Wednesday, June 8, 2011

2 flat tires in 2 days Quilotoa loop to Banos

While driving on a scenic but rocky road from Cotopaxi to Chucchilan, I felt the Sienna not responding on turns and got out to check the tires and long behold the driver front tire was flat. Lucky for me no side wall damage yet, and the sun was still up. Had to give the old spare tire some use and lucky it came out just fine (thanks Gus for servicing the cable) 20 minutes later in some light rain we're back on the road about 10kms to the next town where we spent the night and got the tire repaired. Just down the road from the hostel for $5 patch inside the tire looked like a stone had punctured the tire.

first flat tire of our trip
manual labor not tire machine here boys
Next morning we headed for lake Quilotoa one of Ecuador's most photographed sites. We picked up 3 Swiss from the hostel, it was only a 24km drive but it took almost 2 hours because this stretch was horrible at one point of the road had so much mud that I thought we would have to turn around but luck for everyone I managed to maneuver pass with everyone outside watching and fearing the Sienna would slide down the muddy cliff.

amazing emerald green color from the lake

donkey ride back up the hill priceless

When we arrived to lake Quilotoa, one easily see why its so popular because of its beauty and size. The hike down was very steep and you see the local natives working all around planting bushes, relaxing and talking amongst themselves. After an hour we arrived at the bottom and expecting 4 donkeys waiting to take us back up because we had arranged this beforehand at the top with the locals. 30 minutes late a little man came down hill with 1 donkey, 1 horse and 1 kinda hybrid of a donkey and horse which i got to ride. Ji got the donkey and the Swiss girl got the horse while her boyfriend Andy, was shit out of lucky and had to walk up, we paid $8 each to hire the animals and guide. The animals where ok, not really trained and the guides had no change as usual.

We drop off the Swiss trio in Latacunga, lucky for me the rest of the way was paved. 3 hours later Ji and I arrived in Banos the adventure town of Ecuador and as I was doing a U-turn to get back to the hostel I hit the curb and instantly knew I had blow out another tire got out and sure enough but this time the passenger front tire. Talk about luck in almost 10 months though USA, Mexico and Central America nothing but in these last 2 days something hit the fan. This time it cost me $12 to fix, because of the side wall patch was huge and cost more, not sure if it would pass safety in Canada but it looks ok and holding pressure keep you posted.

Banos famous waterfalls and natural pools

at the doctors, had some stomach problems but got the clean bill of heath