September 21, 2011 GMT

Friday 2.9
Decided to use the Tecate crossing rather than the extremely busy Tijuana. Nice drive out hardly any traffic and no cues at the border. Got everything done in no time at all and where of down the No 3 highway to Ensenada. The road is in good shape and we arrive in town about 1 hour after leaving the border. After checking ourselves into a motel we walk into town to have a welcome to Mexico drink, there are many bars lining the street and vendors trying to get you into their shops with the phrase ďcome and buy something you donít needĒ .
Saturday 3.9
Meet Nick and Ivanka today. A English couple on a trip from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego. Had a great day and lots of laughs.
Sunday 4.9
Driving down the Baja reminded us more of India then what we expected from Mexico. Plastic everywhere and nothing nice to look at. Hope it gets better as we go further south. Staying the night in El Rosario de Abajo at a really nice Motel and the food at the Restaurant next door is the best we had so far.

Monday 5.9
Not much out there today just lots of desert, itís starting to warm up but itís bearable. We stay the night in a Motel in Guerrero Nero where we meet Adrian and Tim on their KLR 650. Have a couple of beer with them and talk travel plans.

Tuesday 6.9
Early start as it heats up very quickly. We are crossing the Baja to the Gulf of California. The road takes us through Cactus Forestís and across great canyons. By midday the temperature reaches 43C. We stop to poor a bottle of cold water over our heads and then continue our ride, within minutes we are dry and hot again. We reach the Gulf just outside Mulege where the water invites us for a swim. We jump in and realise there is hardly any difference in temperature, so we are wet but still hot. Our day comes to an end in Loreto where we stay at the Cocos Inn and a Cooled Swimming pool, heaven ÖÖ..
Wednesday 7.9
Crossing the Baja again to the Pacific Coast. End up in Puerto San Carlo where we have a delicious lunch of seafood. End up in Cludad Constitucion for the night.
Thursday. 7.9
Short drive down to La Paz and the ferry terminal where we have to get the temporary import papers for the bike and the ticket for Sundays Ferry.
We then drive over to Todos Santos a small town on the Pacific coast. End up going for a swim on the beach and thank good the water is a bit cooler.
Friday 8.9
Back to La Paz this morning. Find a Hotel and then go for lunch at a local Seafood place, yummÖÖ Just finished lunch when Adrian and Tim park their bikes next to us. We meet the boys that night for some light refreshments and have a great time.
Saturday 9.9
Drive into town this morning to have a look around. Park the bike in the main plaza and go for a walk. When we come back there is a cop trying to unscrew the number plate on the bike. He tells us that we are not allowed to park the bike in that spot (even though the bike next to me with local plates is no problem) and we be getting a fine. Stupid me gives him my drivers license when he asks for it. He puts it in his poked and walks away. I follow him and he makes me understand that if I want it back it will cost 400.- Pesos ( 40.-US ) No Option as I do need the License. Wonít happen again as I got my fake ID ready.
Sunday 10.9
Lazy morning, brekkie followed by a swim in the pool. Pack up the bike and head out to the Ferry terminal for the 5pm ship across to the mainland. There are 3 other bikes waiting to be loaded. Mark from England, Gleen from Vermonth and Andu from Bern, Switzerland. After loading the bikes we all meet in the dining room for a good chat. Itís a very warm night and I end up sleeping up on the deck. The journey across takes 17 hours. We arrive in Mazatlan around 11 am get of the boat and head into town in search for a Hotel room with AC as it still is over 40C . Wander around town for a bit and watch the menís final tennis game from New York.
Tuesday 12.9
Leaving the coast on the NO.40 Hyw. Into the mountains. It cools down instantly and before we now it we are over 2000m high. The Mexican call this road the Devils Back, and what a road it is, carved into the mountains. Loving it. We end our day in Durango.
Wednesday 13.9
Zacatecas is our destination today. Itís nearly a bit cool this morning as we ride over the high plains. We arrive after about 4 hours on the road. We end up finding a Hotel with parking which is not always easy in a town. This is a really nice old town with lots of colonial architecture. The place is bussing with people getting ready for tomorrows Independence Day celebrations.
Thursday 14.9
Walking around town checking out the sight. As we sit in the park Adrian and Tim drive past looking for a Hotel. We spent the night together having dinner and joining the Mexican party crowed. Good night.
Friday 15.9
Meeting the boys in the afternoon to go to a Bullfight. There is a great atmosphere in the Stadium, but itís not really my cup of tea seeing the bulls slaughtered.
Saturday 16.9
Leaving Zacatecas this morning making our way south towards Leon. End up staying in Silao for the night.
Sunday 17.8
We pass Guanajuato a beautiful old town on the side of the hill. The road winds its ways through the mountains and we end up in San Miguel de Allende where we stop for coffee. Scott a local joins us and talks us into staying for the night. We go into town and just love what we see. The place has so much charm and Mexican character, the best we seen so far. We meet Scott that night and he gives us some more tips on where to go and what to see in Mexico.

Posted by Mark Allenspach at 12:20 AM GMT
October 26, 2011 GMT

Monday 18.9
We make our way to Teotihuacan on the east side of Mexico City, here stands the world 3rd largest Pyramid build by the Mayas. After a climb up the Pyramid of the Moon we make our way to a small village near Tlaxcala for the night.
Tuesday 19.9
As we get on the road this morning I can see a mountain in the distance with snow on top. I tell Maggie and she wonít believe me, so we stop get the monocular out and check the map to see what mountain it is. Itís a Volcano by the name of Popocatepott and stands 5465 meters tall. The road from here takes us over high plateaus through rain forestís and down to the coast of Veracruz where we stay for the night.
Wednesday 20.9
On our way down the coast we stop at Boca del Rio for a coffee, I pick up the paper and read the headlines. 35 bodies dumped in the middle of town. Shit we stayed less than 2 km away from where it took place. We did notice a lot of police around this morning but had no idea whatís going on. We continue our way down the coast and end up in Catemaco for the day. A Mexican holiday destination on a small lake. Minutes after arriving the heavens open up and it poorís for the rest of the day.
Thursday 21.9
My navigation skills are letting me down today, first I miss a turn of and then due to a road closer we have to make a 3 hour detour, itís hot and sticky and not really a good day on the bike. After a long sweaty ride we call it a day in Valle Nacional, the hotel is good and the food next door great.
Friday 22.9
Just outside town the road starts to climb into the rainforest mountains, the air is starting to cool down as we climb up to 3000 meterís. Itís slow going as there are many potholes and topes ( Speed bumps ) but itís a great ride non the less. 4 Hours later we arrive in Oaxaca. Our Hotel is a old mansion thatís been converted, the room is large and airy and there is a great court yard to have breakfast or just sit and read a book. We meet up with Wade and Phil, Andrť and Glenn all Bike riders on their way south. Itís Wadeís Birthday so we celebrate with a few beers and a bite to eat.
Saturday 23.9
We all meet for breakfast and go to check out town together. From the Farmers Market to the Chocolate Factory and up to the Cathedral we cover a lot of ground and see some interesting sites. Phils girlfriend arrived today from Germany and we all meet up in town to have a few cold ones. There is Mexican music playing and people are dancing in the street. This place has a good feel about it.
Sunday 24.9
Decided to stay another day in Oaxaca, love that place always something going on in the placa.
Monday 25.9
Andrť joint us for the ride down to the coast. On the way out of town we at a bike mechanic where I get a Oil change done, Ĺ hour and we are rolling again. The road winds itís way through the mountains down to Salina Cruz. We now that Nick and Ivanka are on the beach somewhere. They sent us the coordinates and I converted them onto a map so hopefully we will find them. We turn of the highway through a small village down a dirt track and onto the beach. We could not believe it, everybody is here. Wade, Phil, Ricky, Kevin, Nick, Ivanka, Andrť and us. Had a great night under the stars eating some delicious fish washed down with some cool Coronas.
Tuesday 26.9
We all are staying another day, just to nice to go. Playing cards, swinging in the Hammock and going for swims. Live is good. In the late afternoon we arrange to go fishing with one of the locals. First we need to get the boat in the water witch is a all in effort. Andrť is the only one who catches a Albacore Tuna big enough for dinner for all of us.
Wednesday 27.9
Except for Nick and Ivanka we are all of this morning to go to San Cristobal. Wade leads the way and along the coast past hundreds of Wind generators that are turned off through small villages and finally up into the hills again. We come into thick fog and a village that is completely flooded and has been for most of the year ( so we are told) After a long ride we arrive in San Cristobal a little town with a historic centre.
Thursday 28.9
Wade, Phil, Ricky and Kevin are moving on today, whereas Andrť and us are staying another day to check out the place.
Friday 29.9
Itís raining this morning but not enough to stop us from moving on. Its only about 200 kmís today but it takes us well over 4 hours. The road is very twisty and there are so many speed bumps itís not funny anymore. We stop at Mexicos tallest waterfalls, Misoi-Ha, with a drop of more than 30 meterís. We just get into town looking for a hotel when the rain starts, by the time we find one we are completely soaked. A well we did need a wash.
Saturday 30.9
Only 7 kmís outside Palenque there are some of Mexicoís best Maya ruins. So this morning we drive out and explore the old Maya town. Itís very humid out here and the insects are eating us alive. There is also a museum and lots of street vendors selling anything Mayan. A few hours later we are back on the bike heading back to town when it started raining again, another soaking we will be running out of close soon as nothing dryís to well in this humidity.
Sunday 2.10
Not sure what happened to the first but now we got it right again. Late start this morning as it was still raining. Itís only a short drive to Tenosique a small town near the Guatemala border where we want to cross tomorrow.
Monday 3.10 First try to get out of Mexico and into Guatemala
Pack the bike have a coffee and a 50 km drive to the border, easy! WrongÖ we get to the border no problem but we need an exit form that you need to pay for at any bank in town, Not at the border, and the office that stamps out the bike is closed today. So no option but to go back to town and to the bank. Once our number is being called we step up to the counter to be told that we need to go to the Immigration office first to get a document with which we then come to the bank to pay for and then back to Immigration to get it stamped. Of course that Office is at the other end of town so it takes us all day to get it sorted, but now we have it all and should be good to try again tomorrow.
Tuesday 4.10
The rain woke us up this morning, great itís going to clear up and we have a nice day, wishful thinking. We packup and head for the border again but this time in the rain. Good thing about that is that all the checkpoints canít be asked to come out from under there shelter so they just wave you through. We get to the Mexican border control and the guy that sent us back yesterday has a big smile on his face, takes our papers and stamps us out in 2 seconds flat. I then go over to the bank to sign out the bike, no problem, the guy dose fill out a fancy form gives it to me, shakes my hand and says ďAdios AmigoĒ Thatís it we are out of Mexico.
100 meters on and we stand at the Guatemala border. In to the shed, two minutes later we have a stamp in our passport and we are good to go. Just below is another bungalow where I have to go for the bike. Small problem, on the rego papers it say Mark in the passport itís Markus no good. After a while I convince the officer that it is like that in OZ and itís no problem anywhere in the world. Photo copies, 160.- pesos a few pieces of paper and weíre good to go . Itís still raining but the road is good, we make our way to Flores.
Wednesday 5.10
Went out to the Tikal ruins today, very hot and humid but also very impressive. On the way back we run into Glenn and a guy from Canada so we all stoped and had a chat. Glenn just came in from Belize today and is camping out by the ruins whereas we stay in a small village by the lake for the night.
Thursday 6.10
Leaving for Antigua de Guatemala this morning. Nice drive down the CA 13. Of course we get rained on for a short while and then its sunny and hot again. The traffic further south is getting quiet heavy so we stop for the night in a small hotel in Rio Honda
Friday 7.10
Make our way through Guatemala City and out the other end to Antigua. The roads in Antigua are very rough coble stone so it shakes the hell out of us and the bike. After settling in at the hotel we go for a walk around town. Passing the wine- bar we hear some familiar voices, we stop to look and see Wade, Phil, Ricke and Kevin sitting around a table having a few beers. No option but to join in.
Saturday 8.10
Walking around Antigua exploring the town. In the evening we meet up with the others again and watch the rugby at a local bar.
Sunday 9.10
Early start as we meet up with Wade and Phil, Ivan and Juan from Guatemala City who also ride GS. We all ride out to Lake Anatalia for the day. Go for a swim in the lake and eat pizza then ride back into town. Tonight we move in with the host family who we stay with for the next 6 days while we do our spanish course. Early night, tomorrow is a school day.
Monday 10.10 Ė Friday 14.10
Up at 6.45 breakfast at 7.00 then of to school by 8. We get greeted by our teachers and then straight into it, 4 hours 1 on 1 my head is spinning. Then home for lunch and study. The weather is miserable all week long, rain, rain and more rain. Half the country is flooded and there are some serious land slides blocking the roads.
Saturday 15.10
All during the week there has been a influx of bikers coming to Antigua. Tonight we all meet up, there are 12 riders in town. French, Canadians, Swiss, USA, Australians and Irish. We go to on of the Hostels whoís owner is celebrating his 50 Birthday. You guessed another big night.
Sunday 16.10
We meant to leave today but the weather is so bad and Nick and Ivanka are stuck out by the lake due to landslides and floods that we decide to stay until Tuesday hoping for better weather.
Monday 17.10
Nick and Ivanka are on there way. With a police escort and a truck caring all there luggage and Ivanka up the hill they finally make it out after being stuck for 4 days.
Tuesday 18.10
We have been in Antigua for 10 days so itís time to finally get out of here. Kevin, Glenn, Andrť, Nick, Ivanka, Maggie and I are packed and ready to go. We decide for the coast road to get to the border. Minutes after leaving town the rain sets in and only stops for a minute at the time. At first the road is not to bad and we make good process. But then it all goes down hill. Roads have been washed away, whole bridges have disappeared and we have to make our ways around on goat tracks to get back on the road.
And then Disaster strikes !!! Kevin is leading the ride when a dog jumps in front of him, he manages to avoid the dog and stay on the bike but Andrť following him is not so lucky. Even though he does not hit the dog he loses the bike and crashes, the bike flips twice and Andrť gets thrown off. When it all comes to rest Andrť has a sore shoulder and the front end of the African Twin is a destroyed. After securing and clearing the accident scene a guy in a pick up overs to drive Andrť and whatís left of the bike back to Guatemala City. We been in touch with Juan and Ivan who advised us to go back to the city where there is a better chance to find a mechanic and parts for the bike or even buy a new bike if it canít be fixed. Kevin, Maggie and I decide to ride back with Andrť to give him a hand and be some moral support. By the time we come into town itís getting late and we been riding in the rain all day. Juan meets us on the outskirt of town and guides us to a Hotel and a Bike shop where we drop the Twin off. A hot shower a quick bite to eat and we collapse into bed totally exhausted, what a day. At least Andrť is not to bad it could have been much worse.
Wednesday 19.10
Since we are in the city Kevin and I decided to bring our bikes in for a service at BMW how is just around the corner. Then we are of to the bike mechanic where Andrťís bike is. They already started pulling the front apart, the forks and wheel are totally destroyed and a lot of the fairing is broken and scratched, the verdict is that it can be fixed but it will cost a lot of money. Andrť is considering buying another bike or having his African Twin fixed a decision that wonít be easy.
Thursday 20.10
We wake up this morning and the sun is shining for the first time in two weeks. Kevin and us are heading for the border again as there is nothing else we can do for Andrť and we really would like to move on. Ivan and Juan escort us to the border, best guys ever. Couple hours for the paperwork and we are into El Salvador. A short drive from the border we come to a little mountain village called Tacuba. Nick, Ivanka, and Glenn are waiting for us at the Mamas and Papas Hostel. They tell us about a tour to the waterfalls that sound very exiting so we decide to join in tomorrow.
Friday 21.10
We leave at 8 am for the tour. Back of the ute and of we go driving out of the village towards the mountains. Only 10 minutes into the journey we here a loud bang and the car stops. Part of the steering has broken and we cannot drive on. Molony our guide tells us not to worry makes a few calls a half a hour later another 4 wheel drive turns up, our tour continues. After a good hour driving trough the El Salvador Mountains we have to go on by foot as the road no longer exists due to mudslides and washouts, the walk takes us through Coffee Plantations and thick rainforests down to the bottom of a valley where the river rages after all the rain we had. We claim our way over fallen trees and across new landslides to we finally come to the first waterfall. We are all a bit worried to jump down our first fall but after William one of our guides shows us and tells us itís ok we all make it and are keen for the next one. Due to the high water we really have to clime our way along the river. The second jump is about 5-6 meters high. We all need a extra minute to gather or nerves. Then there are waterslides and more falls to we finally arrive on top of a 80 meter cliff with the water rushing over the itís side. We have a break and then climb down the face of the cliff to the base of the waterfall. And now comes the hard part we have to walk back up through the rainforest back to the car. A good 2 Ĺ hours later and totally exhausted we arrive back at car and make our way home to the hostel. Wow what a great day that was.
Saturday 22.10.
We leave for the coast this morning, the sun is shining and we all enjoy the ride around the Volcanos down to the coast. The road is great condition and snakes itís way along the coast to a surfing village called El Sunzal where we find a great place to stay. Swimming in the pool walking on the beach a few cold beers, Life is Good
Sunday 23.10
We all check our emails this morning to see what news there is . As I open mine I see a message being forwarded by Andrť. Kevins sister is looking for him and canít find him. So I pass the computer to Kevin and within seconds his world collapses. The bad news is that his mother is very sick in hospital and not likely to make it to the morning. After calling his dad we all get the sad news that his mother has passed away a few hours ago. We are so sorry mate.
We spend the rest of the day organising a flight, finding a place to store the bike and support Kevin as good as we can. At the end it all works out and Kevin is flying out of El Salvador at 7.45 am
Monday 24.10
Now down to 3 bikes we leave the beach after breakfast to make our way closer to the border so we can cross into Honduras and Nicaragua in one day. We are staying the night in La Union.

Posted by Mark Allenspach at 10:49 PM GMT
November 12, 2011 GMT
Nicaragua to Panama

Tuesday 25.10
Happy Birthday Maggie.
Early start to get to the border of Honduras. The moment we drive in we get hassled by mouls ( people trying to help you with all the formalities for money)The place looks very hectic so we do decide to get some help. Hand over all the paperwork and wait for 2.5-3 hours, pay a fee here and another one there and we are good to go.
The road is not to bad so our ride to the Nicaragua border takes only 2 hours. Getting out of Honduras is a breeze and on the Nicaragua side the lady from the insurance office points us in the right direction so we are done in no time at all. The road condition from the border onwards is great and we make it to Leon in just over one hour. Maggie has been feeling bad all day with a flew so as soon as we get to a Hostel she goes to lie down while the rest of us go to town for a bite to eat and a cool beer.
Wednesday 26.10
Maggie is still feeling bad so we stay another day to give her some rest. Nick and I go up into town for a haircut and a shave, for 6.- dollars we get the full treatment, cut,shave,eyebrows,ears and nose. How good is that. After our treat we go shopping at the local markets where you can buy everything from meat to fish to Iguanas. We settle for Prawns, Fish, fresh Tomatoís and some Spaghetti for dinner, Kerman brings cakeís from the French Patisserie. What a great night.
Thursday 27.10
Of to Managua the capital of Nicaragua this morning where we will meet with some friends of Ivanka. The town itself is nothing spectacular but Ivankas friends Neville and Leon take us to a local bar and later to a restaurant with some really nice local food.
Friday 28.10
Just a short drive to Granada this morning. On our way we stopped at the Volcano National Park where you can drive right up to the rim of the still smoking Masaya Volcano. In Granada we met up with everybody thatís on the way south. Itís great to meet up again and again.
Saturday 29.10
Neville from Managua came to pick us up this morning to go to Lago de Apoyo, a volcano creator lake. What a amazing experience.
Sunday 30.10
Down the coast to San Juan del Sur for a great seafood lunch. Staying the night, leving for the Costa Rica border in the morning.
Monday 31.10
Arrived at the border around 10am, getting out of Nicaragua is straight forward no problem whereas coming into Costa Rica is a pain in the ass. Get a stamp here, go by insurance half a km back, get photocopy and go to a window to find out you need another copy, go back to get it, come to the window again and get it all checked now on to the next window half a km the other way, wait and be patient all in all around a 2 Ĺ to 3 hour tour of the border. The scenery changes straight away coming in to Costa , the cars are nicer and the businesses are more American style. After a quick lunch at a Burger King we head west to the coast down towards San Juanillo where Karin and her family live. The skies open up and the road turns into a river. After a few wrong turns and asking for directions we finally make it to Karins just before dark.
Tuesday 1.11
Another day in san Juanillo, after a huge breakfast with homemade bread we go down the beach for a swim. In the afternoon the rain comes back and we all just hang around waiting for diner to happen.
Wednesday 2.11
Today we are on our way to Tamatindo where Tim and Adrian are staying. Itís just a short drive and we get to enjoy the beach in the afternoon. Maggie makes some Spaghetti Bolognaise and Adrian bakes a Bacon and Egg Pie for dinner, yummÖÖÖÖ.
Thursday 3.11
Of to San Jose today where Nick has his bike booked into BMW for a service and front fork seal repair.
Friday- Monday 7.11
Checking out town and looking for a suitcase so Maggie can repack and get ready for her flight to Switzerland on Monday. Andrť and Glenn met up with us too. San Jose is not a place you have to come to as there is not much to see. On Monday morning I take Maggie to the airport and wish her fair well after nearly 3 years and 100í000 km she called it a day and is on her way home.
Monday 7.11
After the airport Andrť and I make our way across the mountains to the Caribbean Coast and down to Cahuita where Nick and Ivanka are having some Hammock time.
Tuesday 8.11
Today we all go for a walk through the National Park one of the best Rainforest walks ever. On our 4 hour walk we see Monkeys, Lizards, Slothís, Snakes and lots of Birds, just great. Andrť opens a few fresh Coconuts for refreshments and then itís of to the beach for a swim.
Wednesday 9.11
Crossing into Panama this morning over a very old railway bridge. The crossing is straight forward and easy, as far as crossings go. We then make our way to Almirante to find out when the ferry runs to the Bocas del Toro Islands. As we missed todays ferry we go back to Changuinola to find a hotel for the night.
Thursday 10.11
6am start in a tropical rainstorm, great start to the day. On to the Ferry at 8am and a 1 Ĺ hour trip brings us to the Islands. We are staying at the Hansi Hostel in the middle of town a great little place and very comfy. The rain is on and off all day. The island has a very Caribbean feel to it with Reggae music playing everywhere.
Friday 11.11
The sun is out and the place is looking great so we get our things and hit for a secluded beach on the western end of the island. Tough live, and a Coconut curry for dinner.
Saturday 12.11
Rain, rain and more rain. Oh well just another lazy day on a Island

Posted by Mark Allenspach at 10:32 PM GMT
December 11, 2011 GMT
Posted by Mark Allenspach at 04:39 AM GMT
December 30, 2011 GMT

Sunday 11.12
This morning we drive down to the border and into Ecuador. The crossing is straight forward and easy, after about 2 hours all the bikes are cleared and we are free to go. Our first stop is Otavalo just north of Quito. Unfortunately Kevin finds out that his best mate has passed away and he needs to organise a flight home to Ireland. AndrŤ is not happy with the way his bike runs so he pulls it apart looking for the problem. We find that one of the Carburettors is not working properly, the membrane has slipped and therefor itís not working. After a few tries we manage to get it right and all is working well. For dinner we find a good little restaurant at the town square.

Monday 12 .12
Arrived in Quito the Capital of Ecuador this morning. We drive out to the Equator Memorial build by the French and not really in the right spot. The Equator runs a few hundred meters further north, The water really runs in the opposite direction only a meter across the centre of the world. We can also balance an egg on a nail and itís impossible to walk the line with your eyes closed due to the magnetic pull from either side.
After driving through the middle of town and getting lost a couple of times we find our Hostel, itís right near the tourist square.
Tuesday 13.12
Spent the day looking around the old town centre and checking out Quito by taxi as they are cheap and handy to get around.
Wednesday 14.12
Kevin left for the airport at 5.30 this morning, have a good trip mate.
After breakfast Andrť and I pack our things and head south towards the Cotopaxi National Park. Unfortunately we are unable to get in with the bikes, they try to sell the Jeep tours, so we decide to push on towards Chugchilan where we stay at the Cloud Forest Hostel. The drive up is wet as usual but when the clouds lift the scenery is amazing. Have you ever tried to play table tennis at over 3000m ? Itís exhausting.
Thursday 15.12
Had a dry ride through the Andes this morning, after a short time we arrive at Lago Quilotola a volcanic crater lake. After a quick check in to the hostel we make our way down to the lake, a very steep walk down the side of the crater. Going down was ok but itís a killer coming back up. We are at around 4000m and it feels like my heart is going to explode in my head. As Iím hoofing and puffing up the hill the locals just walk past me smiling asking if I was ok. The afternoon is spent in front of the fireplace drinking tea trying to stay warm. Outside the fog is so thick you canít see across the road and itís raining heavily as well. After dinner we make our way to bed and I tell you itís one of the best beds I had on the whole trip. Nice thick Donna, soft Pillow , heaven.
Friday 16.12
Our aim is El Corazon for the day. The road out of the village is brand new we enjoy the riding through the mountains so much that we miss our turnoff and only realise 50 km later that we are wrong. Oh well turn around and enjoyed once more. After the turn off the road turns to gravel and soon later into mud. At least itís not raining at this time so even thou the going is slow we make good progress. Just after passing through a small village called Angamarca I notice that my back end is rattling and moving a lot. We stop to inspect and find that my frame is broken in 3 places. Great middle of nowhere and itís starting to rain as well. Andrť rides back to the village and returns about 1 hour later with a truck on which we load the bike and drive back to the village. Next to the church is a blacksmith with a welder, three of us work for over 2 hours to get it back together and welded. Itís not the best looking work but I think it should hold, Fingers crossed.
By now itís 4.30 pm, still raining and there is nowhere to stay here in Angamarca so we push on. Due to the rain the road has turned into a mud bath and both of us are praying not to fall over or get stuck in the mud. Itís starting to get dark and the fog is getting thicker by the minute. From Angamarca to Pinlopatta itís only about 30 km but it takes well over 2 hours. For the last 15 km down to El Corazon the road is very step and rocky the bike is all over the place but we finally make it find a good clean hotel where there is a Christmas celebration and us in the middle of it.
Saturday 17.12
Here we go again, the road resembles more of a goat track up and down the mountains. If we get lost nobody would ever find us. Once we come to the top of mountain the sky opens up and the road is dry and not to bad at all. After 3 hours we reach Salinas a small village famous for their Cheese, Ham and Salami, we try it all for lunch and then make our way past the Chimborazo Volcano ( 6310m) the road takes us around the base at around 4400m with a lovely hailstorm to set the mood. Itís cold but fascinating. A short time later we arrive in Riobamba where we stay for the night.
Sunday 18.12
On our way to the coast we miss a turn off and head down to Alausi. Itís not the wrong way but not what we had planned. No worries. We stop in Duale a smaller city north of Guyaquil. The Hotel is nothing great but the rooftop is a great place to hang out watch the fireworks and have a few beers.
Monday 19.12
Around a 2 Ĺ hour ride and we end up on the coast. We continue on the Ruta del Sole down to Montanita where we will spend Christmas and meeting up with the boys .
Tuesday 20.12 Ė Monday 26.12
Beach, Sun, Food, Drinks and good company makes for a great Christmas.
Monday, left this morning along the coast to Guayaquil where I need to get new Front Fork seals installed at the BMW mechanics. We find the place easy to drop the bike of. Andrť is able to leave his bike as well so we catch a taxi into town. Guayaquilís waterfront is quiet nice and the old part of town, otherwise itís not a place you need to visit.
Tuesday 27.12
Had a lazy morning waiting for the bike to be finished at around 3pm. Taxi back to BMW wait around for 1 Ĺ hours and of we go making our way out of town. The aim is to go to Cuenca back up in the mountains. We are not sure if we will make it as it was after 4 by the time we left BMW. Anyway the road is great and we are moving along at a good pace. Once we come into the mountains itís getting wet and cold but we push on and make it to Cuenca just on dawn. As we are looking for a Hostel we meet a Costa Rica couple on a KTM and they just found a place with parking. To easy.
Wednesday 28.12
Spent the day checking out Cuenca, visiting the Panama Hat Factory and getting lost around town. Nice place.
Thursday 29.12
Beautiful ride through the mountains down to Loja from where we will go on to the border and into Peru.

Posted by Mark Allenspach at 01:48 AM GMT

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