While i'm getting my life back together, please look at a fine selection of my photos:

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Hi all. Time for a post again. Still ow you a report on Ecuador.
This post i brought to you from Lima! Lima: City of cities,  Modern, expensive, touristy, has Starbucks (yuk) one of civilisations' landmarks of 'development' ...And where girls offer you massages when you stroll around the park... that kind of city.  And all girls look like Jacky!

Made some miles last week. And finally found the inspiration to sit down and write... 

Oh, i bought a dutch newspaper for the first time in this trip! Looking forward to read that nothing really changed over the past year. Or did it? We'll see.

Ecuador is a diverse country. Huge contrast between traditional and modern culture. My gut tells me the contrast seems bigger than Colombia and further north. It has all: From nice beachplaces like Mompichu and Canoa. Rain forest, cloud forest, and the Andes mountains. There's cool cities like Quito and Cuanca with great nightlife. And, of cource there was the lovely Vilcabamba.  Below a short summary of my ramblings through this wonderful country.

Daytrip to Otavalo. Close to Quito is this laid back town of Otavalo. Colonial and traditional. Serves as a regional marketplace where farmers sell their produce and tourists buy touristy stuff.

Girls and Woman dress mainly in traditional clothing. First time i saw this in Ecuador. Looking back i whished i stayed here for a day or two instead of going to Quito.

Lost in the woods... I met Annette again in Quito, and we headed out for a daytrip. Plan was to make a roundtrip Quito, Otavalo and backroads back to Quito. Despite map, gps and two adults of which one reasonable intelligent (gues who..) we couldn't find the right turnoff and got sort of lost on great gravelroads.

Scary: misty at places, so glasses and visor got clogged with fog and dust. Couldn't see a thing, not even the big trucks hauling ass on these roads. Area has cement industry. Great place to do unpaved stuff.

Result was we had to backtrack the same route. Bummer. There ya go dear, you made it to my blog afterall!

Quito is a big place....

Halfway on the really georgeous road between Quito and Mompiche in  cloud forest. Absolutely stunning view from a birdwatch restaurant.

Had lunch while a group of german birdwachers bragged about their knowledge of birds and compared lense sizes.... 

Striking similarity with a bunch of bikers bragging about, roads, almost accidents and comparing bikesizes..... people are the same everywhere.

Sometimes i wish i had a bit more macro and zoom. Although a stock 28-55 does a pretty good job, at some point you just want to have a bit more range.

Canoa, as is Mompiche, of which i don't have pictures, is worth a visit. Chilled beach places with lots of cool hostels and guesthouses. Better in summertime, in this season, winter, lots of overcast.

Canoa is more developed for foreign tourism than Mompiche. The latter recently started to develop and the foreigners who settled down there build some very nice cool guesthouses.

Beach! Imagine this with a clear sky.

Theres really nothing touristy on the crappy road from Canoa to Banos. Took me two days. Slow roads, loads of topes in small villages, roadsworks, potholes, stretches without pavement. Slow.

As usual, the road conditions were generously compensated with the occasional cool scenic views, which, as always makes up for the inconvenience.


About 4000m. Andes highlands!  Totally unprepared, so insufficient clothes. Cold upthere!

Accidentally run in to this craterlake. Awesome.

Traffic jam.... 

Cold, Empty, Windy and Rainy. Oh how i miss the days of lazy nothingness on the beaches of Mexico and Costa Rica. 

Nice View ey?

As always, there's always someone doing it a bit different. For example this Japanese couple two up on a 90cc scooter. Two up! All the way from Buenas Aires!


Just as i said goodbye to the Japanese couple and ready to saddle up, this Portuguese guy drove up. Cool bike, the f800. Is definitely on my shortlist of bikes for the next trip. Met a few people with this model, and despite it's a new model, it seems it's pretty reliable.

See the old bugger? He's an Ass. I gave him a dollar, which is a good tip around here. Instead of saying thanks, he said: don't you have more? Aargh! Kept lingering around till i send him away like you do with straydogs. Annoing character. Don't mind giving money to beggars, but i do respond very bad to unfriendliness. Or is it me being an Ass here?

Beautiful Quenca! I liked this city. Fairy small, wealthy, pretty well developed. It has this nice rural-regional-main-city vibe i like so much: Modern but still traditional in many ways.

Next stop: Vilcabamba. A pretty village in a pretty valley. Story goes that this environment causes people to live very long.

So, if you want to get old, live life here. Change is you suffer a premature death caused by utter boredom though.

Pleasant and sunny!

From Vilvabamba it's a long day following a mountain road for a couple of hours before connecting to main road to cross the border at Macara and end up in Piura. The bordercrossing is free of charge and easy. Officials at the border couldn't tell me if insurance is required. And there's lots of stories of corrupt police (this is partially true, i noticed - more of that later). To avoid potential involuntary depletion of my budget, i took out my old US policy and spend a while learning the basics of Photoshop. 

Decided to stay at coastal Peru and make my way south quickly. Instead of the supposedly more impressing and adventurous Andes route. Didn't feel adventurous the last few weeks, and want to save my bike for the torture it will get more south. And tires are kinda finished. All sorts of excuses for not doing a week+ trip through the Andes.

The Coastal side of Peru is desert, desert and further south...there's more desert. If you go inland, to Huaraz, which i did, its mountains, but very desertly.
Sounds boring, bud it is not that bad, fairly good roads, great scenery. In short i had a  couple of very pleasant driving days!

So, covered another piece of this globe. More about Peru in my next post!  You can view all my Ecuador pictures here.