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Old 11-30-2013, 07:28 PM   #391
DRRambler OP
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Originally Posted by acejones View Post
This is one of the best RR's I have ever read !
Thank you sir....your check is on it's way

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morleydon View Post
You're going to love the statues at San Augustin.


Nice hostel in Cuenca, Ecuador is the Hostal Macondo. A wonderful spot with a place to put a moto. It is well worth a trip up through El Cajas National park when you're there, but then again, you are going to see plenty of mountains on this trip! :)

Saw the statues yesterday but haven't posted about it yet. They are indeed really cool, and so is San Augustin.
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Old 12-01-2013, 04:14 AM   #392
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If i do follow your lead with my friend in Asuncion, San Augustin will definitely be on the itinerary. Went there almost 40 years ago, 1974, and to get out to the statues we rented horses and a 8 year old guide! A day to remember, for sure. Saw your Ecuador map. I'd recommend staying in Otavalo, Quito, Baños, Cuenca, and Vilcabamba, south of Loja.

How about a route through Peru? My recommendation would be be to stay high in the Andes and avoid the coast. It' sine long and incredibly dry desert from the Peruvian/Ecuadorian border deep into Chile.

Best!!
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Old 12-01-2013, 07:04 AM   #393
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Your route through Ecuador is OK - a little boring. I would change out the Amazonian leg in favor of riding the "Quilotoa Loop" to the Quilotoa Crater Lake, then take the road through the Chimborazo National Wildlife Refuge which goes to close to 15,000 feet at the base of the Chimborazo volcano. There, you'll see wild vicunia - one of the few places on Earth to see them -and then continue down the Panamerican highway towards Cuenca. This si the best stretch of the PanAm highway and its good not to miss it.

An alternate route worth considering is to ride from Vilcabamba to Zaruma - one the wealthiest town in the Spanish Empire - the architecture is beautiful and then you could see the Puyango Petrified Forest near the border with Peru. I think its better to go into Peru on the coast - the area near where you are planning can be VERY muddy and difficult to ride - and the northern beaches in Peru are some of the best - you can cut back into the Cordillera later.

If you stop in our office I can give you a good map and route. Hope to see you there...
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Old 12-01-2013, 04:22 PM   #394
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Originally Posted by Dalmatino View Post
A fantastic adv-ride and trip report Dave.

I'm starting to plan the same trip for next fall, Saskatchewan to Argentina.

Have you any regrets on the choice of your bike. Thinking more in terms of size, 650cc single versus 1000cc + Adv bike? How much and if ever do/did you wish for a bigger bike during your trip.

Comfort of the big bike is pulling one way but the common sense of a smaller, simpler, easier to fix bike is tugging the other way.

I'm debating between the DR650 and the new 2014Vstrom 1k.
Being in a middle of the relatively same trip on a Dr, I'd love to hear your opinion.

Thanks and Safe riding
V
Well V, where to start...
First of all let me say that in my opinion a DR, KLR or the like are the best choices.
Just yesterday I was helmet talking to myself saying how much I had grown accustomed to this bike and I'm so glad I have it. This was not the case during my first week while still in North America where travel days were up to 500km long. My butt was really sore back then. But now the days are no longer than 300km, most are 250 and some less than that. The sore bumb is not an issue anymore.

I happen to own a 2005 VStrom 650 but bought the DR specifically for this trip. The 100 pound difference was important to me. I can pick this bike up when I drop it ( have twice) fully loaded.

I have talked to VStrom riders on this trip and they are not regretting the choice but they are reporting that many speed bumps hit their bash plates. The extra clearance on the DR makes the bumpy stuff a breeze.

I have ridden some knarly shite on my VStrom and it is a very capable bike. In the right hands any bike can do this trip. I met a Harley rider from Czech Republic down here and he's riding two up.

Repairs and maintenance are another thing. No computers, no water pump or rad, steel frame, easy valve adjusting, make the DR a good choice. The stock carb will easily take you from sea level to 15,000 feet without a re-jet (i have jets with me just in case). The DR is way easier on tires too, at least for me anyway.

Bottom line it's user preference but I'm absolutely loving the DR650.
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Old 12-01-2013, 04:26 PM   #395
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morleydon View Post
You're going to love the statues at San Augustin.

Nice hostel in Cuenca, Ecuador is the Hostal Macondo. A wonderful spot with a place to put a moto. It is well worth a trip up through El Cajas National park when you're there, but then again, you are going to see plenty of mountains on this trip! :)

Thanks for that hostel tip. I'll be looking for it.
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Old 12-01-2013, 04:49 PM   #396
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DRRambler View Post
Well V, where to start...
First of all let me say that in my opinion a DR, KLR or the like are the best choices.
Just yesterday I was helmet talking to myself saying how much I had grown accustomed to this bike and I'm so glad I have it. This was not the case during my first week while still in North America where travel days were up to 500km long. My butt was really sore back then. But now the days are no longer than 300km, most are 250 and some less than that. The sore bumb is not an issue anymore.

I happen to own a 2005 VStrom 650 but bought the DR specifically for this trip. The 100 pound difference was important to me. I can pick this bike up when I drop it ( have twice) fully loaded.

I have talked to VStrom riders on this trip and they are not regretting the choice but they are reporting that many speed bumps hit their bash plates. The extra clearance on the DR makes the bumpy stuff a breeze.

I have ridden some knarly shite on my VStrom and it is a very capable bike. In the right hands any bike can do this trip. I met a Harley rider from Czech Republic down here and he's riding two up.

Repairs and maintenance are another thing. No computers, no water pump or rad, steel frame, easy valve adjusting, make the DR a good choice. The stock carb will easily take you from sea level to 15,000 feet without a re-jet (i have jets with me just in case). The DR is way easier on tires too, at least for me anyway.

Bottom line it's user preference but I'm absolutely loving the DR650.


Thanks a lot for taking the time to answer my questions Dave.
It all makes sense and most likely will be the bike I take too.

I will be following your report closely and may ask for more advice/info at some point prior to my departure next fall. In the mean time have a safe and adventurous trip.

V
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Old 12-01-2013, 05:37 PM   #397
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Park of the Stone Gods

Day 98 November 29 San Augustin Statue Park

Today we visited the archeological site near San Augustin that has these really cool rock carvings. Very little is known about the people that made these.















Cool VW Bus



We spent about three hours there and then went back to the hostel for a Siesta.

Eran's room up top, I had the basement suite



View from the Posada



Neat little game

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Old 12-01-2013, 06:17 PM   #398
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Originally Posted by CourtRand View Post
Your route through Ecuador is OK - a little boring. I would change out the Amazonian leg in favor of riding the "Quilotoa Loop" to the Quilotoa Crater Lake, then take the road through the Chimborazo National Wildlife Refuge which goes to close to 15,000 feet at the base of the Chimborazo volcano. There, you'll see wild vicunia - one of the few places on Earth to see them -and then continue down the Panamerican highway towards Cuenca. This si the best stretch of the PanAm highway and its good not to miss it.

An alternate route worth considering is to ride from Vilcabamba to Zaruma - one the wealthiest town in the Spanish Empire - the architecture is beautiful and then you could see the Puyango Petrified Forest near the border with Peru. I think its better to go into Peru on the coast - the area near where you are planning can be VERY muddy and difficult to ride - and the northern beaches in Peru are some of the best - you can cut back into the Cordillera later.

If you stop in our office I can give you a good map and route. Hope to see you there...
Great stuff!
That's the kind of route advice I need.
I'll be popping in to see you
Thanks
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Old 12-02-2013, 01:22 AM   #399
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Thumb Late to the party.

Haven't been on ADV in ages and what do I see but my fellow Albertan doing the ride I'd like to be doing...

I was in Ecuador in July and personally I like the route south from Loja to San Ignacio. But if it rains, you'll have fun. But such a trip should be fun .

If you do end up going through Loja, I have friends there who I'm sure would love to put you up for a night (with secure bike storage) and give you the skinny on the region. Vilcabamba is nice, but too touristy for me. Let me know if you want some contacts.
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Old 12-02-2013, 11:49 AM   #400
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I agree with the above comments on your Ecuador route. That part of the rain forest has been open for 40-50 years, far from virgin forest. Again, the Quillota and Chimborazo ideas are excellent ones.

When you are in Ecuador, be certain to sample the ceviche de camarón. In Peru, ceviche is uncooked fish, also excellent, but in Ecuador, ceviche de camarón is a marvelous little shrimp dish that is cooked very quickly. It's fabulous! My mouth is watering. You are going to love the soups!

North of Quito, there is a very interesting route around the mountain Imbabura, just outside of Otavalo. It would give give you a good insight into the indigenous group, the Otavaleños. Also in that area, on the western side of the valley, is the Laguna Cuicocha, well worth a jaunt up there.

Outside of Quito, ride up to the volcano Pichincha. I think you ride right up to the crater, no?

East of Ambato, I would take a day trip to Baños. It's a fun town loaded with both foreign and Ecuadorian tourists, but for some reason it remains a delight. The murals depicting the miracles of Baños alone make it worthy of a journey. It is a very enjoyable and easy round trip down into the rain forest from Baños. On the way to Ambato, stop off in Salasaca, another very interesting and distinctive indigenous group. From Baños you can then return to the Sierra directly to Riobamba.

Inca Pirca, Incan ruins between Riobamba and Cuenca, are worth stopping at. Again, Cuenca is a favorite, and I love the Hostal Macondo. There are also several good language schools in Cuenca if you want to stop and take classes. I'd recommend CEDEI. A nice rest stop would be AM classes and PM moto rides. Lots of bars and clubs, also, if you're into that, as well as plenty of good restaurants.

South of Cuenca, and north of Loja, lies Saraguro, another quant town with a distinctive and fascinating indigenous group. South of Loja, Vilcabamba is supposedly worthy off a stop, although I haven't been there for many, many years.

Enjoy Ecuador. It is delightful. For the most part Ecuadorians are very friendly and helpful, the cadence of Spanish in the Sierra is slow - watch out for the speed of Spanish along the coast! - and it is one of the least expensive countries that I think you will find.

Again, thanks for this wonderful report, and answering questions about your bike choice.
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Old 12-04-2013, 06:53 AM   #401
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We have been having some wonderful riding days this last week. I can't wait to post up some photos. We always seem to pick hostels with lousy internet.

We're in Quito today and will ride to the Volcano this morning. Thanks to the guys at Freedom Bike Rentals for the great route advice!
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Old 12-04-2013, 07:15 AM   #402
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I thought you might like a little taste of home, seeing as you're having to put up with all that tropical stuff. Today in Red Deer, Alberta, we are snowed in. Yesterday my wife got her 4wd suv stuck twice on our street.
Thanks for the great report. I'm following along all the way. And most envious.
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Old 12-04-2013, 02:53 PM   #403
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I thought you might like a little taste of home, seeing as you're having to put up with all that tropical stuff. Today in Red Deer, Alberta, we are snowed in. Yesterday my wife got her 4wd suv stuck twice on our street.
Thanks for the great report. I'm following along all the way. And most envious.
Alberta sounds like no fun at all this week.
Thanks for following along!
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Old 12-04-2013, 02:55 PM   #404
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What a ride....what a ride!

Day 99 November 30 San Augustin to El Bordo


View Larger Map

After consulting maps, the Canadian embassy travel advisories, and some advice from locals we decided on a route. Apparently the area south of San Augustin is considered dangerous at times and travel there is not advised. There are possibly FARC groups there that could cause some trouble so we avoided it. Instead we went north west to Popayan on a road that was a mix of gravel and pavement.



The 2013 KLR is getting broken in nicely.





Rode at 10,000 feet much of the day



Small landslide created a short wait



Took a break to consult the map



Again Colombia roads didn’t disappoint. We were smiling the whole way today. We rode 210km in total this day until we arrived at El Bordo at about 3:30. Tonight we are staying at the Hotel Copacabana.

>
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Old 12-04-2013, 05:11 PM   #405
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Day 99 November 30 San Augustin to El Bordo

Tonight we are staying at the Hotel Copacabana.

>
Was her name Lola??

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