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Old 05-17-2013, 02:29 PM   #46
Hektoglider OP
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A lazy morning, as Rosie feels ill so we aren't going too far. Time to get some chores done, like getting the Ecuador patch sewn onto my riding jacket & also give the campstove a good service.

Mr T and the M&A Show are all heading out for a ride and it would have been nice to join along but we decide to stay

We say goodbye and we will meet again

After lunch and some medecine, we decide to go for the short ride to the big waterfall we missed the day before.

We take the same road again, and enjoy it one more time

Ecuador is pretty amazing

There's a parking spot and the rest of the way is 1.5km hike to see the falls

Worth the hike

The falls are hard to photograph from the closer viewpoints

Having a Pony break

An easy day trip

Cool looking rock formations near the falls. The walk back up hill was good exercise. Rained all the way back to the bikes and into town.
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Hektoglider screwed with this post 05-17-2013 at 02:41 PM
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Old 05-17-2013, 03:16 PM   #47
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Good Job. I'm really enjoying this.
Yea, thanks. I'm kinda enjoying it also. The next update will be ok I think....

Preview photo
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Old 05-17-2013, 03:49 PM   #48
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Looks like you have found a lot of the cool stuff here. hope the weather improves soon. this should be the start of the dry season about now...
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Old 05-17-2013, 06:15 PM   #49
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Rosie was feeling ill again today so we decided to keep the room for 1 more night ,This way she can rest up and I can go do some extreme backcountry exploring alone. Here's the plan: ride to Patate through the backway & discover a different way back.


Off to a good start, nice twisting pavement along a big cliff

This first section is fun riding....

From here the pavement ends and the dirt road climbs up out of the valley


LLamas along the road which becomes cobble for many kilometers


The road stayed at altitude along the hillside, then dropped down into a valley very near Papate.


















At this point I could have taken the high road to the com towers we were at the other day, but instead saw this sign. I thought it had a picture of a stick man holding a fishing rod. I went in the road hoping to find the trout stream, but instead found super greasy roads with many "Y" 's and was not sure which forks to take.





Amazing cobble backcountry

This is the sign where I went exploring off-track but had to come back out.

Dirt switchbacks dropping into the valley near Papate

Rather than take the main road in to Papate , I saw a much more wiggly looking road on the GPS so I climbed up the other side of the valley, and this road would drop me into town from the east side.
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Old 05-17-2013, 06:35 PM   #50
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Climbing up the other side of the valley the country opens up to more farms


I rode along top for a bit then did the amazing descent into town



Entering town from the east



Looking almost straight down at the great paved road.... Wow eh

Entering the nice town

I take a short break amazed at the back country riding so close to Banos

During my short rest I had a Pony Malta, and a snack. I could take the easy highway back and that's what I started to do.



I saw a dirt road heading up top, so rather than follow the paved road along the river, I went for it. Looking back into the valley I climbed out of...

This is where things got tricky. These roads don't show on the GPS and there's lots of forks and intersections






I kind of guessed on some of the turns & got onto a steep two-track road that I was sure would dead end at a farm, but it reconnected to the main road I came in on earlier. I could easily see on the GPS that I can take the back way to the com tower now.


I saw another road, and rather than ride a section twice, I thought this road may take me back to Banos, so I went in..

I went in 6km on the GPS maybe, and it looked promising but soon became very rutted, came to a gate and was down to just hoofed animal tracks. I backtracked out to the com tower road, which was a greasy mess.


At one point 4 vicious dogs came after me and with the muddy rutted road it was hard to out run them. Soon I was back at the com tower looking down on Banos.


The backroad tour was a success ! Now if the clouds would part so the volcano can be seen. Last time going down the com tower road I saw a turnoff that needs to be explored

It was steep climbing in 1st gear. I got way up high on the opposite peak from the com tower.....





The volcano was briefly out of the clouds to finish off the day of great dual sport riding in Ecuador !!


Dropping back down into town.....
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Old 05-17-2013, 07:16 PM   #51
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Nice report Hektoglider....we just missed you by a few days in Banos.
Yea we just missed you guys at the Equators too I bet. I didn't realize there's more than one.
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Old 05-17-2013, 07:20 PM   #52
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Looks like you have found a lot of the cool stuff here. hope the weather improves soon. this should be the start of the dry season about now...
I bet you know a few good roads! Having lots of fun discovering stuff here.
Dry season eh? Ok I'll take my rain jacket off, but keep it handy......
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Old 05-17-2013, 07:43 PM   #53
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Gord showed me your DVD from back in the day, when i was in Wawa last summer. I keep waiting to hear reports from various ditch sleeps
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Old 05-18-2013, 07:18 PM   #54
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We finally left Banos. It was good to hang around a few extra days & let a few days fly off the calendar.




We got to the junction. The loose plan was to ride a very short ways, to keep the rest and relaxation going. We had said we would go south to Riobamba but the dark grey skies to the south, and blue skies towards Ambato made the choice for us.



First day of the dry season. First day of taking off in the morning with no rain suit . We get to Ambato and find our way through town, looking for the 18 Bridges Rio Ambato Slot Canyon Road. The sign won't say that but the brain will. The city was busy. We made it through.







The road was pretty cool to begin with, but then the canyon walls tightened in, & the road criss-crossed over the river in single lane narrow bridges. A very cool route......






Soon we climbed up to the open plains and gained altitude. Getting our first glimpse of the big white cone. Chimborazo !




We stop at the main highway after the amazing slot canyon road. I wonder what the main highway woulda been like?

We climb up higher, passing vicuña as we make the turnoff for Riobamba. Soon we are over 14000 feet. I am so glad the sky is clear for this run...


We pass the turnoff for the climbers refuge. There's a road that goes up towards the base. We didn't have water or food enough to go spend the night up there. Plus, we were supposed to be taking it easy today.

We head down towards Riobamba. This has been pretty fantastic riding.....





Sent from my iPod
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Old 05-18-2013, 07:21 PM   #55
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Gord showed me your DVD from back in the day, when i was in Wawa last summer. I keep waiting to hear reports from various ditch sleeps
Those were the days.

You can't always get what you want, but if you try, you might find, you get watcha need ! Hektogliders 2002


We are sleeping well above the ditchline
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Old 05-19-2013, 05:43 PM   #56
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Those dishes look tasty! Thanks for sharing.
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Old 05-19-2013, 05:50 PM   #57
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Back when we were in Banos, we saw the cuy. They were selling it pretty steady to the backpacker tourists. I wanted to try it, but it was $20 for one full portion ( head to tail )
We will wait til there is some at a less touristy place for cheaper.
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Old 05-19-2013, 05:51 PM   #58
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Wicked

I hate you...
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Old 05-19-2013, 06:44 PM   #59
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We got into Riobamba & it was windy. The wind was blowing the dust up & some other debri. It gave the place a grubby first impression which is probably unfair. We also had some real aggressive drivers trying to cut in front of the bikes . We decided to have something to eat and then ride an hour north to Ambato.

Getting ready to head out

Nice rural roads we took to connect to the main highway.

Weather is with us today....

Arriving into Ambato we try 7 hotels before getting one that has reliable parking for the bikes & not too $$$$

We go for a walk to get some food etc

A fairly modern city

I had no idea what to expect from Ecuador, but as the country unfolds before us on our ride, it continues to surprise & amaze us.
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Old 05-19-2013, 06:54 PM   #60
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I hate you...
Yes but you love winter.
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