Almost a new way to go

10 08 2007

Well, a bit happened in the last few days – so much I haven’t even been on the net.

I spent a morning with John looking for motorbikes in Quito. As I’ve said before, this is a strange town. There is a complete absence of a second hand market in motorbikes. The few that I could find were ridiculously overpriced (not much less than new and beaten up terribly). So after an hour or so of helpful phone calls  John, I decided not to buy a cheap Chinese import (if a dealer tells you the brake master cylinder is dodgy, and the bikes are not put together well over the phone you should reconsider getting one to ride across the continent). So the bike was out.

John then took me to  a Land Rover repair guy who had a few Series 3 ´Rovers for sale. Considering these are early ’80’s cars, they were is remarkable condition. I was sorely tempted, I had even sussed out the paperwork required, and it was all possible. What a change that would be, from a bike to a car in an hour or so.

After a few minutes consideration, I decided that that is a trip I would love to do, but not this time. So it was back to a motorbike or buses. Until I met a Dutch cyclist who had just come from Ushuia. That was rather unfortunate. I started talking to him about the route, etc, and complaining that I couldn’t find the panniers, racks, etc here otherwise I might do the return leg of his journey. I got seriously keen again on the bike idea (and much to my mothers disappointment I’m sure) changed my mind again. I bought his front panniers, and his bike computer, and stole a few of his ideas re route. Meeting someone like this was a serious coincidence (I later found out that a Swiss couple going from Ushuia to Canada had passed through 2 days ago – I saw them ride past me, but didn’t stop them to talk. I also met a Belgian couple who had finished a Buenos Aires to Quito tour yesterday – perhaps there are more cyclists than I thought.)

Well, to cut a long story short (anyone who has been shopping with me will agree that it a long process) I eventually bought a new Orbea bike. I found some pannier racks after a great deal of searching. I’ve bought the best saddle and gloves I could find – hopefully this trip doesn’t destroy me.

And yesterday I rode to the equator, only 25km north. The trip has to at least start at the equator. I didn’t take all of my gear, but a fair portion of it. And I can tell you now – the hills / mountains will be all sorts of fun 🙂

And today I may or may not leave Quito. It’s 10am, I haven’t packed and I don’t really know which route I should take. Perhaps I’ll just go a short distance.

It’s a damn long way to Ushuia. 12000kms. I´ve come 25. Perhaps 6 or 7 months. To be honest, it is a little daunting. But hey, I’ve got nothing else I should be doing. This is going to be a hell of a trip 🙂


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