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Old 01-18-2014, 12:23 PM   #436
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whizzerwheel View Post
We make it to some little town, not too sure which one it is since the map makes no sense, at all. I'm trying to make a critical navigation decision and suddenly Mike can't hear....




Fortunately and miraculously, it turns out to be a temporary condition....


It's snowing here.

Cut me some slack.
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Old 01-22-2014, 11:08 AM   #437
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I think EvilClown has gone into permanent hibernation, what with the cold weather an all. I'll see if I can kickstart this thing, and maybe we can wake him up and make it to the finish line eventually.

At some point while riding along the Pan-American highway we decided to try to push it to Banos for the night. We could hole up for a day, ice the leg down, and if all goes well cross over into the Amazon area the next day.
Riding the Pan-American stirs up a kind of romanticized image in my mind...until reality sets in and the 6 lanes of traffic and mass of humanity slaps me in the face. The Pan-American is a concept anyways, its merely a series of linked together roads and highways that take you south. Way south...

We pull into Banos...the home of the active Tungurahua Volcano. While this may not be a big deal to those of you that have experience with an active volcano, being the backwoods country hick that I am....I've never been this close to one of them thar things...



This is actually a photo from the next morning. When we arrived it was dusk and overcast. We couldn't see the volcano, we could only hear it rumbling in the background.
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Costa Rica, Two Up: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=532923
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Old 01-22-2014, 01:25 PM   #438
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Nice jump start...but...

Quote:
Originally Posted by whizzerwheel View Post
I think EvilClown has gone into permanent hibernation, what with the cold weather an all. I'll see if I can kickstart this thing, and maybe we can wake him up and make it to the finish line eventually.

At some point while riding along the Pan-American highway we decided to try to push it to Banos for the night. We could hole up for a day, ice the leg down, and if all goes well cross over into the Amazon area the next day.
Riding the Pan-American stirs up a kind of romanticized image in my mind...until reality sets in and the 6 lanes of traffic and mass of humanity slaps me in the face. The Pan-American is a concept anyways, its merely a series of linked together roads and highways that take you south. Way south...

We pull into Banos...the home of the active Tungurahua Volcano. While this may not be a big deal to those of you that have experience with an active volcano, being the backwoods country hick that I am....I've never been this close to one of them thar things...



This is actually a photo from the next morning. When we arrived it was dusk and overcast. We couldn't see the volcano, we could only hear it rumbling in the background.
...this was because it hadn't erupted yet.

Realize you were in a different state of mind with a broken leg and all but you'll recall the lack of sand-like volcanic ash upon our arrival, not to mention the lack of sound. That was prolly just your stomach growling.

Folks, there is no one as even-tempered as whizzerwheel. However, there was a point in our first evening in Banos where I sensed he was beginning to get a little tense when the restaurant staff decided to go home before we ate. Can't say that I blame him. It wasn't like walking downtown was a good option. We did that the night before.
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Old 01-22-2014, 02:42 PM   #439
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Guess if I'm being forced out of hibernation (it's gonna be -9F tonight, they say) I'm going to go back to where we sort of left off.

After having lunch in the loudest restaurant in Ecuador we get back on the road. As David says, a bunch of the Pan-Am...



In reality it was the type of riding we needed today given the circumstances.

The skies are a little threatening off in the distance. As we roll past I wonder how this whole 'taking' went down here in Ecuador...



...and why they didn't just finish taking down the rest of the structure while they were there.

The thought is quickly replaced with "I can't believe that dog followed us all the way here!!!!!"



As I watch Dave try to outrun the truck in the roundabout, that thought is quickly replaced with, "Why isn't my motorcycle responding to the throttle input...?"

In reality it is responding. It just isn't going any faster. Just noise.

I pull over and discover why...



"Pretty sure it wasn't like that when I got on it this morning..."

As mentioned many moons ago, it was quickly diagnosed and put back together.

Pre-trip. Cotter pins. Not bad concepts.
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Old 01-22-2014, 02:46 PM   #440
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilClown View Post
However, there was a point in our first evening in Banos where I sensed he was beginning to get a little tense when the restaurant staff decided to go home before we ate. Can't say that I blame him. It wasn't like walking downtown was a good option. We did that the night before.
It's true...I was pissed. I just don't like being told one thing by someone, and then they go and do something entirely different. I didn't have a whole bunch of reserve in my emotional tank at that point. The story is, we arrived and were told the kitchen stays open till...say nine. So we takes our sweet time farting around the room, then EC decides to go down to the restaurant to get a couple of beers around....say 7. The kitchen is closed....it wasn't like we were even close to closing time, and they were all gone.
Normally I'd just go with the flow, but that night I didn't want to, and I was not gonna try, or even able to walk downtown as EC said.

They came back, we ate a great meal, thanked them profusely, and gave them a really good tip. It all worked out in the end and we didn't even notice the big hawk-a-lewey in our soup, although, it was a bit on the salty side...
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Costa Rica, Two Up: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=532923
A Weekend Bagel Tour: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=568464
WR's in NH and Maine: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=733821
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Old 01-22-2014, 03:09 PM   #441
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As whizzer says, we push onto Banos. In reality that isn't what we set out to do. Not sure we set out to do anything other than head towards the Amazon. As a matter of fact, the way we were feeling we make a coupla stops inquiring about rooms...



Checked this out before moving on. The room is a bit more than we are willing to throw.

The next one has some weird policy about charging 'X' if checking in before 4 or 6 PM - as if you rented it for 2 nights. These aren't KLRs we we're riding but they might as well be.

We continue...

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Old 01-22-2014, 03:55 PM   #442
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We finally reach an area well marked with the dust cloud hovering over it...



High up on the earthen walls are crews...



...drilling into the walls with jack hammers (rotary drills for you rivet counters). The more careful ones are using staging as a precautionary measure...



Presumably it's a stabilization technique as they have already shot sections with Gunnite...



Guessing these densely populated areas aren't too keen on the land slides we've seen along the way.

In addition to the process, I find the layers of earth interesting...



My eyes wander in complete comfort knowing we are safely protected from oncoming traffic by a series of smashed cones...



...



Along the way I do get a glimpse at the map and discover it really isn't that much farther to Banos - at least in our normal travel terms.



We stop and do a check. Dave seems up to it. I've got my second wind. We decide to give it a go...



...



...then it starts raining...



...and we get stuck in a parade...



...we muddle through...



...and finally see the sign on the hillside...



The back side of the sign...



For those of you not from New England, this is a shitload of wood...



That's a unit of measure around these parts.

Not sure how we even came upon our hotel but we did. Another lesson: regardless of what stickers are on the door implying they take a credit card, they don't. Cash only.

No problemo. They had everything we needed...and then some. Figger if we're going to hole up here for a bit we want to be comfortable.

We check out the water slide on the way to the room.



This is gonna be fun!
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Old 01-22-2014, 08:04 PM   #443
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Settled in, Dave ices his leg, I catch up with some email and shag a beer or two and watch part of a game down in the lobby.

Eventually, after Dave straightens them out, we go to dinner.



The beers are almost as cold as it is here now.





Tell me again why we don't have a proper ride planned this winter.
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Old 01-23-2014, 09:25 AM   #444
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Mmmmm trucha...

So, sorry to focus on the frigged up leg theme, but that's the reality of what was happening in my world right then. We had decided that If I took a day off and simply tended to icing and staying off the leg, maybe things would improve and we could continue on to the Amazon as originally planned.

Here's my view for the next day:



It was a pretty nice place that we were in so chilling out for a while wasn't bad.

Not to get too sappy here but I have to tell you that Mike is a perfect traveling companion. Lets face it, because of my carelessness, his trip has been seriously compromised. He didn't indicate one speck of annoyance and was entirely supportive of whatever I needed to do to come to terms with my situation...even when I was whining and sniveling...
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WR's in NH and Maine: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=733821
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Old 01-23-2014, 02:02 PM   #445
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Waterslides and beer... These seem to turn up in all of your ride reports

Let's keep the momentum going

All the Best,
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Old 01-23-2014, 02:08 PM   #446
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Waterslides and beer... These seem to turn up in all of your ride reports

...
Stay tuned.

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Old 01-24-2014, 01:12 AM   #447
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At some point in time we finally decide we'll stay another day here in Banos. We're in the perfect spot for this as everything we need is right here within limping distance.

Take a day, ice the leg some more, rub the rabbit's foot, click our heels together and by the next day we'll be good as new - ready for some jungle exploration. Someone may be in denial here.

I'm no doctor and we have yet to stay in a Holiday Inn on this trip but I'm pretty sure this injury oughta be checked out. Regardless of what it is, I've never seen an ankle that big get back to normal quickly. Foot/leg injuries linger.

It's a process coming to terms. Let's face it - no one wants to be 'that guy'. Especially not David.

Reality is, though, it can happen. It's part of what you sign up for when you plan a ride like this. Any ride, really. Shit happens along the way, you deal with it.

In my mind there's no shame in calling it and getting back home to take care of things. Possibly making a temporary condition worse and permanent for a few additional days of completely uncomfortable riding doesn't seem like a fair gamble. Not for a vacation.

This is all part of the journey and we've had some great experiences we could only have under these conditions. Plus, at least we can get home without cashing in the trip insurance chip we've been lugging around Latin America the last 3 years. It could be much worse.

Besides, we've had a pretty good run. At any point we could have looped back to Quito, got on a plane home and we would have said to ourselves, "Dang. That was an awesome ride!"


It was a push getting here through some heavy traffic at times and the decision process weighed heavy.

The day taking it's toll on us, after dinner we turn in relatively early.
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Old 01-24-2014, 10:05 AM   #448
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See what I mean....
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Costa Rica, Two Up: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=532923
A Weekend Bagel Tour: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=568464
WR's in NH and Maine: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=733821
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Old 01-24-2014, 01:51 PM   #449
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Ok. You can stop now.

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Old 01-24-2014, 01:52 PM   #450
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We wake up throughout the night to what we (I) believe is thunder.

Lying there in the darkness, after each loud boom there's a rumble that lingers on for a while. Think to myself, "...must be some kind of tropical thunderstorm..." before drifting back to sleep to be awoken again by the same pattern of sounds.

BOOM!

We both wake up.

That's not thunder.

David gets up, turns on the light and quickly surmises, "It's not raining. It's that friggin' volcano!"

With this new knowledge, after each explosion we wait for the rocks and lava to begin their return to earth and turn Banos into Pompeii.

Somehow drifting back to sleep, I eventually wake up and check outside the door. It's now light out. It has also cleared up. The view right outside the door is spectacular!



"Hey, Dave! Check this out!"

Pretty. Freakin'. Cool.
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