Thursday, January 14, 2010

Rough Rider - Loja, Ecuador

River rocks & sand used as road surface from Limon to Gualaquiza.

Reverse camber bridge down the road from Yantzaza.

Jan. 13, 2010

We ignored the roosters and bull horn and had a slow start this morning. Our main objective was to mail off some postcards which took forever and we rolled out of town at noon. We back tracked from Banos back into the Amazon turning due south at the town of Puyo, following Route 45. Our plan was to ride a few hundred kilometers through the Amazon jungle and then cut straight over the Corridllerra towards Cuenca. Alas we could not find the road we needed to head over the mountain as there were no signs on the dirt road with a dozen different available turnoffs. After driving to a dead end we gave up and continued south on the perfectly new asphalt paved in 2009 road. Greg was getting bored with the perfect road conditions and then abruptly we began ascending through twisty turny roads once again.

With only a half hour of daylight left, we pulled into the town of Limon. Here we found a Residencia for $12 and bedded down for the night with crying babies, barking dogs, latino music, and the occasional rooster crowing for no apparent reason. I slept right through it all.

Jan.14, 2010

We were up and out of Limon at 8am, and for a town that you can see from end to end, it was very confusing to try and find your way out. We discovered that in 2009 the government of Ecuador stopped paving at Limon. Thus for 100km we rode the roughest dirt road as of yet. We averaged 30km/hr which for Greg was pushing the limit. There were several deep rocky sections and slick wet corners with the risk of oncoming traffic at all times. After 3 hours we finally encountered the hard top again, we were never so glad to drive in a straight line.

We were on our way to Loja, our last stop in Ecuador before crossing the Peru border. I had a headache all day which was compounded 1000% by the rough dirt road that I thought was never going to end. To soothe my suffering we went for burgers, fries and a south american sundae.

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