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Old 04-22-2014, 11:48 AM   #406
SeanPNW OP
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Originally Posted by Scott_PDX View Post
Lovin the updates Sean. Each one is like a gift! Keep on keeping on.
Hey Scott_PDX, thanks for coming along! Hopefully another update coming today.
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Old 04-22-2014, 03:13 PM   #407
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78. R&R In The Hills

As we rolled out of Tena I spotted a cop on a second gen KLR. Thinking they might have tubes we rolled back into town and asked around. The cop bikes run tubeless rims so no dice. My rear tube was currently not holding air and my spare was just as likely to be shit. There was a vulcanazidor a block away after asking the cops so I figured get’er fixed now, or hope that nothing goes wrong and have to deal with it in the road. Vulcanizadora it is.



Franky here laughed when he saw all my patches.



He did such good work on the first rip that I said fuck it, just fix every patched whole, I’ll go pull my tire and tube off and we can fix those ones too while we’re at it.



When he was done, this shit was like brand new.



I’m super impressed with what these guys can do. Maybe to everyone else this is normal, but I had no idea it was this easy for them to do. I had soooooo many holes of different kinds needing different types of fixing and he just breezed through it. Next time I need patching, I’m just bringing my tube to one of these, not even gonna bother with patches on my own. No less than 8 patches and rips, all fixed for $8. Thanks Franky.



We hit the road and pointed towards a place called Banos. Suppose to be cool and eco-y there. Didn’t take long for us to hit some stopped traffic in the road. We pulled up and parked the bikes. Turns out everyone was trying to block traffic so a sloth could get across. He was splayed out in the middle of the lane not making any progress. Well this shit is gonna take forever people, it’s a sloth, not exactly the cheetah of the animal kingdom. The thing doesn’t exactly have killer shark like reflexes either so I walked over to it and picked it up to walk it across the road and help it along it’s way. When I picked him up he gave out a delayed “elllggggghhhhhh…..” groan and slowly turned his head around to look at me and see what was going on. I probably looked real scary to him with all my motorcycle stuff on, but common man, it took you 3 seconds just to turn your head around, this shit will be over before you know it.



I set him down near a tree that leaned over towards the road and he worked his way onto it.





Once on the tree he slowly turned around and looked back at us. I like to think he was saying “Thaaaannkkks daaawwwwggg.” like ET. Shit they move slow.



We kept boogeyn’ with slight rain showers here and there throughout the morning.



After a couple of hours we found ourselves in Banos.



We found a quiet little restaurant off the main drag and sat down for some grub and a call to our couch surfer.



No luck on the surf host, but the seafood soup and beer was good.



We needed to kill some more time so we parked up next to another travellers bike and walked in to a restaurant.



Meet Ed, he’s a rad dude.



We had some more time to kill so we met up with Ed outside his hotel to shoot the shit some more. Outside we found some devil dogs. I last saw two of these in Baja in the middle of nowhere.



They are creepy looking with basically no hair and all black leathery skin. But oddly I kind of like them in their ugliness. Because they look creepy I don’t think they get pet very much. This one sure did like a good neck rub.



We grabbed some beers and hung out with Ed some more. He’s from the US but has been living in Argentina for the last 8 years or so with his wife Elise who’s from Spain. She’s a professor and he’s an anthropologist. They are both riding on their Honda NX400 Falcons up to Arizona where they have a ranch. We sat and talked for hours about all kinds of stuff, bikes, south america, life, how people end up where they do in life, decisions etc. Having lived so much, seen so much, and experienced so much, they were really interesting and funny folk to talk with.



We got a lot of great information and ideas from them about South America.



Our couch surf host, Enrique, was getting off work so we left to go meet up with him. He works for a travel agency and knows the ins and outs of Banos.



We stowed the bikes and met up with a few of Enriques friends for drinks. James and I had already had a few with Ed so we didn’t last very long and called it a night. The guys were pretty interested in hunting down some latin women for James and I, but we were both kind of unamused. Enrique is a younger guy and maybe I’m just getting older, but the idea of running around after random women at a touristy bar sounds unappealing to me. I guess I’m also just not interested in any woman that can be served up to you on a platter because you are a foreigner. The next morning we met up with Ed for breakfast again. He’s got a swiss friend that makes these ‘hobo stoves’ and Ed had a few models with him on the trip. Runs off of any organically combustible material.



I appreciate well built and refined products so I picked one up off of him to try out. I have 30+ year old swedish built Trangia stove. The Trangia was my pops when he was my age and is the best stove I’ve found in terms of overall package. I like the idea of an even more portable stove though with no need for alcohol. Ed and Elise have spent a fair amount of time riding around SA so we spent some time looking over maps and getting some recommendations from them. I’m excited about what they told us. Hoping to have more camping and rural areas ahead of us.



Best of luck you two, it was truly a pleasure getting to spend time with you both. Keep the rubber side down and good travels.



After talking with Ed so much about these cool rural places and roads we are hoping to find in Argentina, we thought, fuck that, let’s just go find some now?! We were going to stay for a couple days in Banos, but even with Enrique telling us everything that we should do, we just couldn’t think of anything here that we wanted to do more than be out in some rural town camping. So we pulled out a map, picked one of the smallest squiggly lines that headed south and packed up the bikes.



Thanks for the quick stay Enrique!



A bit down the road we turned off to find our dirt road to rural bliss was blocked by the ol’ fuzz. They told us that this here volcano was erupting and thus the road around it was not allowed. Damn.



Not to worry though, there are plenty of other tiny black squiggly lines on the map, which one we take really isn’t important. So we kept rolling down the highway towards the next one.





We took another one but were again halted as mother nature had decided to have a small spill that was still in the process of being cleaned up.



Again we kept rolling down the highway and then decided to take a random B road somewhere.



We came through a town and smelled some fresh bread right out of the oven so we stopped for some grub.



We took the bread next door and purchased some soup to crumple it up in.



Satiated, we left to continue our leisurely ride continuing further from the highway.



Perfect sunday-ride stuff. No stress. No ‘destination’ to get to. Just riding.









When we wanted to stop, we stopped, when we wanted to turn, we turned. Here we pulled off to soak in the nice view of the hills.



Well why just look at them when we could GO to them? We picked a road that headed that way and made whatever turn looked like would take us towards the top. When we arrived we found a nice little school and a court yard. There were 4 kids at the school and the teacher was out playing with them in the court. I thought it was a dad and his kids at first as they all seemed so comfortable and relaxed with eachother, but no, just a teacher in a small school having a recess break in between lessons.



We chatted for a sec with the teacher then decided we should just stay here for the rest of the day. Seems like a nice place, and we have absolutely nowhere to be. We grabbed some snacks to tide us over for the day.



We looked further up the hill and thought, “can we go up there?”. Sure why not.



Up we go.



James’ 1980 4 banger yamaha doesn’t have ton of clearance but he keeps trucking.



Up here everything just seems beautiful. We are at around 11,000 ft and the air tastes thin, the earthy smell of grass and tilled farm land blows up to us on wisps of crisp breezes..



An older lady comes by on a donkey and we chat for a bit. She’s so smiley and warm natured. Yet so calm and relaxed about these random bikers that are up riding around her and her neighbors farm lands. We ask if she thinks it’s fine for us to camp around here and she says “Oh yeeaahh, totally fine! Very chill up here.” We say by and she goes along her way on her donkey. This looks like a good place to camp.



Fuck yeah, this is exactly what we were wanting. No towns, no people trying to sell us stuff, or get us to stay in their hotel. Just some nice chill farmers and a good view.



We set up our shit and then got straight to doing nothing. James did some writing…



And I unloaded my bike to do some riding…



I always want to be “higher”, if I can see a higher point, I want to get to it. So I took whatever roads looked like they headed upwards.



The higher I got, the thinner the air, and the more the bike coughed and sputtered as it weezed for air.


At 13,480 ft I reached the highest I could go….



And the end of the road.



I soaked in the view for a bit, appreciating how beautiful this country is, and how lucky I am to be here in the very moment on this very spot. Pretty darn nice. After a bit I headed back down to camp.



James was sitting right where I left him, assumedly soaking in the very same view.



As the sun went down we pulled out my new stove and got some water boiling for some good ol’ colombian coffee that we had been gifted back in Pasto. Smoking a shitty rolled colombian cigar, brewing up some unfiltered dark coffee over a wood fire, and snacking on some old shitty store bought crackers, there’s absolutely nothing I would rather be doing than exactly what we are doing in this very moment.



The stove is going to take some practice getting going, as it just uses whatever wood and burnable items you can collect, but it did the job and I like the build quality. I assume I’ll get better at using it.



The next day I woke up to some canned tuna, a nice view, and a warm sun heating up the tent. What a great way to wake up.



We hung around camp for the morning and then boiled up some eggs for lunch and played some cards. James is whooping my ass on our ongoing tally of points, my future as a rummy player looks bleak.



We were going to stay for another day or so, but as we were pealing our boiled eggs we decided to pack up after lunch and hit the road to maybe see some more of these little towns and see what we come across for another place to camp. Again we found more pretty roads.



We wound up in a small city called Riobamba and decided to pick up some food and head up into the hills again to look for a place to camp for the night.



We found an unused football pitch (or “soccer”, I’m getting converted) and it looked good for us.



James took a look around to see if anyone was living there.



We ate some food, drank some rusky (mix of rum and whisky), and tried out a new card game to see if I could redeem myself.



After calling it an early night, the next day we packed up and decided to head back onto the highway and roll towards the city of Cuenca to find another place to camp. We wanted to stay up in the hills for a bit longer before hitting the highway, so we took some other random roads that wound through the hills down south that met up eventually with the highway.





It’s awesome how if you just get a couple kilometers off the beaten track that you can find gems like this. For me, a place that feels like it probably did 40 years ago is a magical thing. It’s a simple life, and these people are more than likely perfectly content up here. It’s humbling, and I like that.







The road through the rolling hills eventually turned downwards and wound down towards the valley.





We hit the valley and came in to a town.





And then met back up with the highway. We stopped, dropped some of our trash from the last night in a dumpster, and music’ed up to hit the panamericana. We saw some other motorcyclists roll by who we had seen the day before in the city of Riobamba. Our little ride this morning only took maybe an hour, but for me it was a special little glimpse into what seems to be another side of Ecuador, a side that we hadn’t seen yet because we hadn’t tried, yet it is just so god damn close to find. It’s funny to see these quiet little roads as ‘another side’ of Ecuador, as there are probably 5,000 other places just like it here in Ecuador, it’s just not something we had been taking the time to go see. Knowing that all we have to do is take a random turn off the highway for an hour and pick a direction, I think we’ll be doing more of this in the future.
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Old 04-22-2014, 05:56 PM   #408
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Awesome


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Old 04-23-2014, 05:48 AM   #409
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Good to see you guys getting off the main roads. That's definitely the way to see Ecuador - the country is best seen on back roads... I hope Raphael gave you some ideas - sorry I missed you while out guiding a tour.
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Old 04-23-2014, 10:52 AM   #410
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Awesome. Glad that you are camping some.
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Old 04-23-2014, 05:08 PM   #411
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Looks great gents. I'm till culture shocked after arriving in LA yesterday. Wish I was back there drinking rusky and camping...
Next year...

Tell James I like his poncho.
Regards,
-Brian
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Old 04-25-2014, 02:25 PM   #412
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Originally Posted by CourtRand View Post
Good to see you guys getting off the main roads. That's definitely the way to see Ecuador - the country is best seen on back roads... I hope Raphael gave you some ideas - sorry I missed you while out guiding a tour.
Too bad we missed you but yeah Raphael hooked us up with some good advice on places to see and roads to take. You guys definitely know your stuff over there . Thanks for the info.
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Old 04-25-2014, 02:28 PM   #413
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Originally Posted by Bri_Fri View Post
Looks great gents. I'm till culture shocked after arriving in LA yesterday. Wish I was back there drinking rusky and camping...
Next year...

Tell James I like his poncho.
Regards,
-Brian
3 people is necessary for drinking rusky, a pack responsibility must be adopted to keep track of the herd . Let's drink some rusky up north beforehand, I want to get some meat for the freezer
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Old 04-29-2014, 04:19 PM   #414
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Update

Been off the grid a bit and am now in Peru. Lot´s to catch up on. Heading to a place with internet to get some writing done tomorrow. More to come.
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Old 04-30-2014, 09:11 AM   #415
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I LOVE the approach you and James are taking toward your travels. Getting a good mix of the culture via couch surfing alongside the recent getaways to camp in the hills was a great combination!

You've picked a couple killer locations to pitch your tent - nice morning views!

Seeing those dogs, I think I would have crafted up a sidecar by now to bring them along.
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Old 04-30-2014, 09:56 AM   #416
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whoop Can't wait for the update
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Old 04-30-2014, 03:50 PM   #417
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Originally Posted by theofam View Post
I LOVE the approach you and James are taking toward your travels. Getting a good mix of the culture via couch surfing alongside the recent getaways to camp in the hills was a great combination!

You've picked a couple killer locations to pitch your tent - nice morning views!

Seeing those dogs, I think I would have crafted up a sidecar by now to bring them along.
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whoop Can't wait for the update
Monte
Hey Sean and Montek, glad you're still around for the ride. Man, getting off the road with no destination or timeframe is such a recharger. It's an interesting process figuring out how to get what you want out of a trip (especially when you didn't really know what you wanted in the first place), but rolling up to views like that and deciding to plop the tents down and call it a day, it's hard to not recognize that in that moment you are getting exactly what you wanted.

Have about 4 posts worth to catch up on, going to take a few days with internet to get through but they'll be coming.
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Old 04-30-2014, 06:14 PM   #418
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Well Giddy Up

Hey Sean,

I found your ride report while doing research for a very similar trip I am planning. It has been very educational and entertaining, it's taken me some time to catch up, but finally I am with you. Your heart felt, no holds barred way of sharing your trip has really made me feel like I am just a couple days behind you, but we have met in our travels, even though I'm still a few months away from leaving. It appears that this last leg of your trip is really what I am hoping to do with my travels, so it has been a nice rounding out of the RR. Your perception of the countries through which you've traveled have been eye opening to me, as I had some preconceived notions, but quickly realized that is not how I look at the world, I experience it for me, but it very helpful to have an objective view, even if it is before I have my own adventure. I just wanted to thank you for your time well spent sharing your wonderful trip with everyone.

Willis AKA StromStance
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Old 05-02-2014, 05:25 PM   #419
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I have a fever...and the only cure is more "no-moto boundaries" cow bell.
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Old 05-02-2014, 08:35 PM   #420
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Hey Sean,

I found your ride report while doing research for a very similar trip I am planning. It has been very educational and entertaining, it's taken me some time to catch up, but finally I am with you. Your heart felt, no holds barred way of sharing your trip has really made me feel like I am just a couple days behind you, but we have met in our travels, even though I'm still a few months away from leaving. It appears that this last leg of your trip is really what I am hoping to do with my travels, so it has been a nice rounding out of the RR. Your perception of the countries through which you've traveled have been eye opening to me, as I had some preconceived notions, but quickly realized that is not how I look at the world, I experience it for me, but it very helpful to have an objective view, even if it is before I have my own adventure. I just wanted to thank you for your time well spent sharing your wonderful trip with everyone.

Willis AKA StromStance
Hey Willis thanks for the kind words. like you said, if you experience the world around you for you and you alone you will be off on the right foot. At the end of the day, nobody else can tell you how to enjoy your ride, weather it's out for the weekend beat or across all the way to Magadon, doing what makes you happiest during your ride is what makes the most sense. When you get rolling be sure to post that shit so that we can all learn from what other riders are jiving on during their trip

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I have a fever...and the only cure is more "no-moto boundaries" cow bell.
I now find myself almost midway through Peru and am trying to wrap up writing about Ecuador, shieet. I keep moving off the grid whenever I find a trace of internet. It's been fan fuckin tastic, but I do really want to write and catch up as well. I've told myself I'm not going to leave this place until I'm caught up. Why is there no cowbell emoticon?
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