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Back for part 2 of the trip, the Equator north.

Written on: Friday January 16th, 2009




So now we are both back in Quito, Equador. Staying in Pablo's apartment. This weekend I think were off to Banos a town a few hours south of Quito with thermal pools, but maybe not as we need to do a few things to the bikes. Then next week we are off to the Ecuadorian Amazon for trekking and biking. But enough about the future, lets talk about how I got here.

Well by plane. Of course! What was the seat like I hear you say.. well it was big.

I have been on the planet for 28 years waiting for it to happen, I mean a man of my stature deserves such a seat, Ive flown alot and finally fate has chosen me for an upgrade. 

It went somnething like

.....sir the flight is overbooked, would you be interested in a later flight and some reembursment..

Hmmm, I really want to get there tonight, dont really want to wait in Houston.

Well sir the flight to Quito would have you in only an hour later than your original flight and you wouldnt need to stop in Panama for a few hours you could spend a few hours here in the Presidental club as we will upgrade you to first class. (I was SOLD)

and....... she said ´and´we will give you a 500 dollar voucher for Continental airlines.


"Lady, you had me at first class"

Free Whiskey and beer all day long in the Presidental club,

King Prawns and crab for starters

and Beef & Veal for mains, lots of legroom and more free drinks.

nice way to travel.


While waiting to get through baggage claim in the airport over the intercom i hear ..could the owner of a red BMW motorbike please move the bike off the path, im only in the country 10 minutes and someone is in trouble already.

The past few days we have been trying to get the bikes road ready...delays delays with closed shops and so forth and we have both been to the dentist and been out to a great club last night.



So we did hit the road, and now we are back, back in Pablo's. It was a test run, a week in Ecuador and no road miles racked up. Peadar had the seven day itch. No, not a tropical disease but a need to get going, somewhere, anywhere, now! So on my 5th day back in the country we headed south on the Pan-Americana. That's right south, the wrong direction but what the hell, we just had to get outta town. We were headed to Quillatoa, a giant Crater Lake caused by a volcanic eruption long ago, first recommended a few months ago by Brian Butler. Well Brian, I went there, mission accomplished. Now u have to go to Rinjani on Lombok, Indonesia So we weren't 50ks outside town when we were told by cops that we couldn't pass as the way was blocked, we've been told this before, so on we went. A big tailback and then a blockade, ahhh South America I see you're still up to your old tricks. I guess it's the best way for people to get their cause noticed, just block the road. So around we went, up on the grass, through the gaps, smiling and motioning that we knew we were exempt. We are touristas?smiles and nods and so on. Once off the Pan Americana we headed west through my favourite type of road, winding mountain roads. It was great riding through scenery not unlike Ireland? in parts. As it got dark we got into town. Blackout, no electricity or lights anywhere. Not fazed or surprised at all we checked into our hostel. No other gringo's insight. Out for dinner, we had the set menu, it was the only option. In fact forget the word option. It was the type of place where you ask do you have food, not what do you have.  The next morning I got up and wandered round the town snapping shots of the locals going about their business. We went to Quillatoa and trekked from the rim down to the lake, rented a boat for a fiver, floated about a bit and trekked back up. All the time forgetting completely about suncream, we are both red as lobsters now. We met a guy who had toured down from the states in his beetle, after a chat about the countries we were about to visit we packed up and headed off. On the way back through the mountains it started to rain, we got a wee bit wet, stopped at a café to let it ease off and then headed on again. I hate riding in the rain. I hate being wet and it really takes away from the fun of motorbiking. Although this rain was heavy, it was nothing, ?absolutely nothing compared to what was waiting for us on our way back into Quito an hour or so  later. I shouldn't have been pissed off with getting a bit damp. "It could always be worse" is what I should have thought. It's a great way to look at things, and I try to think like this? really, I do. On the horizon dark grey clouds gathered as we came back into Quito, then a few forks of lightening. I love lightening, they looked fabulous but I knew what was coming! Soon started the heaviest rain that I have ever ridden through. Soon I was thinking - OK so, hands and arms are wet but at least I have rainproof pants on and plastic bags over my boots. At least those areas are dry, but at hundred k´s an hour after a while water finds its way in. I thought the rain was really heavy as I had started to feel each drop through my jacket, but it wasn't rain, it was hail. Hail the size of skittles and lots of it. As we headed uphill into Quito waves of hail were being washed down the hill towards us. The storm gullies by the side of the road were gushing like mad. It looked as if you could white water raft down the side of the road. Towards the top of the hill into Quito we were going slowly, the road was completely white with a thick layer of hail and the traffic had built up. At this stage I was so wet and it had just gotten so ridiculous that I rode up alongside Peadar, put the visor up, shouted Waa-Hoo & smiled. We couldn't get any wetter! The thought had come back to me, think positive "It could be worse!!" ?How? I thought. ?.Well Stephen, you could fall and slide across the ground and get, dare I say even wetter and more miserable. So I thought "It could, indeed be worse" and happy with not having fallen I felt not as miserably wet. At Pablo's after a hot shower and a hot whiskey all was well and again for the 400th time he blamed the bad weather on the crazy Irish!    ; ) We have had two days of organizing things, going to mechanics, buuying supplies and so on and tomorrow we head off to Banos, a nice town with some thermal pools and then on into the Amazon for Jungle trekking. I have a feeling we have not sent he last of the bad weather which of course we are totally responsible for. ; )




From joe the celt on Jan 19th, 2009

nice to see you both back on the road, looking forward to part 2

From ME on Jan 27th, 2009

Myself and Peadar are off into the Amazon for a bit of trekking for 4 days ..Adios