Thursday, 25 October 2012

Day 109: Ibarra to Quito, Ecuador

Gidday everyone
Today was a day with a difference. Supposedly only a quick ride to the BMW Motorrad in Quito to drop the girls off for their 40,000km service. But as we went up to breakfast it started to rain.

Here's me under a tree while waiting for others.

And out into the wet day and wet roads. Yuck.

And past some stunning statues.

There is not much to tell really. We got on with it. Just like this codger who loves his Lada!

The mist was hanging in the hills with the temperature around 10C.

Suddenly, nothing happened! Yes it did - Karen took us off down a side road and through a village.

With lots of indigenous people.

and brightly coloured washing drying in the rain.

Poor old Karen was just doing what she was told which was to "take the fastest route." Only this time she got it wrong!

Eventually we worked ourselves back onto E35 and knowing that the BMW service was on E35 that's where we stayed. Again past interesting pedestrians. (Isn't this a great photo! Well done Shirley.)

We stopped at a likely place for coffee where the cooks were making bread things.

This is amazing now. We were crossing the equator and the temperature was 8.5C and there was snow on the hills. (At Prudhoe Bay at the top of Alaska the temperature was 21C! Go figure!) You can see the snow in this photo.

We actually passed the equator seven times according to Karen as we zigzagged our way down this twisty gorge. Odd there was no marker of the equator even though the map refers to an equator monument.

At about this point I became aware of an increasingly uncomfortable problem. I was busting for a pee! We went and went and went but could not find a safe place to stop. (Roads here don't have the shoulders that ours do.) Finally I found a place but it had a police ute (pick-up) parked in it. Bother. I went on up the hill and then became aware that the police ute was following me with his blue and red lights flashing. I stopped anyway. The police ute stopped ahead of me. D&D stopped behind me. I dashed for the bank. Ahhhh .... the relief. No photos unfortunately but you can imagine the scene. Wet road. Two motorbikes and one police ute with rotating beacons and one very relieved bloke standing at a bank. (Tactfully out of frame!)

As we left we waved and tooted to the cop and replied with a chirrup on his siren and a grin so big it nearly split his head in half.

We then arrived in Quito.

And battled our way through reasonably thick traffic

to the BMW centre where we were warmly welcomed. Shirley went shopping for Cooper, Lachie, Cody, Daniel, Daniel, Cirus and Caitlin. And any big kids?

And this one for the staff at Shirley's school.

We had a huge sort out then and packed everything we didn't want for the next six days into panniers and top box. D&D had an even bigger sort out because Dick is flying home for a board meeting.
Then we took a taxi to our hotel which took 40 minutes and cost $4.00. Shirley spotted this from our window. Any guesses?

We are on a busy street in Old Town Quito near the Mariscal district so we are well situated.

We went out for an Ecuadorean meal of fish and vegetables which was great. But we were pretty tired and pretty soon were back for bed. We now have six rest days in Quito. Great!
Today's run: 138kms
Cumulative: 27,996kms
Tipovers: 6

Location:Quito, Ecuador

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