South American Journeys - Ecuador
November 20, 2001 - Ecuador
At the border, which is said to be much easier than the main border
crossing at the coast, I had no problems at all. I showed my international
registration, and the officials put a stamp in it, no question for a carnet
de passage. We talked about the World Cup Qualification where Ecuador
qualified ahead of Brazil, and Germany with some problems just a day before.
They did not even stamp the motorcycle into my passport as they often
do. Football seems to ease the process at borders.
From Macara I took the road to Cariamanga. It must be very scenic, but
I did not see all of it, since the clouds were low and a long stretch
of the road was covered in dense fog. But the rich tropical vegetation
was a sharp contrast to the desert of Peru, and Bolivia, and Chile, before.
Unfortunately, the unpaved road is going to be paved. There was a long
construction area, where loose gravel, mud and heavy rains made it difficult
to get through. At one point, the whole road was just a quagmire, and
all cars and buses were stuck in the mud.
With some luck I got through. I reached my destination,
Vilcabamba just before it got dark. The Hostal las Ruinas is a paradise.
A great place to chill out. They have a pool, jacuzzi, Turkish bath, sauna,
volleyball field and much more. The staff is very friendly, and it cost
10 US$ including two meals per room.
Hostal Las Ruinas, Vilcabamba, Ecuador
The roads in southern Ecuador are a bikers dream. Many curves, going
up and down mountain passes with great views. Only the police checks of
all passing vehicles in every town are a nuisance. They always want to
see the drivers licence and the vehicle registration. But they have not
checked yet, if the registration is for this bike. One time, there were
3 police checks within 15km.
Chimborazo Volcano, Ecuador