The last time I enjoy the view to the sea before heading to Ecuador. 140km along the coast are not spectacular. The border crossing is smooth except that the “Aduana” is not open on weekends and I have to drive 5km further. Even no traffic is there I finally have to wait 45 minutes until I can hold the desired document in my hands. Immediately after the border the landscape changes from desert into green and wet. But the street is wonderful.
The ecuadorian drivers are much more relaxed and let me pass by giving me a sign with their hand. And no horns anymore! Perfect! The best gasoline you can get here is 92 octane called Super and costs between $2,- and $2,32, while Diesel ($1,03) and Extra 85 ($1,48) are stabile. The country is much cleaner. rom the very beginning I like this country. It goes up to 2.500m and is getting foggy and finally wet. Heavy rain for the last 60km to Loja and my rear tyre is not the best anymore after almost 16.000km. I find a nice hostel (Hostal Paris) for $17,- incl. breakfast and parking next to the reception.
I leave at around eleven and watch some churches and the nice and famous city gate.
Here and there the sun comes out but shortly after Lujo I put on my rain gear. Not too late because after 500m it begins to rain cats and dogs. Very slowly I drive the 220km on a beautiful road to Cuenca.
Ecuador’s first tram is getting built in Cuenca which makes navigation difficult. At the end I find a hostel with parking possibility in Casa Linda. I like the city from the very beginning and has flair.
After a healthy breakfast with fruits and yoghurt I’m ready for a sightseeing tour. Most of the city center is world heritage and beside the 52 churches there is a lot of houses in colonial style.
A 20-minutes stop in the traditional „Panama-Hat“ factory is very interesting and has its name because Ted Roosevelt saw this hat first in Panama even it was always manufactured in Ecuador. Back at the starting point Ihear that this was the “north”-tour. So, I stay in the bus and do the “south”-tour now which brings me to the Mirador Turi from where you have a nice view over the city. After more than 4 hours a coffee is well deserved. I just sit down when it starts raining heavily. Good timing.
Again I’m so lucky with the weather. It’s not raining and sometimes the sun comes out. Eddie, our guide, and Stephen have a great day in Cajas national park with many endemic flowers and at least more birds than in North America.
In the evening I meet Kari and Walton the the “Wunderbar” and we have a great evening till 3 in the morning.
A white and blue sky greets me at around 10 a.m. After 50km highway with 3 lanes a nice road begins. I make a stop in Ingapirca the biggest Inca excavation in Ecuador.
As it was originally a place developed by Cañaris it has the only oval temple.
The following 180km are very diversified. It goes up and down, sun and fog are changing and I have a lot of fun.
Just before I reach Riobamba a wonderful rainbow “grows”. A real spectacle.
The city itself is not really intersting. The Hostel Oasis is idylic and has a nice patio for Flecha.
For $18,- I get a private room with bath. In the restaurant „Bonny“ I get a great Ceviche and fish from the sea.
Instead of taking the short way to Baños I decide to drive through the Sangay National park. Even in the fog the Laguna de Atillo is appealing.
And waterfalls are everywhere. A great street brings me down to Macas. Only mud and rocks on the road are challenging. During a little break a can see interesting animals.
It has tropical 27°C. Beside the main place there is nothing interesting in Puyo even no café. It has to wait till Baños.
Kari figured out the cheap and perfect hostel El Castillo ($10,-). Around the corner I get a very good coffee and a tasty brownie. Chris from Australia, who Kari met in the bus yesterday, comes by and together we go to the thermal bath.
In Chris’ Hostel next to ours we get a perfect breakfast. Then we take the bus to the famous waterfall „Cascada El Pailon Del Diablo“. Even without rain you will get wet there.
Back in Baños we take a taxi to the Termas Saltado and enjoy the heat after this fresh day. After a quick snack we go to the “bar-street” and eventually to a Salsathek.
We celebrate Daniela’s birthday who we meet in the Salsathek. Together with her mother, her brother and a friend we stay until the doors close at 3 a.m.
It takes till twelve to awake. After I have changed the broken front lamp I’m heading to Quito. The way is nothing special beside that I have to pay toll twice, in total $0,40. The hostel Travellers Inn is near the center and close to the airport. And I can store my luggage during my trip to the Galapagos Islands.
Due to many deviations it is not easy to find the BMW dealer.
I go through all issues with Fernando and again it is helpful to speak Spanish since ghe doesn’t speak English. The bike is ready at 5 p.m. today! So I ask him if it can stay here for the next 2 weeks and he agreed. Great! The rest of the day I walk through the Mariscal quarter and maintain the blog.