda 250 Tornado, but they are 4000 new and he is only traveling for a few months and will be selling it in Cartagena and catching a sailboat to Panama where he makes good money repairing yachts for the retirees sailing around the world that don’t know a thing about motors or mechanics.

He had some great stories of sailing on a Dutch 3 masted square rig sailboat carrying 40 passengers from Ushuaia to the Antarctic. He was the engineer on those trips for 8 years. Just hearing about the roaring southern ocean and 30-40 ft. swells gets your imagination going. I think I read every book in the public library on ships and sailing when I was a kid. Not that I ever did anything with it. Well okay, I cruised south from Panama though the San Blas islands on a rusty scow which was adventurous in its own way.

Frank was a gold mine of minimalist accomadation information in Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia. I am writing down the Ecuador stuff here so I can refer to it later. Maybe it will be of use to others traveling the area in the near future.

Great place to visit is Canoa, on the coast of Ecuador. Nice place to stay is Baloo hostal.

Manta on the Ecuador coast is expensive, but north of Manta is nice place called Bahia de Caraquez.

Playa Escondida hostal is on the beach out in the sticks close to Tonchigue just east of Atacamas, Ecuador.

On the coast also south of Puerto Lopez, Ecuador the village of Salango south end of Salango is a Swiss hostal Isla Mar

In quilotoa, Ecuador up near the lake is the hostal Pachamama 15.00 private room, less for dorm

hostal Pedacito de Cielo, Baños, Ecuador 10.00 private room, less for dorm, secure parking

Tena , Ecuador 10.00 private room at the Welome Break hostal past the bus station and gas station at the fork of the road then up a hill and take the first road to the left and up the hill and just over turn left at the greenish yellow building on the corner that is an ice business. If you see the walking bridge it is too far. . The owner Juan is a rally driver and motorhead.

more later…
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Old 01-23-2014, 08:52 AM   #3517
ratbikemike
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wow...

From what little I know about sailing, that 'going round the horn' south of South America can get the boat pitched end over end, brake the mast off and toss you on the rocks eventually. And it is cold. Does not always happen but .... that is indeed tough work. That is why sailors are more even careful about the weather than Gold Wing riders.
I understand that a bike bought in SA is restricted to only maybe three countries and is not legal in the southern countries. If you learn more about this or about a work around, please bring your loyal readers up to speed. Hey, even I can ride a tiddler 125 on an adventure for a while....... if it helps make the trip happen.
Oh yeah. Scribble my name on the tank if would, please. I sent ya a couple of tanks of gas. Thanks for doing your ride and reporting it.
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Old 01-23-2014, 10:34 AM   #3518
JDowns OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ratbikemike View Post
From what little I know about sailing, that 'going round the horn' south of South America can get the boat pitched end over end, brake the mast off and toss you on the rocks eventually. And it is cold. Does not always happen but .... that is indeed tough work. That is why sailors are more even careful about the weather than Gold Wing riders.
I understand that a bike bought in SA is restricted to only maybe three countries and is not legal in the southern countries. If you learn more about this or about a work around, please bring your loyal readers up to speed. Hey, even I can ride a tiddler 125 on an adventure for a while....... if it helps make the trip happen.
Oh yeah. Scribble my name on the tank if would, please. I sent ya a couple of tanks of gas. Thanks for doing your ride and reporting it.
ratbikemike
Hi Mike,

Ratbike Mike is on the tank. Thanks!

As far as buying a used bike in South America I have talked to a half dozen riders who have bought traveler bikes. They all had to get a special letter at a notario (notary) stating that they could ride the bike out of the country and seem to be able to ride all around South America. But I am no expert. I don't believe foreigners can do this in Argentina or Brazil. Countries that you seem to be able to buy a bike are Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Paraguay. It seems easiest for a foreigner to buy a new bike legally in Chile.

However Frank bought the Honda he is riding in Lima, Peru. The bike is plated in Chile where the former Dutch rider bought it in Santiago and he got a notarised bill of sale and permiso to ride it out of Peru. Had no trouble crossing into Bolivia, back to Peru and since this week up into Ecuador.

Once again, I am no expert.

Saludos,
Juan Zentrum
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Old 01-23-2014, 11:32 AM   #3519
beerguy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDowns View Post
Spent yesterday relaxing here at the Zentrum hostal in Quito. Another minimalist arrived shortly before me on this Honda CGL125:



Frank (fronk) from Holland is a 52 year old Dutch fellow. Very interesting character. Mostly sails around the world but is touring northern South America for the next few months. He bought the Honda for $500 in Peru from a fellow Dutch traveler who was returning to Holland. Not a bad deal for a new bike with only 7000 kilometers on the clock. I had thought of flying down to Santiago Chile and buying one of these before I decided to ride the Sherpa down. They are $1600 new and are easy to sell on. Plus parts are available everywhere and they are easy on gas. Not bad if you don’t mind putt-putting down the road at 50 mph.

Frank is a mechanic so he changed the sprockets and put a decent D.I.D. o-ring chain on and some new tires. Got some adjustable needles for the carb along with a selection of jets for leaning things out in the higher Andes riding in Peru and Ecuador. He was going to get a Honda 250 Tornado, but they are 4000 new and he is only traveling for a few months and will be selling it in Cartagena and catching a sailboat to Panama where he makes good money repairing yachts for the retirees sailing around the world that don’t know a thing about motors or mechanics.

He had some great stories of sailing on a Dutch 3 masted square rig sailboat carrying 40 passengers from Ushuaia to the Antarctic. He was the engineer on those trips for 8 years. Just hearing about the roaring southern ocean and 30-40 ft. swells gets your imagination going. I think I read every book in the public library on ships and sailing when I was a kid. Not that I ever did anything with it. Well okay, I cruised south from Panama though the San Blas islands on a rusty scow which was adventurous in its own way.

Frank was a gold mine of minimalist accomadation information in Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia. I am writing down the Ecuador stuff here so I can refer to it later. Maybe it will be of use to others traveling the area in the near future.

Great place to visit is Canoa, on the coast of Ecuador. Nice place to stay is Baloo hostal.

Manta on the Ecuador coast is expensive, but north of Manta is nice place called Bahia de Caraquez.

Playa Escondida hostal is on the beach out in the sticks close to Tonchigue just east of Atacamas, Ecuador.

On the coast also south of Puerto Lopez, Ecuador the village of Salango south end of Salango is a Swiss hostal Isla Mar

In quilotoa, Ecuador up near the lake is the hostal Pachamama 15.00 private room, less for dorm

hostal Pedacito de Cielo, Baños, Ecuador 10.00 private room, less for dorm, secure parking

Tena , Ecuador 10.00 private room at the Welome Break hostal past the bus station and gas station at the fork of the road then up a hill and take the first road to the left and up the hill and just over turn left at the greenish yellow building on the corner that is an ice business. If you see the walking bridge it is too far. . The owner Juan is a rally driver and motorhead.

more later…
saw a similar Honda model in Juba, S.Sudan last year for about $1200 and assumed it was a fake at the price. maybe not. the chinese versions were almost a thousand. next time i'll buy one, ride it and give it to someone when i leave.
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Old 01-23-2014, 04:11 PM   #3520
JDowns OP
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Location: Bassett, NE
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Today was a day of errands. Got a good map of Ecuador at the bookstore, picked up oil and a gas filter, stopped by Freedom Bike rental shop and the owners were so nice. I went with Frank and they gave us complimentary Freedom Rental black Tee shirts and keychains. Then went to the boot shop and got the seams that were coming apart in my boots sewn up for 5 dollars while I waited. And they repaired my laptop bag and installed a new zipper for 10 dollars. Changed the oil along with the gas filter in the Sherpa. Lubed the cables, cleaned the air filter and decided to keep running the front tire for a few thousand more kilometers. Replaced missing bolts on the side cover, sprocket cover and exhaust shield. All in all a productive day for the third world. These things each take an hour or so of running around finding things.

This was my office this morning out on the covered terrace:



They serve a nice breakfast here consisting of granola, fruit and yogurt with bottomless coffee followed by rolls with sausage and cheese and eggs any way you like them. The dorms here are 10 dollars or 15 with a huge breakfast. Nobody is staying in my dorm so I have the place to myself. Might stay one more day and visit the cathedral before heading out of town. The GPS waypoint here is:

S 00º 12.027’
W 78º 29.653’

more later….
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Old 01-24-2014, 12:17 PM   #3521
Animal Instinct
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Good to see you're on the move again.

I'm way back on page 81 but had to thank you for the sunny coastal pictures.

It was 8 degrees here in Wichita Falls, TX this morning and your report is a lifeline. I skipped forward just to say thanks. Now back to page 81.

Carry on!
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Old 01-24-2014, 01:00 PM   #3522
JDowns OP
Sounds good, let's go!
 
Joined: Mar 2005
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hey animal instinct,

Glad to have you along for the ride! Let me just say it gets interesting in a few pages. Glad to ge able to entertain you this winter.

Saludos,
Juan Mindo
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Old 01-24-2014, 03:19 PM   #3523
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Headed out from Quito this morning. In South American capitols like Quito, the rush is in the morning and then there is a lull in traffic before lunch, so I left at 10:30 AM heading out of town. It was blue sky and puffy cumulus clouds to the northwest and dark clouds in the Andes to the south. Guess which way I went. The weather forecast is for rain in the Andes for the next 7 days. Hmmm. I think I’ll head the opposite direction. Okay, if you want to get out of a megalopalis in South America, my advice is to look at google maps in the satellite view and zoom in to see which way you need to go on the roundabouts and memorize it in your photographic memory. It worked for me. And soon I was sailing north.

Now mind you, yesterday I reported the GPS co-ordinates of the Zentrum hostal and noted that I was south of the equator. Holy Cow! I neglected to get the obligatory shot of the Sherpa at the Equator. I know it sounds schmaltzy, but these photos mean a lot to you when you are sitting in the rest home in your rocker, drooling and reminiscing about the good times you had.

So I stopped at the first Mitad del Mundo (middle of the world) spot and got a shot of the Sherpa:



But the monument was so freaking far away, and I didn’t want to be a dick and ride up to it. Plus the boys at the parqueadero said it was two bucks to park unless I just went up and took a quick pic. I’m sorry, it was too touristy. I bailed.

The boys in the entry cabana told me there was a better place up the road where you could balance eggs on a nail on the exact equator and watch the water go clockwise down the drain on one side of the equator and counter-clockwise one foot over on the the other side of the equator. Of course I was imagining functional toilets one foot apart.

And so I headed down the road. But the hell with the equator, I saw a rock quarry off to the side of the road and rode down to see the kick-ass stone. I’m a stone mason at heart and this place was like Disneyland for me:



Wow! this limestone had mucho flat faces. The backhoe dude just smiled and waved as I rode by. I could build a castle out of this stuff.

It turns out that they are slicing this stuff up into building stone and this is just the reject pile. It would be a great trials bike course.

Ducked back out of the quarry and went up the road a bit and saw a sign for Templo del Sol. It sounded good so I took a derecha (right) up the hill. Turns out it is some guys fantasy dream museum. I absolutely love these folks that defy logic and reason and build these follies. No one was around but me and the gal whose car was parked down the way. There was Peruvian flute music coming out of this three story museum, but nobody was around. When I saw the sign, i thought maybe an inca temple. But no, I can tell you as a stone mason, this place was fabricated in the last few years from the cast off stone down at the quarry down the hill:





We are talking about a lot of tons of stone, cement and rebar to build this folly. I'd rather ride the world and report back what I find with my limited funds, but that's just me. The central building is well done, but the walls and terraces are really bad.

Oh, and who is that sourpuss looking Ghengis khan looking dude sketched on the side of the museum.

more coming......
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Old 01-24-2014, 05:26 PM   #3524
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Continued on up this side road to what was called a geobotanica area. Parked the bike at the entrance to Pululohua Reserva Geobotanica:



Really nice free overlook. Nice bathroom. Okay, I would have continued the earth tone flat river rock base up one and half more feet for balance against the earth tone stucco and high horizontal bathroom windows. But that’s just me:



The contractor did an excellent detailed job on the quarry tile floors and red tile roof. I would hire him if I were a rich retiree building a fantasy retirement home in Ecuador.

more coming as the slow pics upload...
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Old 01-25-2014, 02:00 AM   #3525
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Out to the overlook an a cliff:



with a beautiful view out over the valley:



There were nature hiking trails leading down the cliffside. Really beautiful area:



Interesting formwork for a cement walkway out to a platform cantilevered over the cliff face:



Stopped for gas down the way. Buck forty eight a gallon once again. It takes a little getting used to filling up the Sherpa tank and getting change from a five. I tell you, there is no better feeling than a full tank of gas, fresh oil change, clean filters and a little bike that is running like a top down the backroads of a third world country.

Stopped for a soda and met Hernan Flores the artist. Here he is talking to the school bus driver:



Hernan was a cool dude. I actually had an hour long conversation with him in Spanish about life and art. The importance of art in the fabric of a culture. That sort of thing. Since he doesn’t speak English and isn’t likely to read this ride report, I can tell you frankly that his paintings are mediocre:



But his passion for the arts and kind spirit were refreshing. Hernan told me that this village used to be the mitad del mundo tourist attraction before they built the big monument down the valley. So I went to the town center to the old equator monument, hopped the curb and parked the Sherpa in front of the original monument. I tried to get Ricardo (sitting on the steps) to take a picture of me and the Sherpa, but he had been drinking all morning and was a bit too wasted to stand up:




I took a short cut up through the mountains:



I didn’t really know where it was going. Not that I have any particular place to be or anything. It finally dropped me down on that paved road down in the next valley:



This road was 50 miles of heaven dropping steeply down in elevation into more tropical jungle:



more coming……
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