5th April. Quito, Ecuador. Climbing, still climbing!

26th March 2013 Ancon, Peru

Our hero in an Lima, Javier

Our hero in an Lima, Javier

 

IMG_2806We left Javier’s garage in the afternoon heat and heavy traffic. Stan, who was in the lead, soon got out of sight. Amanda and I were now in the lead and we had understood the directions incorrectly and turned off where we saw a sign for the Pan Americana Norte. We reached it in a few minutes and, still without sign of Stan turned onto it and continued north. It was difficult to know quite what was the best course of action: stop and wait?

'Feisty' ready to roll again

‘Feisty’ ready to roll again

But Stan was ahead of us we supposed; or carry on and hope to catch up? In the end we carried on and by the time the traffic cleared we were at a turning for Ancon. During this drive both Diana and I had been more concerned with the state of health of the two untried cars and were probably not so aware that we had left Stan in the thick of it, with no map and no plan in the event of separation.

We called Stan but due to phone difficulties it was hard to hear and distinguish his words. However it appeared that he had stopped shortly after we turned off and had waited some time and then returned to Javier’s, supposing that we had had difficulties and returned for repairs. We thought he said he would catch up and worried for some time as it had taken us nearly 2 hours to reach this point and darkness was approaching. It was decided that both cars would go into the town of Ancon and that Amanda and I would then return to the Pan American Highway and wait for Stan to lead him back in.

Ancora and the Hostal

Ancora and the Hostal

 

 

 

River and Stan check tyre pressures

River and Stan check tyre pressures

 

Beanie has a major sulk

Beanie has a major sulk

 

 

 

 

 

 

By the time we found accommodation and parking and returned to look for him, an hour or so had passed and we sat beside the dark road until a text message told us he was already in Ancon and looking for us. The re-uniting took place outside the Hostal and we tucked the cars away in one of the few places available in this rather rough looking town. The parking site owner was so worried that many people had seen us park, that he wanted to sleep in our car and was not to be deterred. All in, the price for the three cars was 10 Nuevos Soles (about £2.50), including the sleep-over!

Parking in Ancora and the  night-watchman

Parking in Ancora and the night-watchman

Much to our surprise we had really good omelettes in a Chinese restaurant and, there being nothing else to detain us, we retired to bed, exhausted by anxiety and the traffic coming out of Lima. Our room was overlooking the main street, which was quiet by 23.00. By 04.00 buses, trucks and tuk-tuks began to move and we were treated to a medley of early morning vehicle movements, at intervals designed to prevent further sleep!

 

27th March. Ancon, Peru.

The bakery opposite the hotel opened at 06.00 and we were glad of what it had to offer. Our fallback breakfast being drinking yogurt and rolls if available, water and whole wheat crackers if not. This morning we were in luck, the sweet rolls being freshly baked. The cars had survived the night, our guardian seemed no worse for the experience of sleeping overnight in an Austin. We were on the road by 06.30 and climbing the first hill out of town by 06.45. It has often been our experience that the day begins with a stiff climb to test car and driver. Today the test was passed: the chummy’s replacement gearbox works well and  is quiet; however petrol evaporation in the filter was still an occasional issue. Bertie’s engine was in effect having to be run-in and so we were being very gentle with the throttle and trying to keep the engine as cool as possible for the first 500 miles.

The weather turned out to be cooler than had been the case for the last few days and so we were able to clock up a good mileage without stressing the mechanical components. The road was also easier on the cars, as we passed through barren desert, though often in sight of the Pacific on our left. We pressed on through the day, eventually making it to Casma, a total of 220 miles for the day. We spent the night at the Hostal Farol, which had been recommended to us by Jonathan, a chance encounter on the road that day. We had passed through a Peaje and had taken a moment to make more ambitious plans for the remainder of day as it was going well. A Peruvian-registered car was parked behind us and the driver came and introduced himself as Jonathan Sucksmith, an Anglo-Peruvian, on his way to Mancora for the weekend, where his wife owns a hotel. He suggested the Hostal in Casma  for this evening and offered their hotel in Mancora for two nights ahead, short of our intended destination, Tumbes, which we had chosen to be close to the border with Ecuador to facilitate the following day’s crossing.

Despite taking it very easy during the day and the respectable mileage we had only been driving for 9 hours, including stops.

Hostal Furnal in Casma

Hostal El Farol in Casma

 

28th March. Casma, Peru.

Dunes or hills?

Dunes or hills?

 

Sand drifts over the scrubby hills

Sand drifts over the scrubby hills

We had a slightly later start at 08.00 despite two fairly major cities to negotiate, Chimbote and Trujillo, but the cars were running well and we managed to skirt both without incident.

The colours changed as the light altered

The colours changed as the light altered

We decided to visit the archealogical site of Chan Chan north of Trujillo. This is the world’s largest adobe city, covering many hectares and completed in 15?? including nine separate palace compounds featuring rooms for the King, his family, Officers of the court and attendants. Outside the nine-metre high walls a population of 35,000 formed the centre of a kingdom which extended about 250 miles along the coast of present-day Ecuador and Peru. Inside the palace the adobe walls were decorated in either incised or relief shapes including fish, birds, the sea and the principal god worshipped by the Chumi people, the moon. Our short visit was ably conducted by a local guide, Luciano, who in the available time, gave us an excellent introduction to the Pre-Columbian Chumi culture which existed until the Incas subsumed them.

The ninth palace and enclosing walls

The ninth palace and enclosing walls

 

The only entrance to the 7 hectare palace compound was through this one doorway

The only entrance to the 7 hectare palace compound was through this one doorway

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_2874

Repaired wall decorations

Repaired wall decorations

 

bas relief decorations

bas relief decorations

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_2876

A general view of the administration area, each enclosure a single room, the wall decoration suggests the nets used by the fishermen

 

 

 

With time running short before nightfall, we sped on towards our destination, Pacasmayo, an oceanside town we had been told was good for accommodation. Approaching the town we stopped for petrol as is our practice and met two men in a truck, who gave us the name of a hotel on the seafront. Turning into the town there was no indication of which way to go and stumbling on we were passed by the same two men in the truck, frantically waving us away from our intended path. Later it turned out that road works in the town blocked the way we had tried to get in. When we finally reached the hotel car park it became clear that we would have not been able to find it ourselves and their concern was compounded by the knowledge that in the same garage on the previous evening a customer had been shot resisting theft of his car.

It being Maundy Thursday and the Easter weekend a very popular holiday with Roman Catholic Limenos, the seafront hotels were very busy and we ended up divided between two different hotels with the cars in the car park of a third. One of the hotels styled itself three star, but failed to produce any hot water in the evening and in the morning no water at all, all at North American city prices, owing to the holiday.

No room at the Inn, so camping on the beach

No room at the Inn, so camping on the beach

 

Pacasmayo sea front

Pacasmayo sea front

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pacasmayo promenade

Pacasmayo promenade

 

La Estacion car park, Pacasmayo

La Estacion car park, Pacasmayo

 

The pier

The pier

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

29th March. Pacasmayo, Peru.

The route today left the coast and passed through more arid desert-like landscape with distant small mountains on both sides, towards Chiclayo and beyond. Entering Chiclayo, a busy port even on Good Friday, we were collected by two police motorcylists who escorted us through the town by a route missing the worst traffic and deposited us, minus Stan, who had been ahead at the time, on the outskirts of the city on the Pan Americana Norte. The usual photo opportunity presented itself and produced another one for the album “Amanda, being cuddled by policemen in South America”!

Our escort through town, what had they heard?

Our escort through town, what had they heard?

This area just north of Chiclayo, was the home of several successive cultures including Sipan, however time was short and so we passed by with only a glimpse of the boards suggesting sites of ‘ruinas arqueologicas intangibles’ to whet our appetites.

Amanda wins two more admirers

Amanda wins two more admirers

Alomost immediately we entered the Desierto de Sechura for nearly 100 kms, followed by 100 kms of Pampa del Vanado, both quite flat and apparently inhabited only by the three lines of power cables on steel pylons marching in stately progress  across the flat plain.

I could hardly believe my eyes, was this the rickyard?

I could hardly believe my eyes, was this a haystack?

 

Its got wheels and moves

Its got wheels and moves

 

There is a truck under all that then!

There is a truck under all that then!

The scramble for position at a paeje

The scramble for position at a paeje

 

A crowded town centre

A crowded town centre

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beanie brightens up and takes takes-in proceedings

Beanie brightens up and takes takes-in proceedings

Waiting for Stan, who was already ahead

Waiting for Stan, who was already ahead

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stopping for an inspection of the scrubby growth and a driver changeover, I stepped off the narrow track and found the sand surface to be firm and compacted. Back in the car, I reversed off the track and immediately the back and front wheels dug small troughs for themselves and it took some effort and scraping away the surface sand to extricate Bertie.

Reaching Piura we made for the Intiotel, booked the night before because of the Easter weekend and found it fairly easily, although as has been common in most Peruvian cities, the roads in the cities are often in an appalling state. Piura was no exception, with long stretches of road having no made surface, and with diversions around piles of hardcore and concrete rubble. The hotel was almost new and very comfortable. We dropped off our luggage, parked the cars in an off-street park and, since we had made good time on the road, Amanda, Stan and I went in search of an ATM and found a great Helado shop. The city Plaza was fairly hopping with local people, there to attend the evening’s ceremonial procession of religious effigies from the Cathedral.

Piura city

Piura city

Wirescape in Piura

Wirescape in Piura

Appetites assuaged for the moment, the cars were attended to and at 19.00 we three went to dinner at an

Someone's pride and joy!

Someone’s pride and joy!

 

Riverside walk in Piura

Riverside walk in Piura

 

Piura, older buildings survive

Piura, older buildings survive

ethnic restaurant, which Diana and River had found earlier and recommended. We met the procession of the illuminated glass boxes, carried at shoulder height by twelve men, immaculately dressed in dark suits, accompanied by a musical band and a phallanx of priests, the whole surrounded by a large crowd bearing cameras, toffee-apples and other sweet things in wrappers. We passed behind the crowd and enjoyed supper, after which the procession had made its way to the street outside the restaurant and we witnessed a further part of the proceedings before we could leave.

30th March. Piura, Peru.

Only 40 kms from Piura we passed through Sullana, where we were helped at a stop by two policemen who were standing watching the traffic. Not one to miss an opportunity Amanda dashed in when a photo of them and the car was suggested!

In Piura buying petrol means photos for everyone, the pump attendant.

In Piura buying petrol means photos for everyone, the pump attendant.

More cuddles

More cuddles

 

Palms over rice paddies

Palms over rice paddies

The area surrounding Sullana is noted for rice production and we passed through a considerable acreage of irrigated fields of rice in all stages of growth. This being the tropics, there is no IMG_3034season in which crops do not grow.

Desert mirage

Desert mirage

Now heading towards the coast we began to glimpse the ocean in the distance and finally descended to the coastal plain at Cabo Blanco and the run to Mancora, where Jonathan had kindly reserved rooms for us at the family-run hotel.

The car park where I was rushed by an Iguana

The car park where I was rushed by an Iguana

 

The view from our hotel room  in Mancora

The view from our hotel room in Mancora

 

Descending to the ocean once more at Cabo Blanco

Descending to the ocean once more at Cabo Blanco

 

The final part of the journey along a dusty, rutted lane brought us to Puerto del Sol boutique hotel beside the beach. Amanda and I braved the ocean and it was a pleasantly warm surprise. Around this point on the coast the Humbold current, the cold upwelling from Antartic Ocean begins to turn west and the Equatorial current from the north meets and mixes, bringing the temperature of the sea to a bareable 21degC, the surf was quite strong and after 15 minutes we retreated to the hotel pool at a more agreeable 28 deg C.

This was a result of the large bump encountered, a later result was a leaking radiator, poor beanie!

This was a result of the large bump encountered, a later result was a leaking radiator, poor beanie!

While I was rotating all five wheels on the car during the late afternoon, and chatting to Jonathan, who was seated on a low wall nearby, he suddenly went white and nearly fell backwards into a stair well. He had seen a fairly sizeable iguana come charging into the paved yard, directly towards us. I had my back turned, and was just in time to see the iguana, now feeling trapped, hurtle under the car and then back the way it had come, the large claws on its front feet looking decidedly fierce and menacing. At that point we decided it was beer-o’clock and decanted to the bar to watch for the green flash as the sun went down (not evident, as usual).

Today we passed 4,000 miles since leaving Buenos Aires about 39% of the total distance.

31st March. Mancora, Peru.

IMG_3082We left at 07.00 in order to get to the border as early as possible. It being Easter Sunday, we were unsure about the traffic volumes we might encounter.  We covered the 130 kms to Aguas Verdes, passing through Tumbes quite easily, arriving at the border post at about 11.00. The last 5 kms were quite a different experience to the rest of Peru, excellent overhead road signs, dual carriageways, with IMG_3077sweeping bends and immaculate road surfaces. The modern buildings, neat roads and smartly dressed security guards we hoped were an omen of good things to come. In the air-conditioned building, a short, orderly queue of no more than ten people at the first desk, a supply of appropriate immigration IMG_3076forms and no television made for a very pleasant surprise. Within ten minutes we had been signed out of Peru, at the next desk signed into Ecuador and our passports stamped. A few metres away the cars were signed out of Peru and there in the same building was a point at which we could purchase our SOAT (basic road insurance) This took rather longer; the manufacturer Austin does not exist on modern computer systems and so we blithely suggested that the nearest equivalent was the basic 850cc Mini. Because we have chassis numbers that are not world standard VIN plates, a further consultation was necessary, however in about 45 minutes we had purchased insurance at $US3.50 per car for a one-month stay. River enquired where we might deal with the final step to temporarily import the cars as personal possessions, which was apparently 5 kms further along the road into Ecuador.

In slight disbelief, since it seemed very odd not to have that facility with the other parts of the process, we covered more like 10 kms and then diverted off the road, along with all the other traffic through a very informal looking customs check point. This was a dusty area beside the road, with a scruffy-looking building in front of which were parked a motley collection of vehicles, some obviously having been there some time. We parked in front of the building and were immediately assailed by fresh fruit and peanut vendors. On enquiring at a window-counter, the official informed us that we would need copies of all our car documents, passports and entry forms, the nearest copying facility being across the highway. As it was Easter Sunday however, when we crossed the road it was closed. Back at the window we were told that the next nearest copy facility was in Arenilles, about 15 kms away and that a taxi would take us there. After some discussion and cajoling, River persuaded the officer that had we been told at the border or had there been information to this effect we would have made every effort to get the necessary copies before arriving and eventually, the neighbouring customs office agreed to make the necessary copies on this occasion. It defies understanding that an office that demands copies does not have a machine available to do this and make a charge for the service, also a mystery is what happens to all this paper and how is it stored? Whilst we do have copies of the car documents, we also had to have a copy of our passport page showing the new entry stamp, so we could not have made copies before entering the country.

Now time was beginning to get short. The faffing about had cost us more than 90 minutes and we wanted to make progress on our way towards Cuenca, our destination for the following day. The climbs ahead of us were going to be steep and we were unsure of the road conditions we might meet, the first 10 kms having been a very mixed bag of three-lane highway, which deteriorated every few minutes into unmade road surfaces, diverted from the straight road and anything up to an equivalent often lanes wide, often with traffic in both directions, taking whatever they thought to be the best option of surface. The resulting mass of traffic in a blinding dust storm in various directions at huge speed differences, depending on the ages of the vehicles and how well or not they were being treated was scary and bewildering!

IMG_3058IMG_3019IMG_3046

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_3020The roads improved after about 25 kms, however the tarmac surface was cratered where the trucks pound the road night and day, making it necessary to be constantly vigilant for pot holes and abrupt changes in surface levels due to earthquake and water damage. We reached Pasaje the town and turned right onto Highway 80. At this point we diverged from JC’c route; he had gone north to Guayaquil to ship his car to Panama, the road ahead being blocked by a landslide. We had some knowledge of the road ahead from bikers we had met a few days previously and Fernando, who had seen us on the road after crossing the border and stopped to ask us to stay at his country hotel before Cuenco. He described the road conditions, climbs and distances involved.

IMG_3136

Hundreds of Frigate birds, the first we have seen

Hundreds of Frigate birds, the first we have seen

We decided that we might reach Giron, if we made good progress and Sta.Isabel if not. In the event, darkness overtook us and in a light drizzle and with poor road surfaces, impossible to see in the dark and suddenly heavier traffic we IMG_3236

A delicious dinner dulled the days troubles

A delicious dinner dulled the days troubles

stopped at the Jardin del Valle in La Union, close to Sta.Isabel. The hotel was quiet and ‘Charlie’ made us very welcome although it was 19.00 when we arrived and there were only two staff on duty. River and Diana took advantage of the hot-tub end of the swimming pool, the room hot water being less than reliable and after cold showers for all but Stan, IMG_3160

The hotel in La Union

The hotel in La Union

we enjoyed a very good dinner on the terrace. Charlie was a dab hand at the coffee machine and, denied all but Nescafe for days, I was delighted. He also produced ice-cold glasses for the beer and altogether it was a very good evening and introduction to Ecuador.

1st April. La Union, Ecuador.

The scribe at work

The scribe at work

Breakfast was taken on the terrace before we set off on a short but testing driving day. We seemed to make slow and interrupted progress, in part due to the steep inclines, in part to being stopped by a police patrol, we were an easy target to fill the days quota of ‘stop and examine papers‘ routine and because we had made a last minute Airbnb booking in Cuenca and needed to receive the address from the owner and to then find it on a map. This was accomplished finally in a garage where WiFi was available, the owner knew Fernando from the previous day and had been briefed to call him if we stopped by. All this took over an hour and so we finally arrived in Cuenca at 16.00, having had trouble navigating the city streets. Amanda had our Ipad on her lap during our arrival and for some miles the Ipad, which is not one of the variety that has a built-in internet connection was showing us our moving position on the street plan? I still have no explanation for this phenomenon and am mystified.

Our saviour was a very kind driver, Martha, who was just parking and, appreciating our difficulties, immediately got back into her car and led us to the street we were looking for.  Thank you Martha, we really appreciated your kindness although you dog was not keen!

Martha after delivering us to our destination

Martha after delivering us to our destination

As we stopped, our hostess Pilar was there to greet us and we took our luggage to the sixth floor and the magnificent apartment on three floors. Tonight was going to be G&T night, come what may, we had been without tonic for over a week and were beginning to twitch.

Pilar and River outside the Cuenca apartment

Pilar and River outside the Cuenca apartment

Pilar kindly offered to take Diana and Amanda to find phone SIM cards, tonic, limes and a few other essentials.

Stan and I set about a few items on Dusty, the principal one being the radiator, again! A few days earlier, both he and Diana had encountered a severe bump in a street at speed and it seemed to have damaged Dusty’s radiator bottom tank. With the radiator out it was evident that it had impacted on the nosecone and caused a split in the tank needing the attention of a radiator specialist. Fortunately the previous day, on one of the frequent roadside stops to cool the cars, a passing driver, Davide, had offered to help if we needed it in Cuenca, he being the president of the Cuenca Mini Club. He was able to supply the name of a radiator repairer and arrangements were made to deliver the radiator the following morning.

We celebrated that evening, as the sun set over Cuenca, with one or two of the best G&Ts experience recently.

2nd April. Cuenca, Ecuador.

Pilar had kindly offered to drive Stan and radiator to the menders and he returned about 10.00 full of admiration for Mr. Luppi and his radiator shop. The repair could be done by 14.00 or the core shortened by the following day, an option Stan decided against to avoid delaying our planned departure. Amanda Stan and I walked into the centre of Cuenca and found a delightful city, with much of its Colonial past still evident. After an helado, Stan returned to pick up his radiator and Amanda and I went to the Central Bank Museum, which houses many Inca and pre-Inca relics and a detailed history of the different cultures that have inhabited the region and the north-west of South America from about 1,500BC.

The day was showery, but bright between the blustery showers and we walked back to the apartment happy to have a little time to just wander and take in the city sights and sounds.

River had, apart from working on reports, done some investigation on the road profile from Cuenca to Quito, along the route we would be taking over the next two days and it was sobering viewing. Apart from the heights we would reach, almost the greatest of the trip, the severity was going to be a challenge. In anticipation we pre-booked accommodation in Riobamba, the next night’s stop, and decided to make a start at 07.00 the following morning.

Stan had refitted Dusty’s radiator with spacers and packing to raise it off the nosepiece and it now looked to be better positioned. All other repairs being completed, we left the cars under the stern care of Beanie for the night. Stan, Amanda and I had arranged to go to an Ecuadorian restaurant with Pilar and left at 18.30 so as not to be late back. Diana and River were being picked up by Davide, who wanted to show them around Cuenca and promised to have them back by 21.30. Both plans overran, owing to the restaurant being shut and the seven Minis that turned up to take Diana and River around being a lot of fun.

image-23rd April. Cuenca, Ecuador.

After clearing up and packing we were under way by 07.30. The way back to the Pan American being close by, we made excellent time to our first and probably the longest climb of the day. Almost 50 minutes of second gear for Amanda and me in the four-speed box saloon and most of that in first for the two three-speeders. Along the way we were accompanied by the rebuilt railway, that will run from Riobamba to Cuenca, the Devil’s Nose Rail Journey, some of it not yet in use. It looks likely to offer a great Tourist attraction when ready later this year.

Stan follows Diana up the hill backwards

Stan follows Diana up the hill backwards

 

The greatest altitude so far

The greatest altitude so far

 

The road ahead gave a clue that it was climbing

The road ahead gave a clue that it was climbing

Later we encountered slightly shorter but much steeper climbs, which stopped the chummy in its tracks. After a few attempts to restart, River got out and walked, then Diana had to turn the chummy round and reverse up. Twice more this happened and we developed a routine where Diana would drop River, reverse up with Bertie following. Once the climb eased at all, Amanda would join Diana in the  chummy and I would descend to collect River.

In all, the 162-mile day took nearly 11 1/2 hours and we climbed a total of nearly 15,000 ft during the day. We are now in Volcano Valley, either side there are magnificent snow-capped peaks, sadly shrouded in cloud today, but we have good imaginations. The scenery we can see is very beautiful and the local people love to wave and call to us as we pass at a snail’s pace.

All three cars are down on power owing to the altitude, Feisty is suffering most, probably due to a combination of updraft carb and low compression head, Dusty is a little out of sorts and has an electrical fault that necessitated changing the coil today and Bertie, which is least affected, is panting for breath and has to be down-shifted much earlier than normal. The available fuel is probably a factor, 92 octane being the highest available and we are told perhaps not reliable in its rating. It will be interesting to see how things are when we finally descend once in Columbia, but there are still some big lumps of the Andes to cross yet!

4th April. Riobamba, Ecuador.

IMG_3320None of us slept well at the Hostal Bambu last night. It was cold, a car arrived at 03.00 and  other guests began to rise at 04.00, disturbing what remained of the night. All central locking in Ecuador and Peru is accompanied by a series of chirps, whistles, beeps and whoops, whatever the time of day or night and so it was we became familiar with one particular car, its owner seemingly incapable of remembering more than one item at a time he wished to either put in or take out of the car, locking it carefully between each operation!

Stan had accurately plotted the route out of town and we were soon climbing again, towards, through and finally above the cloud layer as it swept up the mountainsides and filled the gullies between shoulders of unseen peaks. The day brightened and, knowing that so far we had not been defeated by a slope, we pressed on, with frequent stops for water and engine cooling. Less protracted than the previous day, the ascents were evry bit as steep in places and we again made slow progress.

Fortunately the road from Riobamba to Quito is mostly three lanes and a hard shoulder, we spent most of the day on the hard shoulder, some of it forward, some backwards, but always making progress towards the destination.

We have again found an apartment through Airbnb and with the GPS working, River directed our arrival to it in an area north of the main city. At 5.15 having managed to avoid the traffic we arrived and found the apartment, owned by a friend of Pilar, Ivan. A days rest here will shore us up for the next stage, steep climbs, almost similar heights and slow going until we hit the coastal plain in Columbia in about a weeks time.

Thanks for reading this far, I hope you have enjoyed it, I appreciate the 10,000 hits received to date. Also appreciated are your comments and encouraging words.

Looking out along the desert road

Looking out along the desert road

 

IMG_3141IMG_3076IMG_3059 IMG_2978IMG_2995IMG_2991IMG_2974

 

IMG_3213IMG_3169

IMG_3325

The snow covered peak of Cotopaxi peeped through the clouds briefly

The snow covered peak of Cotopaxi peeped through the clouds briefly

 

IMG_3175

A brief interlude in a busy day

A brief interlude in a busy day

 

Ecuadorian school children were very inquisative

Ecuadorian school children were very inquisative

 

IMG_3272

One of thee steeper hills were we were parked for a rest and this woman gave us a smile as she passed

One of thee steeper hills were we were parked for a rest and this woman gave us a smile as she passed

 

IMG_3246IMG_3252IMG_3224IMG_3235IMG_2975IMG_3163

A step side, flat-head V8 Ford pick-up parked in Cuenca

A step side, flat-head V8 Ford pick-up parked in Cuenca

Cuenca city centre

Cuenca city centre

 

 

The slide was popular

The slide was popular

 

17 thoughts on “5th April. Quito, Ecuador. Climbing, still climbing!

  1. Jack lad, put that yorkshire terrier at the rear of the convoy he has a reputation of racing ahead then getting lost he learnt this bad trait from a person called ‘vince’. Glad you are making progress and taking it easy, I am in Oman at present but will be home on the 27 Apr

    Chris

  2. Good to hear that you have reached Ecuador safely. We feel almost as though we are on home ground now, having had a great holiday (with Saga) in that country in 1999. Unlike you, we were delighted to see Iguanas in the wild, having kept them as pets for 15 years. Once you have the vavarium set up they are easy to keep – they don’t bark or have to be ‘walked’ and their natural smell is not as unpleasant as a dog’s!
    Anyway it is good to hear you are making good progress. We also stopped at Quenca at a Hosteria. We were able to spend a day in the town which was nice with a bustling, mostly Indian, market.
    We too travelled the south American Highway to Riobamba, 1 night, and three nights in Quito. We were accompanied by two ‘tourist police’ during our guided tour of the city. A warning?
    It was from here that we were taken to the ‘Mitad del Mondo’, Middle of the World Monument. Later we stopped at another Equator monument, in the form of a 2 meter dia. globe on the SA highway to Otavalo where we visited a massive Indian Market. That latter monument is beside the road and is pictured in Clive Ball’s book ‘Seven Years with Samantha’ with his Wide door saloon.
    Many thanks for some interesting reading and superb pictures. Best of luck to you all for the rest of the journey.
    Ken Cooke
    750 M.C.

  3. Following your trip with great interest.

    I think Beanie should get out more and see the sights – no wonder he had a sulk. Scruffy Bear sits on Cutie’s (my Ruby – named by my granddaughter) windscreen opening handle.

    I await each blog to catch up.

    John

  4. Wonderful news, great reading. Bertie and Feisty appear to be behaving well after the repairs in Lima. That is great relief, may you continue to enjoy reasonably trouble free motoring. All the best, Steve.

  5. I am going to get a teddy bear. don’t know why I abandoned the one I had when I was wee small, fully understand the importance of Beanie.

  6. Un saludo muy especial a todos estos expedicionarios británicos que tuve la oportunidad de conocer personalmente en el trayecto de Piura (Perú) a Huaquillas (Ecuador) en el momento que estamos atravesando el desierto. Muy feliz y contento de poder hacer parte de su historia aunque sea con una fotografía en la que estoy con River. Yo soy uno de esos motociclistas de Medellín ( Colombia) que estábamos tomando un descanso en esa pequeña población y que posteriormente reanudamos la marcha para volvernos a encontrar en carretera y decir hasta pronto.
    Yo llegué a mí casa el día jueves 04 de abril y de inmediato les conté la experiencia vivida en carretera con todos ustedes y les enseñe las fotos de los amigos que había tenido la oportunidad de conocer en el viaje y la casualidad de encontrar otra Amanda como mí señora.
    Un abrazo para todos y les deseo todos los éxitos en esta aventura.
    Sigo consultando a partir de hoy sus testimonios y tengan presente que soy una persona dispuesta a servirles y colaborarles en la medida de mis capacidades.

  7. I fel quite out of breath reading about the journey and all your trials and tribulations. You are obviously still meeting with lots of kindnesses. I hope you are enjoying yourselves in between the aggravations. Looking forward to the next instalment.
    Love Veronica

  8. Allow me. Transalation of Oscar Orango Osorio: A special hello to the brirish expeditionaries I had the chance to meet on there way from Piura Peru to Huaquillas Ecuador when we were crossing the desert. Very happy to be part of this story even if just a picture with River. I am on one of the Colombia Medellin motorcycles taking a rest in the old town and we got to meet again on the road further on. I got home on the 4th of April Thursday, showed the pictures to my friends, of the these I people I had the pleasure to know and meeting another Amada, name of my wife. Big hug to you all, lots of luck in this adventure. Will follow you as of today on the page, remind you I am only to glad to help in anything you might need.

  9. Hello
    have you gone thru Cali or Medellin ?. The local classic car club would like to meet you and show you our british classics !
    If you have we wish you the best .

    • Thank you Rigo for your comments. We are now in Cartagena, but we did meet the Federation in Medellin and some of the car owners in Cali.

  10. I worked with Stan until January this year and you are much missed here at DRS. I have enjoyed reading of your journey so far – it is fascinating. How kind people are to you all and I am not surprised that people are flocking for pictures. Can’t wait to read the next instalments.

  11. Hola amigos!!
    I follow your journey and, sometimes I laugh thinking your daily mini adventures (the menacing iguana i.e.) (Mother Mary is laughing too I guess…) I know, you are in the other side of the world where people work slow and often with inefficiency. Take this as the spicy part of the trip. No solution at the moment. There are helping people eveywhere too.Be happy, enjoy. Keep the good moode Hugs for everybody. Love. Orly

  12. Austin is a happy word to me,we have A-40. 1961
    Congratulations,you made it! No more hill climbs!
    We made Colombia -Argentina and south Patagonia and Chile lakes in sept and Oct /2012 (www.travesiaalsur2012.com) 10,160 kms.
    Two 1930 ford model A roadsters,one 1928 ford model A sport coupe and one 1934 chevrolet master four door.
    Sorry you didn’t made Bogota! It would bea pleasure tu have the whole car tripulation !!!!!!!!
    Next time and good good luck !
    Glory to AUSTIN SEVEN
    SERGIO!!!!!!!!

  13. congrats at your fabulous adventure I look forward to reading the unique travelog which this story deserves publication see you both inc the most travelled bear ever without being suffering altitude sickness love j.c.&lc

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *