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Old 05-08-2013, 06:43 PM   #76
EvilClown OP
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***WARNING***

***POSSIBLE USEFUL INFORMATION TO FOLLOW***


First night into Quito we stayed at the Casa Helbling...



...double room, private bath...



...I won the bottom bunk in a coin toss...



They have real hot water agua caliente. Not the electric shower head often found in these parts. Something to keep in mind for your return trip.

When asked, Court at Freedom told us of two places to stay in Quito. We picked this one because it met all of our minimal requirements but mainly due to its proximity to Freedom Bike Rental.

If you need the name of the other one ask Court.

As soon as we walked in the door Roodney hooked us up with a couple of beers. ($1.25 for a pounder.) We were ready. As mentioned earlier, the cab driver - even though he was hired through Casa Helbling - had no idea where he was going at first. We managed to finally get it sorted and us to the right hotel but there were a few tense moments. Self inflicted n00b move on my part. Print out all yer info and have it handy, is all I can suggest.

All in all it was a nice clean way to get from airport to hotel without any hassle (if I had simply printed out the info ahead of time) as it was late and a long travel day. YMMV.

There are restaurants and shops within walking distance if you have time to venture out.



They also have WiFi.

Lots of people from all over the world go through there so there's always an opportunity for good conversation in the common area.

Would we go back? Yes. Without giving the entire story away we in fact did for our return trip.

Maybe Dave has some more insite to add.
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Old 05-08-2013, 10:28 PM   #77
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ok here we go. the show is starting.

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Old 05-09-2013, 09:41 AM   #78
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Back up a little

That EvilClown is such a cut-up...even had the terminal gals in stitches....




You didn't show her your joy buzzer did you?


Quito is a massive city by my country bumpkin standards...we needed to take a picture of the place in case we got lost wandering around.




After we arrive in Quito, have the customary crazy cab ride into town, and check in... We read the literature that comes with the room....don't leave your valuables in the room....don't take your valuables with you....if you get sprayed with feces, ketchup or mustard its probably just somebody trying to pickpocket you...don't agree to let them help clean you up because they'll rifle thru your pockets while you're distracted. Ok, I think I can recognize that scenario when it happens...it's time to start looking for a place to strap on the feed bag.
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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

whizzerwheel screwed with this post 05-09-2013 at 09:54 AM
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Old 05-09-2013, 10:11 AM   #79
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Looking for

Food and beer....this seems like a possibility...



Wonder what their specialty is....

Guess they heard we were coming....



The getaway car:



Settled on this place to eat....a few words from the traveling food critic:




And then a few more....



You gotta ease into it...
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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

whizzerwheel screwed with this post 05-09-2013 at 10:36 AM Reason: update
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Old 05-09-2013, 03:14 PM   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whizzerwheel View Post
...Quito is a massive city by my country bumpkin standards...
For a country bumpkin you sure do know all the tricks for skirting around the city traffic!

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Old 05-09-2013, 03:35 PM   #81
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Details....details

Signs are merely guides.....not requirements....
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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 05-10-2013, 03:23 PM   #82
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We had to do the Quito thing for awile while we were waiting for Freedom to open up.


Dont even think about climbing over this wall....recycling glass at its best....




Glad I'm not a lineman for the county in Quito





.....



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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 05-11-2013, 02:54 AM   #83
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As Dave sez, we had some time to kill Saturday morning. Freedom doesn't open until 10 am so after cafe...



...and desayuno we took a brief tour of the area around Casa Helbling...



...



Not sure but these uniforms may be a lesson in "be careful what you ask for"...



Regardless, the were more than happy to pose for the touristas.

With the loose plan of scouting out Freedom's location empty handed prior to lugging our shite for the three blocks away we thought it was...



...we found it!

"Yep. They're closed."

Time to make our way back and collect our sh-stuff.

"Nevermind the lineman for the county. How are we going to support this pole while we dig by it?"



"These two wooden poles oughta do it. What could go wrong? We'll keep our hardhats on just in case..."

The two barking dogs on the roof below the Bravia sign are a nice touch.



...



And just so we can try and keep the charactors of this un-ride report straight...



Saw a lot of this guy around town...



Trouble in paradise?



Back 'home' we collect our gear...

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Old 05-11-2013, 05:45 AM   #84
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Skipping ahead just a wee bit to throw some actual riding in here...

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Old 05-11-2013, 11:41 AM   #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whizzerwheel View Post
...After we arrive in Quito...We read the literature that comes with the room....don't leave your valuables in the room....don't take your valuables with you....if you get sprayed with feces, ketchup or mustard its probably just somebody trying to pickpocket you...don't agree to let them help clean you up because they'll rifle thru your pockets while you're distracted. Ok, I think I can recognize that scenario when it happens...
The State Department is considering utilizing whizzerwheel to produce and star in a series of training videos to get this important safety message across...

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Old 05-11-2013, 01:29 PM   #86
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Useful skills

In case any of you had forgotten how to do this...





Don't skip any steps....
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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 05-11-2013, 01:34 PM   #87
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Its a dogs life....



We had a balcony view...




We did manage to make our way to the equator monument (s)....




With a little help...




With the picture taking part anyways....
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Citizens are asleep, and the media plays a bedtime story.
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

whizzerwheel screwed with this post 05-11-2013 at 02:01 PM
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Old 05-11-2013, 05:19 PM   #88
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Old 05-12-2013, 03:33 AM   #89
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Maybe before we move forward we should back up a little bit and talk about this 'security' the State Department has mentioned.

Before leaving I had a look at their site, read it and said, "Hmmmmmm...maybe we're going to have to take this a bit more seriously than we did in Costa Rica..."

Then I went to their page on Costa Rica and read similar warnings. (I don't recall looking at the site before going to CR. Maybe that was a good thing.) Still got the sense that Ecuador was at a higher level of 'be careful' but CR was not Disney World by any stretch.

As Dave mentioned, we checked into our room and the locals mention the possibilities of problems in their own little information booklet. It makes one sit up and take notice.

So after a l-o-n-g day of travel we wander out into the city to see what's around and maybe grab a bite to eat. I don't know how Dave felt about it but I was tired and in no mood to test to see if the State Department or the hotel staff was hyping things up a bit or not so when Dave asked how things were I replied, "I feel like I'm running 'tree to tree' out here." Little pockets of safety between the room and our destination - where ever that was. Obviously, we survived.

Looking back at the trip as a whole there really wasn't any time that the hairs on the back of my neck stood up to warn me that things were about to go sideways. Matter of fact, once out of the city the whole issue sort of fades away as you interact with the locals. As you may eventually read here we ran into an issue or two where the people were very helpful. We found everyone to be very friendly.

Point of this? Yeah. They do warn you. Yep. Be aware of it. But keep in mind people are generally good - the people of Ecuador are no different. Use your head like you should and more than likely you'll avoid any trouble. YMMV.

Now, let's grab our shite and head over and get the bikes...

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Old 05-12-2013, 04:11 AM   #90
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Sticking to an unwritten rule I have more shit than a Christmas goose packed for this trip.

My excuse: I don't have any idea what to expect for weather but I'm planning on being wet each and every day. This combined with elevation and I know it can get cold - even in South America.

None of this is really a problem for me except for the fact that this is a low-budget tour so a $2 arm length retaining cab ride is out of the question.

This apparently brings great joy to Dave as he literally laughs until tears come out of his eyes as I schlep all my gear over to Freedom Rentals. There were a few locals also finding some humor in it as well.

Nonetheless, we finally arrive...



...Sylvain has the bikes outside ready for us...



After the necessary paperwork and signing of our lives away we start the tedious process of piling/strapping our gear on the bikes for our journey.

Sylvain is a very patient man.

Motherly Advice: Apply sunscreen before starting this process. The wages of not following this advice can be high.

A wide brim hat isn't a bad thin to pack along either.

Here Dave demonstrates what not to do...



...white, untreated chicken skin neck pointed directly at the sun.

More on that later.

Notice the tank bag. We're both trying out a new piece of gear for this trip. That tank bag is it. Made by Enduristan. The Sandstrom 2 Sport is the version we have. Supposedly waterproof. Arrived just before our departure so this is it for testing. No. We're not sponsored so I'll tell you how I really feel about it.

Finally loaded...



...both bikes are also sporting Giant Loop Great Basin saddle bags. Freedom can provide these but we've brought our own - prepacked as much as possible to save some time at this stage.

We've both used them on other trips on our own bikes but this is the first time using them on rentals that we've never seen before. Whizzer tried this once before in CR but had issues mounting it on their bike so switched to a giant duffle. Here they mounted up just fine.

Last thing to do before we get this show on the road is have the GPS routes reviewed...



Let's get out of here!



2:10 is where you start to get the flavor of riding in Quito. San Jose, CR is all I have to compare it to. Very similar, just more of it. 2:40 is about where things start to go bad.
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