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Old 11-11-2012, 12:39 PM   #46
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The day was Saturday, October 27, and Jen and I were celebrating our 23rd wedding anniversary!

The guys from Freedom treated us to the Honeymoon Suite! Thanks again guys!

Looking out our hotel room window at the 50-meter pool in the courtyard.
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Old 11-11-2012, 01:09 PM   #47
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On the final day of riding, we needed to climb from 243 feet above sea level, up to near 12,000 feet, before dropping back down into Quito, at around 9,000 feet. It would take most of the day to do it. Lot's of steep and rocky climbing, and a few stream crossings




Looks like a narrow mountain road


But even on this one, you had to watch out for the occasional bus or truck, coming around a blind corner


As we gained elevation, the scenery changed back to the previous awesomeness


And the road even became paved in some areas






If you look close, you can see Jen's right shoulder and elbow all the way down trying to squeak more power out of Pepper, as we topped the E35 summit over Quito at about 12,000 feet


Dropping down into Quito
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GSL screwed with this post 11-11-2012 at 01:29 PM
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Old 11-11-2012, 01:21 PM   #48
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Parting shots of our awesome hosts

Court Rand


The sometimes-vertically-challenged, always flirting with my wife, crazy Frenchman, Sylvain Gallea


Don't go to Ecuador without checking in with these guys
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Old 11-11-2012, 07:45 PM   #49
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Old 11-12-2012, 06:23 AM   #50
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Overall impressions

Ecuador is a great place to fly and ride. Motorcycles are everywhere in Ecuador, although I did not recognize many of the brands. Lot's of 125cc Chinese imports and other, all dressed up to look like KTM, Yam, Suz, Kaw, etc.

Ecuador uses the USD as its currency. Yay! No exchange bullshit.

Lot's of stuff is cheap. $0.90 for a beer, under $5 for lunch, gas seemed to be at a fixed price of $1.48 everywhere we went. And by fixed, I mean painted on the side of the building, not some L.E.D. readout that changes by the second. We stayed at what I considered a very nice hotel in Quito for $70/night and it came with a full 'merican breakfast. Similar place in the US would have been $150-200/night, and another $20 for breakfast.

No one expects a tip, but they are really happy when they do get one. The standard tip for any meal, regardless of price, is $1.

Carry cash. Many, many places do not take credit cards. Also, don't carry anything bigger than a $20. Very few (no one?) will accept $50 bill or larger.

The people there are super-friendly, once you get outside of the cities. We didn't have anything stolen from us, even when leaving a pile of gear at the lunch table and going out for a stroll through town for 15-20 minutes. But I wouldn't try that in the cities. I did stick to keeping my money hidden in my boots, throughout the trip.

Fly-n-ride tips
Arrive a day or two early. Mark and Mark made the best of it, but I know they were missing having their luggage. It only arrived 1 day late, but the logistics of getting it to us in the middle of nowhere did not exist. They had to make due without.

Jen and I did not even check luggage. 1 carry-on each, that's it. The carry-on had a helmet, riding pants, 1 change of quick-dry clothes and a bunch of little packets of Tide. We washed our clothes in the hotel room sink every night, and rolled them tightly in hotel towels to dry. I didn't have my motocross boots, but my Sidi dual sport boots were good enough for this tour, and could easily be worn on the plane.

The international flight was a lot shorter than I expected. Only 4 1/2 hours from Houston.

We never got sick. Followed the simple rules of drinking only bottled water and never eating fruits or veggies that still had skin on. i.e. peel your tomato if you're gonna eat it.

When we go back, it will be hard to decide whether to do another guided tour or go it alone. Alone is certainly more adventurous. But the guys at Freedom were just too much fun to have along, and they know where the hidden gems of the countryside are. We would not have seen half of the stuff we did, had we gone solo. And they are starting to do research for a Snakes and Spiders Amazon Tour...

All in all, it was a great time! And a good good way to decompress from work, for relatively little coin. Cheers!
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Old 11-12-2012, 06:53 AM   #51
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Great Ride Report






GSL,

Really enjoyable ride report and pictures. The scenery reminds me very much of the Sacred Valley area of Peru a little farther south. Thanks for taking the time to write up and post!

Cheers,
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Old 11-12-2012, 07:20 PM   #52
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Great

Thanks for posting . Great pictures. Glad to see your wife enjoying riding. Now you are back in Ft Collins ! Your life doesn't suck
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Old 11-12-2012, 09:16 PM   #53
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This is the kind of trip my wife and I might like to make. Thanks for all your information. It sounds like the perfect getaway, even with DR200s which we like!
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Old 11-15-2012, 03:39 AM   #54
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Great report. Thanks for taking the time.

Anyone have an idea of the weather there in April/May?
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Old 11-15-2012, 04:22 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by EvilClown View Post


Great report. Thanks for taking the time.

Anyone have an idea of the weather there in April/May?


Here is a good article that explains the weather in Ecuador. The answer is complicated - it depends on where you will ride as weather and season varies according to elevation and region.

http://traveltips.usatoday.com/time-...dor-13554.html

As Will mentioned, we will be adding some additional tours in the Amazon region to balance out the seasonal changes to keep riding here all year long. (the tour they rode is not offered from mid-February to mid April as the rainy season creates lots of landslides and road closures). We do have riding all year long here...
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Old 11-15-2012, 04:30 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by GSL View Post
Ok, back to the write-up! I know someone's been like but I had a busy 1st week back...

Anyway, turns out Adam Cooper is quite the rock-star videographer. Here's the first cut:

Adam took the original video down after I requested a couple of small edits - here is the new version:
[URL="http://youtu.be/daOm-vSFVVw"]http://youtu.be/daOm-vSFVVw

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Old 11-15-2012, 04:37 AM   #57
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Adam really did a great job making a video of the ride to Guagua Pichincha. Here is a longer edit:

http://http://youtu.be/82CPZgznnas

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Old 11-15-2012, 05:16 PM   #58
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Great report Will.
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:22 PM   #59
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Great report Will.
Hi there, Alan! Are you and Katie comin' with us next time?
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Old 11-16-2012, 12:31 AM   #60
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Hi there, Alan! Are you and Katie comin' with us next time?
Would like to.
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