As usual, after a few days off the bike, it feels so good to be on the road again.
When in Rome...Ya gotta do what ya gotta do to get around the crazy traffic.
Ummm.. Kevin? What did you do!? Double yellow line? Nothing.. The cops often stop us just to admire the bikes and ask where we're from..
We're taking the curvier route to the south, always a top choice for Kev. But he's having more and more trouble with his Buell. The power comes and goes, sometimes he can do normal speed and sometimes he's lucky to top out at 70 km/hr.
We ride through one small town/village and along the road they had many large dead pigs! I only saw it here, so it must be local regional specialty.
Kevin got his lunch.. I personally was happy with just a drink and a Snickers Bar.. Snickers has always been my back-up. I couldn't bring myself to try the pig.. ;-(((
The rough building behind has table and chairs to enjoy your meal. Right.. I'm not including the photo but on the back table was a white plastic laundry basket with another pig's head and pig pieces and parts hanging over the edge. Kevin still liked his lunch though! It's culture, it's normal here, just go with the flow..
This is a gorgeous country to ride a motorcycle...
Kevin's panorama shot..
Here in Alausi, I am noticing the indigenous Ecuadorian culture showing up a lot more, which is kinda cool!
One last photo before riding out of town.. and on to another day of gorgeous roads... and bike problems! ;-))
This is only a little one, but there are no shortages of land slides on any road.. in any country.. in South America!
We came to a cross section in the road where we planned to ride straight south into Peru. However, Kevin's bike is getting worse and he's not happy. So we decide instead to head west toward a large-ish town, Machala on the Ecuador coast, in hopes there might a mechanic or motorcycle parts.
The rain started pouring, so camera tucked away.
Machala was an experience to navigate! Wish I had photos.. This town is torn up!! Lots of the streets were blocked off by piles of dirt, rubble and trash. It felt very uneasy for me, as if it were an old war zone.
We searched for a cheap hotel in the center, many were closed and boarded up. One was open but it had no electricity or water.. Okay then!
Finally came up with the one and only solution, a bit more expensive but it did have water, electricity, internet and air con! Plus an undercover garage so Kevin can work on the bike.
Kevin was really ticked off with the bike and he got to work straight away. I set off on a mission to find food and a couple beers for him. The hotel staff would NOT under any circumstances, let me walk on the streets by myself. I made it clear that we need a few things, I have traveled in dangerous areas before and I will come right back. They insisted to send one of the staff to walk with me. I have never had that experience anywhere in the world, but given the looks of the rubble, trash and uneasiness of the town, I went along with it. For nothing else, the company and a bit of direction.
Second challenge, it's a holiday weekend, and there are no shops or restaurants open anyway! There was one little man selling street food, so I ordered a plate for Kevin. (again it didn't appeal to me, and nothing like digging into my stash of emergency food for dinner). The man was able to go into his house and sell me 2 of his own beers. Very important.. I know this will make Kevin feel better for sure.. ;-)
By time I was back in the garage, the bike was in pieces. He thinks he found a chaffed wire in the fuel pump. But not sure and really wished he could consult with a mechanic. So I put a message out on facebook for any one to talk to about Buell mechanics, and friend Mike Kieber piped up right away. I set Kevin and Mike up on my skype (thank goodness for internet in this town!) and off they went with ideas.
Kevin worked late that night, the entire next day and in to the following night. There is not much of anything I can do mechanically, but offer my smaller hand to reach things he couldn't, or hold things when he couldn't. Other than that, he just kept telling me it simply made him feel good that I would sit there in the garage with him while he worked for moral support. I can do that, no worries!
I was very impressed by how many pieces he took off the bike and then put it back together perfectly. The bike started up on the first try. I'm amazed because I can't do it! So far so good!
The landscape has changed here in the south west corner. A bit more dry and brown.
Lifestyle change, climate, housing, etc. You can see in the photo below that Kevin's power problem returned and it's totally annoying him as he keeps looking down at it.
I've seen plenty of truckers with their own stash of bananas hanging off the side of their truck, but wasn't real keen when I saw this one.. ;-(
Regardless of his Buell frustrations, Kevin always has a smile.
No more photos for the day. After 360 km and a border crossing, we pulled in to Piura Peru in the dark. Kevin slams on the brakes. I asked what's up? He saw some large trucks and got the idea that maybe he could pay one of them to take his bike down to Lima for him, where he should certainly get more luck with a mechanic.
We stopped, asked several people, and finally introduced to a trucking manager to do just that. Good one, Kevin!
After that was organized, we rode into the center to find a hostel with parking. This proved to be difficult as not many places have any parking (estacionamiento) at all. The rain started pouring! Here, Kevin's bike completely died right there in the street! This is an even bigger worry. So I left him there and went on the hostel search myself. What I discovered, I took back to Kevin and there was no way his bike was going to start again and it was too far to push it in the traffic and rain. So we opted for the hotel right in front of us, a 4 star and quite expensive. Oh well! Live a little and get out of the rain!
Somehow Kevin needs to deliver his bike to the shipping yard at 4 AM and make plans to get himself to Lima on a bus.
We went to bed at 1 AM, and at 3:30 AM, a very tired Kevin left the hotel room with plans of seeing each other 2 days from now in Lima. At 6 AM, my hotel door was moving, I panicked but relieved it was only Kevin returning unexpectedly however, very grumpy. The truck left at 3 AM, not 4. He was REALLY ticked off, and from what I could tell, it was loaded earlier than they expected, so they just left ahead of schedule. (The good news is that the bike started after cacking it last night so he could get it to the shipping yard) I called and talked to the trucking manager by phone in my dreadful Spanish and we made arrangements for another truck at 9 AM. If we only knew this before, he could have slept in a bit more! Oh well. We did have a wonderful buffet breakfast in our fancy hotel, and I was glad to have him back, if even for a few hours.
We got Kevin back to the trucking yard in time. All is well, on schedule, organized his bus and I'm cleared to make my own way down to Lima, 1000 km of flat desert riding.. ALONE. ;-(( No way I am going to get that done in one day as I have the worst headlights on the planet and can't see at night.
So.... See you in 2 days!