Ecuador offered the most amazing perfect 4 – or even 6 lane highways. We had an important deadline in Copiapo, Chile for the Dakar race rest day on January 8th and finally we could make some decent mileage. We still had to go through Peru and Bolivia though and needed to keep the pace up to make it.
Met some fellow riders at a rest stop. They were over excited to meet us and gave us the longest hugs.
Cool street chef in Ecuador.
And enjoyed another awesome street meal.
Just as we thought we were gonna have a real long day, I got a flat!
But hard to complain, when you are on a wide highway, the sun is shining and you get a flat just outside a little kiosk with cold drinks and ice cream!
Here we go again! 🙂
Riding into Quito I had the single most scary experience riding a bike ever! We were on a 6 lane hwy just outside Quito riding about 90 km/h (60 mph). It was late afternoon and raining. The traffic was intense as usual around big cities and I was in the middle lane preparing to take over a slower truck in front of me. Just as I accelatered a tree trunk on the road came towards me from under the truck. It was about 20 cm wide and 4 meter long lying almost parallel with the road.
My front tire hit it right on the left side of the trunk. I got up on my fot pegs as my tire rolled along the trunk, the bike going wiggle waggle from side to side and I passed it without crashing.
It happened so fast, and I couldn’t believe I made it without loosing control of the bike. Had I lost control it could have been pretty messy considered the dense traffic around us. My heart was pumping like crazy and I could feel the adrenalin in every muscle sell and I was shaking long after.
About 1 km after there was the truck that had dropped the log. The driver was trying to strap down the logs that were still on the truck. We honked and signalled that he had dropped something, and he just raised his shoulders as if he couldn’t do anything. And he probably couldn’t, the traffic was too intense for him to run out and remove the log from the road.
Petar Rikic from Croatia who we met in Canada was in Quito, so we headed there to meet up with him again. When we met him the first time he was heading to Alaska, where his plan was to turn around and drive to New York. But since he couldn’t get a visa for the US (talk about a tough border crossing) he ended up flying his bike from Calgary to Bogota, where he was gonna see his Colombian girlfriend again. Since then he had 2 other Colombian girlfriends 🙂 and was now traveling round Ecuador – and will probably head back to Colombia.
We also met Kerman and Fercho. Two other solo adventure riders.
Fercho from Colombia with his KLR. He was just finishing his trip. Fercho has done some amazing riding throughout South America. You can read his blog and see his amazing pictures here.
Kerman was checking up in his Honda XR at the Honda dealer.
Petar went with us hunting spare-parts. We needed knobby tires and a few other things but had a hard time finding anything.
While Petar was in Quito he was getting his KTM serviced and we went with him to pick it up.
All shiny and new.
I needed to change the front break pads. They had lasted almost 30.000 km – pretty good!
A quick visit to the Basilica del Voto National in Quito and we were out of there again.
The further south we rode the greener the landscape and the more farmland
We were stunned to the see how they use the extremely steep hillsides.
The locals wear pretty colorful scarfs and hats.
Just as we thought we were gonna make some miles we hit these heavy clouds and had to slow down and watch out for the animals
Seemed everyday something would slow us down, but Ecuador is a small country and it didn’t take long to blast through it. We spent the last night in Loja before heading for the border to Peru.