Macara

Crossed the Peruvian border today, but first finish the last Equadorian chapter…

watching the worldcup final

After the lost final by the Dutch team on sunday 11 july,…..monday wasn’t a good day to drive my bike. So tuesday july 13, I finally got my bike again and headed to the coast. Bas & Janneke did likewise and Roel & Petra went to the jungle. My solo ride was a long one, but very nice for the first part. Leaving the Andes at 3000m and descending to sealevel. I drove to Conoa, a chilled-out surfvillage and stayed in beach hostel Bambu.

Canoa

Because it was quite cloudy and there was no surf, there wasn’t much more to do than chill out.  Nice….

Tuesday I drove to Puerto Lopez for some whale watching. Had to take the ferry to cross Bahia Caraquez.

ferry

I Had a nice 6 dollar room! and next day I did see some whales. Very impressive. Too bad, it was still overcast….where is the sun???

whale watching

whales

Saturday,17th I had a short ride to surf/party village Montenita. Along the way I stopped in Ayampe, where Bas and Janneke invited me for some fresh coffee and they would also come to Montenita in the evening. In Montenita there was a small reunion, meeting friends we met along the way. Still no sun though… 🙁

With Roel and Bas, we decided to meet in Cuenca to continue our journey together. So on monday I headed land inwards again and stayed for one night in Duran near Guayaquil. Next day I was very excited to meet the boys in Cuenca, or maybe already along the way. But some bad news arrived via sms. Bas’ bike wouldn’t start and it didn’t look good at all in the beginning. Although some bad news, I did enjoy the ride to Cuenca. Climbing from sealevel to over 4000m! And while climbing I understood why I hadn’t seen sun for more than a week. I drove through the clouds and after that I had the nicest view over the overcast layer all the way to the coast.

finally sun again

crater lake

My bike really had problems with the altitude and I could only reach the top in first gear….going 10km/h. Well…never be in a hurry while travelling. All the time to say hello to the first lama’s. Hola!

lama

I arrived in beautiful Cuenca, where I met Petra in the same hostel. Besides the company and the sun, I also liked the good news from Bas and Roel, that they were good to go and would be in Cuenca the day after. Oh yes….so excited.

Wednesday 21 july the dangleberries reunited and next day we hit the road heading south. We drove to Vilcabamba, a little village in the south of Equador at an altitude of 1500m, giving it a very nice climate with a very relaaaaaax atmosphere.

TLC

Here we gave our bikes some TLC for the next few thousand km’s and wondered why some weird types of  people settle here. Many old Americans seem to find this place the ideal village to spend their old days and learn how play the bongo’s……

bongo man

Saturday 24th we left Vilcabamba and had the most curviest route to border village Macara. Unbeleivable…so many curves and hair pins….without any other traffic. Can we ever enjoy riding in Holland again……?

Sundaymorning we crossed the border to Peru. Easy does it.

Peru

Hasta pronto amigos!

Ps. found this in a hostel in Cuenca,….and it does make some sense. Funny.

Shit

Cuyabeno & Quito

HOLA!

It really looks like I live in Quito. They know my name already in the bar, don’t know if that’s a good sign….. Time to go. But ofcourse, besides enjoying Quito nightlife, I have done more.

Thursday 1 july I came back from Galapagos and spent the weekend watching quarter finals football and beerdrinking. Totally tired I took the nightbus on sunday to Lago Agrio for a 4 day jungle tour. From Lago Agrio we had an other two hours on a bus and after that a few hours on a river boat to our Jungle lodge in Cuyabeno.

Samona lodge

The lodge was pretty basic and in the middle of the jungle. I liked it very much. Wildlife all around us.

Tarantula stroking

Mr. Cayman

Tarantulas in the dining area (they feel very furry btw) and a cayman under the wooden bridge. Nice. We went for jungle walks,

jungle walk

boat tours, piranha fishing,

Piranha fishing

watching wildlife,

monkeys

swimming and a visit to the local shaman (medicine man).

Shaman

Just follow the guide with a lot of things and just don’t think about the fact that in the same river where we went for a sundowner swim (with a beer ofcourse), also piranhas and caymen live……..

sunset

The bestest part of the trip was our waterfight.

waterfight

Thursday 8 july, I got back in Quito and next morning got up early to climb the Pichincha. I took the cable to 4100m where a few hours walk would bring me to the top of 4700m.

Pichincha

It was really tougher than expected. The altitude made me walk slowly and the last part was very difficult. Had to use both hand and feet to climb the rocks, but I reached the top.

last part

4700m

I didn’t have the best acclimatization, coming from the jungle. Within 24 hrs I was at 4700m.

In the meanwhile Roel and Bas where also coming to Quito for  a little reunion and to watch the finals on Sunday. So next morning, saturday, I joined Roel and Petra with mountainbiking. We got a lift to Cotopaxi and started a very nice downhill at 4500m.

Cotopaxi

We had a lot of fun.

mountainbiking

Very nice views,

nice views

and even without 600CC I was able to make a wheelie……..

wheelie

At night we met Bas and Janneke and exchanged our Equador experiences.

Next morning we all met in the corner pub Quito to watch the football final……… !~@##@%$##%!!!!!!

Time to move now. I am going to the coast for whalewatching. Roel and Petra are in the jungle now and Bas and Janneke are also going to the coast.

Hasta pronto!!

Galapagos

Hola,

Since I said goodbye for three weeks to Bas and Roel, there wasn’t one dull moment. And I’m quite sure they have experienced the same.

On friday june 25 I drove back to Quito. Was a bit weird in the beginning that I wasn’t being followed by two other bikes. Arrived safely, and enjoyed Quito and nightlife the rest of the friday and saturday. Quito has a nice old town with a lot of churches.

Quito

On sunday I flew to Galapagos for a 5 day cruise on the Guantanamera. This yaught would bring us to several islands to enjoy nature and wildlife.

Guantanamera

Although I got the smallest room on board with a Wesley Sneijder-size bed, and the fact that there were way too many Dutchies on board, I enjoyed the boat. Good food….but then again, it is far from cheap a trip like this.

Everyday we got up early to do several excursions on different islands and every day we could snorkel to enjoy underwaterlife. I must say the Galapagos islans are indeed quite special. A lot of species you will only find here on these islands.

Iguana

Iguana

We got to see hundreds of land iguanas, sea iguanas, sealions, all sorts of birds like the nazca boobies, blue-footed boobies, albatros etc. Although I got to see a lot of boobies, the ones I like most weren’t there…..

Pelican

Blue footed boobie

Although it was a birdwatchers delight over there,  I liked the sealions most….even though not a special animal. These coolest animals were sunbathing on every beach, so I could easily join them.

sunbathing sealions

sharing the sun

And while snorkeling they came out to play. Apparently I was wearing one of their flippers and they wanted it back.

Mine mine mine

sealion

The islands looked quite dry (dry season) and rocky, but sometimes reminded me of the southcoast of England.

Cornwall??

It was a nice experience….but I was a little disappointed that I was not able to watch the Holland-Slowakia match. It even took a day and half before I knew the score. Thursday july 1, I flew back to Quito, but before I left I got to meet Lonesome George, the last turtle of his kind, and other giant turtles.

giant turtle

Back in Quito I investigated where I could watch the historic match against Brasil. So this morning I went to the corner pub in Quito where there were loads of Dutch people to witness the revenge of 1994 and 1998. WE WON!!!!! Even though the match started at 9am, the beers tasted great.

I’ll spend the weekend in Quito and go for a jungle tour on Monday.

Chao amigos

Some more pics (I’m sorry, I just couldn’t choose out of the hundreds of photos):

Todo bien

sea turtle

how sweet

iguana

between the sealions

Isn't it sweet

any space left?

Friends forever