November 18, 2006 GMT
Into Peru from Ecuador!

Itís time again for an update. Letís see, we were in Cali, Colombia when I last posted. A VERY nice thing happened for us in Cali after I posted so I will tell you about it. If you have been keeping up with the blog (and you should be) you will remember that we were given a tour of Panama City by a fellow ( Douglas) in the motorcycle club who had the nice VW convertible. While Sal and I were visiting Douglas he said that he had a cousin in Cali Columbia and he put us on the phone to him from Panama. His cousin, Gus seemed sincere when he said to call him when we got to Cali, so I did. He invited us to his very posh and private club for drinks then took us on a tour of the city after which he introduced us to his daughter who went with us to dinner. Gus was a VERY nice and funny guy. He also happened to be the ex Governor of that district and the ex Director of Ports for Colombia. He knew everyone as we toured. He also insisted that we stay the next day because he was having a family party at his finca/farm in the mountains and since we were now ®family® we MUST stay and attend.

His farm was WAY up in the mountains above Cali and if it had been a clear day you could have seen for 100 miles I am sure. It was a GREAT party. Just family and friends talking and laughing.

Gus cooked paella. Maybe one of the best I have ever had.

He also had a good supply of liquor and of course firearms (donít they always go with liquor?)

We ate, drank, laughed and finally had to go back to town so we could TRY to get up and hit the road south. It was hard but we made it to Pasto, Colombia then to into Ecuador and stopped at Quito for a couple of nights. I wanted to see the equator monument.

I took my gps and of course HAD to point out that their monument was NOT on the equator, (they seemed to know it and didnít appreciate it being pointed out for the millionth time. :=)

There was a tour available (very near the actual equator) that showed many unique things associated with the equator (sundials, balancing an uncooked egg on the head of a nail, water swirling down the drain in different directions (or not at all while the pan was on the line, etc.))

I did walk a ways north and found the REAL equator (thank goodness I had the gps) :=)

When we left Quito and ask for directions south to the Pan Am Highway EVERYONE sent us the same direction. It was a GREAT road. A six lane freeway and no cars. NO CARS in either direction. There is a CLUE here somewhere and we found it.

Yup suddenly ended in deep mud about three miles before the intersection. Why did they all send us this way (we never did figure it out)? Just part of the adventure. Another part came a bit later for me.

Thatís a huge nail. Split the tube completely in half all the way around. A young man dismounted the wheel, and the tire, put in my new tube and remounted them and asked for $2.00. I gave him $5 and he was very happy. We rode on down the road south out of the mountains toward the coast of Ecuador and it turned completely tropical.

All we could see were banana and fruit trees and pineapples. Today we crossed into Peru. The border procedures were very simple but the mass of people at this border were not to be believed.

We had to ride thru the masses and park among them to do the paper work. No cost involved in getting out of Ecuador or into Peru! The ride down the Northwest coast of Peru is VERY much like riding the Baja.

Scrub desert on one side and deserted beaches with many little palapaīs on the other. We will be in Peru for several days since it is a long north and south country. Looking forward to seeing the Nazca lines and Machu Picchu soon. More from down the road later.

Many more pictures here.

Posted by Rick McDermed at November 18, 2006 11:44 PM GMT

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