December 15, 2002

Quito Ecuadore to Puerto Chicama Peru

We ended up spending a week in Quito mostly waiting to get our bikes out of Aduana jail and having them serviced. While we where in Quito we stayed at the Crossroads Hostal which was recommended to us by Ricardo Rocco who helps a lot of bikers who come through Quito. The Crossroads was a real nice place and while we where there we got the chance to meet a few other bikers who where riding around South America. Our motorcycles where supposed to be shipped directly to Quito on Thursday so we took a  flight out of Panama City on Thursday night hoping to get the bikes on Friday morning. When we showed up at the shippers on Friday morning we learned that our bikes had not arrived yet and should be showing up in the afternoon. When we returned to the shippers we learned that our bikes where in Bogota Colombia.and wouldn't be arriving till late that evening and we wouldn't be a ble to get them until Monday morning. We where also told to expect to pay $40 - $60 each for customs on Monday. We spent that weekend checking out the old section of Quito. Our time in Quito also coincided with the Center of the World festival which is a week long celebration of the founding of Quito. As part of the fiesta we got invited to a moto party by friends of Ricardos which was very cool. On Monday we went to pick up our bikes and we shocked to learn that our $45 to $60 dollar fee had risen to $200!! We had only $300 between us but the theiving bastards reluctantly took it. When we went to pick up our bikes they had drained the gas tanks so we  left the Aduana jail riding on reserve with no money on us. Then Todd and I got seperated in traffic and I got lost trying to find our hostal. When I finally found a gas station that would take credit cards I put 5.4 gallons of fuel into my 4.9 gallon tank! The following day Todd and I put our bikes in a local shop for some preventive maintenance and for some new tires. While our bikes where being worked on Todd and I decided to go see some bull fights that where going on all week long as part of the fiesta but when we got there all the tickets where sold out so we hung around the street party that was going on outside of the bull ring .

After gettng our bikes out of the shop we headed north for a bit to check out the ecuator and the large native market in the town of Otovala. We got drenched along the way. The following day we headed south to the city of Riobamba which is centrally located in the Ecuadorian Andes. We got drenched along the way. Riobamba is a nice little city and we stayed at a great little hostal called the Oasis. Planning on staying for two nights we spent the intervening day attempting to go through a large national park but got lost along the way and had a great time anyway. We got drenched on the way back. The following day we left Riobamba by heading through the Avenue of the Volcanoes. While we where heading through the mountains the roads got progressively worse as did the weather. After being hailed on and drenched again we tucked our tails between our legs and headed back to the Oasis in Riobamaba. The next day we headed south for 120+ miles along some incredible Andean roads to see the ruins at Ingapirca. The views where so beautiful that I decided to ride along them again back to Riobamba. Actually when we got to Ingapirca I realized for the umpteenth time that I'm a chowder head and had left some important documents in our hostal so I had no choice but go go back and get them. I got drenched along the way. When I got back to the Oasis our host ran to open the doors so I could park the bike in the courtyard but I explained to them that as much as I loved their fair city I had had enough and headed back to Ingapirca in the dark. In all I rode over over 370 miles of twisty and occasionally treacherous Andean roads and was still only about 125 miles away from Riobamaba.

From Ingapirca we wound our way to Loja through more beautiful Andean countryside. From Loja we made our way to the frontier with Peru.We got drenched along the way. The border crossing to Peru was the best yet and after spending 2 weeks in the mountains we headed to the coast for a little sunshine and hopefully a little less rain. Which turned out to be the case. The people in Peru are very friendly and people are constantly coming up to us to ask about our travels. We spent our first night in Peru in the city of Chiclayo and the following day we visited the ruins of Tucume before making our way to the nearby beach town of Nuevo Pimantel the follwing day wanting more sun we headed about a hundred miles south to the beach town of Chicama along the way we met two Australian riders on a Harley-Davidson who have been riding around the world off and on for the last six and a half years.

Tomorrow Todd and I will be splitting up for a bit while I head towards Buenos Aires to meet my brothers family and Todd continues more directly south through Chili.

Off to look for big juicy steaks.