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Old 06-19-2013, 10:13 AM   #16
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Ride well. My brother and I probably will spend a few days on motos when we head to Ecuador in August to see family.
i
mopulga,

Ecuador is a beautiful country to explore by moto, enjoy!
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Old 06-19-2013, 10:14 AM   #17
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[QUOTE=whizzerwheel;21675985]I hope you wash your hands...QUOTE]

Toxic Britney???
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Old 06-19-2013, 10:16 AM   #18
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Geography



The whole Fly-N-Ride concept works well for us... Pick an interesting spot on the globe, fly in and rent appropriate bikes for the terrain, enjoy an adrenaline filled ride through unfamiliar landscapes, and experience the culture and climate of a unique region.

So where in the world are we riding? For the geographically challenged, Ecuador is here:



Our plan was to rent bikes in Quito and make a counter-clockwise loop traversing the Andes Mountains, Mindo Cloud Forest, Lowland Jungle, Pacific Coast, Quilotoa Volcano Loop, and back up to Quito in roughly the center of the country:


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Old 06-19-2013, 02:45 PM   #19
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Arriving in Quito

We booked an evening flight from DC to Quito via Panama on Copa Airlines using AmEx points.

CulintT enjoyed one last Five Guys burger before departing the USA:


I opted for the Copa Airlines shredded chili beef. I was surprised to be given a real steel-bladed serrated knife on an airplane:


We landed in Ecuador at midnight, collected our gear, cleared Immigration and Customs, caught a cab, and arrived at our hotel in downtown Quito at 1:30 AM. Our room at the Hotel Reina Isabel was comparable to a nice NYC hotel, but the night club directly outside the window was jamming loud tunes until 4:00 AM.



More to follow...
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Old 06-19-2013, 03:00 PM   #20
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Old 06-19-2013, 04:03 PM   #21
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Old 06-20-2013, 09:20 AM   #22
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Thanks for joining in! Hopefully this will get more interesting once the riding begins...
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Old 06-20-2013, 09:23 AM   #23
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Ecuador Freedom

A few interesting facts about Quito, Ecuador:


1. Even though Quito lies virtually on the Equator, temperatures are cool due to the elevation of 9,350 ft. (2,800 m) above sea level. It is in fact the highest capital city in the world housing administrative, legislative and judicial functions.


2. Being on the Equator, the sun rises and sets at approximately 6:15 AM and 6:20 PM respectively, year round. So much for long summer days.


3. Rather than summer and winter, Ecuador has a dry season and a rainy season (green season for eco-tourists). We arrived in June, the official start of the dry season.


4. Quito is the only capital city in the world to be directly menaced by an active volcano.


5. Quito is home to a population of 2.24 million people, and the entire population appears to be either driving, repairing their vehicles in the road, crossing the road, selling stolen goods in the road, herding livestock across the road, soliciting customers in the road, or performing road construction!


Because dry season had officially commenced, we awoke to blue skies:


We gathered our gear and walked around the corner to Ecuador Freedom Bike Rental:


For those interested in motorcycle rental in Quito, Court Rand and Sylvain run a quality motorcycle rental and tour operation and they are highly recommended by many on AdvRider:

http://www.freedombikerental.com/

Sylvain dials in waypoints on the GPS:


The guard dog across the street wants to make friends:


The Ecuador Freedom dog:


Impressive electrical infrastructure in Quito:


KLR650s are loaded and ready to go:


We are ready to ride in Ecuador!


More to follow...
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Old 06-20-2013, 12:27 PM   #24
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"Quito is home to a population of 2.24 million people, and the entire population appears to be either driving, repairing their vehicles in the road, crossing the road, selling stolen goods in the road, herding livestock across the road, soliciting customers in the road, or performing road construction!"


Sounds just like Los Angeles, California.

Looking forward to hearing more...
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Old 06-20-2013, 04:29 PM   #25
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Let's get crackin'!


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Old 06-21-2013, 08:24 AM   #26
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Sounds just like Los Angeles, California.

Looking forward to hearing more...
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Old 06-21-2013, 08:29 AM   #27
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Let's get crackin'
Really? You've been at this since 04/23 and I've already caught up with you in Mindo

Actually, you have a knack for finding all the good spots and I hoped you would finish your ride report before I got to Ecuador
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Old 06-21-2013, 08:33 AM   #28
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Quito to Pululahua to Mindo Cloud Forest

Leaving Quito was chaotic to say the least. We had agreed to avoid lane splitting at first, but that plan was dismissed immediately as we entered a four-lane roundabout with six lanes of traffic squeezing through.



There are only two options in this type of traffic; aggressively navigate through the mayhem or get crushed.


Riding safely can get you killed here!



We somehow managed to escape to twisty, two lane highway and began climbing through the hills. A driver patiently waited for CulinT to set up his GoPro:


Spectacular scenery:






We found our way to Palulahua, a long-dormant volcanic crater which has filled with rich sediment and now provides ideal farming conditions:






We explored some ruins (of questionable authenticity) nearby:


Leaving Palulahua, we navigated our way down into the cloud forest region on smooth, twisty tarmac. The KLRs were running great at altitude, and the brand new Conti Escape tires that were just mounted gripped well even in the rainy sections:






We stopped for a bio break and enjoyed the cloud forest views:




We encountered a few landslides, but overall the road was well maintained:




We soon picked up the "Eco Routa" to Mindo, a gorgeous, single lane dirt road that climbs through the cloud forest:
















Lots of cool waterfalls along the Eco Routa:










We entered the town of Mindo at sunset and went in search of the Hotel Caskafessu. The hostel had secure parking for the bikes, so we found our rooms (for some reason they gave us two rooms... each with three beds):


We tried to buy a couple of beers, but the owner said it is forbidden to sell alcohol on Sundays! Instead, we walked around the town and enjoyed the Festival of the Holy Spirit complete with church service, a marching band, and fireworks:


I reorganized my gear on one of my spare beds, marveling at the vast array of navigational technology I had brought along:




More to follow...
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Old 06-22-2013, 04:51 AM   #29
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Our route from the day

This is our route for the day according to SPOT:
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Old 06-22-2013, 06:45 AM   #30
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Really? You've been at this since 04/23 and I've already caught up with you in Mindo

Actually, you have a knack for finding all the good spots and I hoped you would finish your ride report before I got to Ecuador


That's why I threw that in there. I've been slacking riding.


You can't spend ~10 days doing a trip of a lifetime and expect me to come back and rush telling the tale.

Great pics!


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