Thursday, 19 December 2013

Cuenca To Yanzatza To Vilacabamba

Sorry for the delay here, wifi has been skinnier than a supermodel and so slow the dogs can piss on it, however now we have a connection

Lets go to the back yard and play

Good bye to Cuenca dudes and thank you so much

The road out of Cuenca was laden with trucks and buses which slowly thinned out as we got further off the beaten track, just as we entered into a small gorge we saw two moto riders, turns out they were part of a bigger group that we caught up to, they all turned off and with big smiles toots and waves we carried on now with virtually no traffic.

What a great road to take avoiding the Pan Am and having a great look through outstanding scenery in Ecuadors back yard. Needless to say we pretty much had the road to ourselves, once getting out of the small towns it turned from road carpet to normal tar to tar with potholes then to the worlds most dangerous road .. yes another gravel road rivaling the worlds most dangerous roads with slips and disappearing banks into a soup of fog.

What a treat

Got a bit skinny in places ... not much between us and nothing.

Coupla groovy waterfalls along the way too

On exiting our exciting road after spending over half the ride on gravel, mud and washouts we hit the main drag and booted it down the semi main drag on brand new blacktop fit for Valentino Rossi making for a great spin for the last part of the day before retiring in Yanzatza.

Dropping over 2500 metres in a little over half an hour we rode from the fridge into the oven, baked kiwis on the lunch menu.

Yanzatza .....we arrived and it was 40 degrees taking us from baked to grilled kiwis, we found a hotel and got sorted only to have the lady try and charge more to park Maya, I got grumpy and said no we are still two people and one moto so nothing has changed, I told the lady we would go .....suddenly it was alright again...hmmm another try on to the whiteyfoo....this has been a reasonably common theme in Ecuador, this is the only this that annoys me daily having crosshairs on my forehead for a GT (Gringo Tax).

I am sure if they came to New Zealand and we tried to charge twice or extra like has happened they would spit the dummy ... nuf sed.

Luis gave us a side trip to look at in a boat but this seemed to be harder than hens teeth to track down so we did not get to do it in the end.

Loja was the next destination and in the middle is a beautiful mountain pass getting up over 3000 meters, the top was very cold and wet, looking through the screen down at Loja we realized how big the city actually was so we chose to carry on to Vilacabamba to spend a few days there hiking and taking the place in.

Another waterfall on the road side, mum nature washing our camera too

Vilacabamba is the valley of longevity where if you drink the water you get jedi powers and live for hundreds of years....not many hot young chicks there.

Backtracking slightly I met a Russian dude in Cuenca who lives in Vilacabamba and he was having trouble with his honda 125 so I helped him sort it out while we were there.

Again we launched an assault on another national park but this time we got our arses kicked.

Arriving at the top of the 8 km access road the weather was average, bit of fog and cloud so no views today, as we ascended the weather got progressively worse, the rain got heavier and the wind chimed in for good measure.

We soon left the safety and shelter of the trees then realized mum nature was having an off day, she made life hard for us with severe wind chill coupled with pouring rain, we were soaked from underneath from the wind blowing rain up our dresses.

Along the knife edge at the summit things got worse, we were both chilling down due to the seriously adverse conditions despite wearing very appropriate merino and wet gear, even with my hat held down tight with the draw string I had to hold the extra length and my hat was ripped off my head seven times.

Pics do not do it justice

Such were the wind gusts we had to crouch and brace in the undergrowth (about 400 mm high) to avoid being blown off the track, it is a weird feeling when you go to put your foot down and the wind stops your foot going down, we were very happy to get down off the ridge and into the tree line again.

While at Vilacabamba we meet Coen & Karen from Holland, they have been travelling for 10 years in a LWB landcruiser so we exchanged info and GPS maps etc which was great, the first night we tried to met mum nature had other plans and decided a valley cleanse would be the deal .... whoa did it rain.

Coen and Karens Cruiser

A little bit of rain

The street/river

There is a view point above Vilacabamba too, nice little jaunt with a good view, we got the timing right between the sun and the rain that came.


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