Day 141 – Pasto, CO to Otavalo, EC

Day 141 – Pasto, CO to Otavalo, EC      01/09/11      Mileage: 164

There was no power in the hotel this morning, so that slowed down the packing process a bit as my room had no natural light. I skipped breakfast and just had a granola bar while I did some routine maintenance on the bike. Once that was done I hit the road for Ecuador, but there was one more stop I wanted to make in Colombia, and that was to visit the famous Las Lajas Sanctuary.

Here are some bullet cam shots from the road…

There is an overlook on the road to the church that affords a great view of it, and from there I could see that it was packed.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Las_Lajas_Sanctuary

It was after all Sunday around noon, so I guess that shouldn’t be a surprise. I decided to pass on going in for the tour, so I just took my pictures and split for the border.

Getting out of Colombia took only 15 minutes for both me and the bike, much less time than any of the gents in the picture above I suspect.

This nice lady had the bike processed out of Colombia in 2 minutes!

No lines at immigration to stamp myself out of Colombia…sweet!

Changing my Colombian Peso’s into good ‘ol U.S. greenbacks…

Ecuador took quite a while but was very straight forward and didn’t cost a dime. It took about 2 hours, partly because of the long line at immigration and the one gentleman working at customs was, shall we say, deliberate in his pace of work. Well, at least he won’t die from stress!

Pulling up to the Ecuador border buildings…

This is the immigration line inside the building…it went out the door and around the building, but I forgot to get a pic.

The KLR patiently waiting for her import permit at the aduana office….

With that done, I was set loose in Ecuador…country number 12 for this trip! The scenery continued to be rivaled only by how much fun the road was. There was some rain here and there along the way, but that certainly didn’t dampen my spirits.

The road from the border to Ibarra was fantastic both in scenery and fun to ride factor. The bullet cam was out of juice which was too bad, I might have had more great road shots. I stopped for the night in Otavalo which is famous for it’s local market, in particular the Saturday market. I found secure parking and a private room w/ bath at Hostal Maria for only $7. It was also nice to not have to convert all the prices to U.S. dollars, as Ecuador uses the U.S. dollar as it’s currency. The only thing missing at the hostal was wifi, so I set off to find dinner, beers and some wifi. Each country so far has had what amounts to a “national beer” (or maybe 2 or 3), and Ecuador’s is called Pilsener. Of all the “national beers” I’ve had along the way, this is by far my favorite and is very drinkable….and that’s the excuse I’m using for drinking my body weight that night. I certainly paid the price the next morning…

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5 Responses to Day 141 – Pasto, CO to Otavalo, EC

  1. Nancy says:

    The overlook view is wonderful…reminds me of europe. Photos and stories have been a great distraction…like a virtual vacation!

    I am here stuck in the city…staying at the Hudson….I have a big meeting tomorrow….so I’m heading out soon to explore Central Park….which is beautiful in the snow 🙂

    Hopefully I will get back to Long Beach tomorrow….or I’ll be here for another night!

    Looking forward to hearing all about Ecuador 🙂

    Be safe…Nanc

  2. Nancy says:

    Believe me…if there was any way of avoiding work today…. I would have.

    What I have not told you yet…is that I accepted a new job/promotion within J&J. A new group has been formed here in NYC Digital/E-Commerce. Last week was my first official week and our new team met with our new VP yesterday and part of this morning.

    So….I wanted to make a good impression. Although my new boss is a skier and she get’s it 🙂 I am very excited…although I must admit…seeing you go from working 24/7…to what you’re are doing now is very distracting!

    Happy Trails….Nanc

  3. Nancy says:

    He he…well if there is one I do right…that is my work ethic…but I think I’ve already SHOCKED her a few times..if you know what I mean…but I think she appreciates my sense of humor…not eveyone does you know 😉

    Ecuador looks amazing! Right now some warm weather would be welcome!

    We are heading to Snowbird/Alta in March…so no warm weather for me!

    Cheers! Nanc

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