Thursday, April 26, 2007

Top Ten Ways you know you're riding your Motorcycle in the Andes

Top Ten Ways you know you’re riding your motorcycle in the Andes:

1) The road up and down looks like 23 “z’s” stacked on top of each other.
2) You’re looking down at clouds.
3) You’re also looking down at planes.
4) When you ask someone how many kilometers to the place you’re going, they
shake their heads and say “it’s not the kilometers, it’s two to three hours” and you
know you are at most 15 miles away.
5) No insects!
6) You are riding on a stone road clearly laid by the Inca’s that is more grass than stone.
7) Your 1200 cc motorcycle has as much power as a 250 cc at sea level.
8) You get chased by dogs rabid from the altitude
9) Every 10 minutes you want to stop and take a picture because you see the most
beautiful scenery you’ve every encountered.
9a) Despite being at the Equator you have your electric handwarmers on.
9b) You have to “pop” your ears 7 times in half an hour because of the elevation changes.

10) If you fall down while riding through the loose gravel cutbacks, empty valleys,
Rain soaked grooved dirt roads, stony rivers, towering pine forests, or mountain cliffs: NO ONE CAN HEAR YOU SCREAM!!!

By the way...

Here is where we will be traveling for the second leg of our trip: South America.

With our heads in the clouds.

Here are some images from the Quilotoa Trail which had such majestic and spectacular views that we stopped just about every 10 minutes to take a picture!

We drove up to an altitude of over 13,000 feet above sea level and found ourselves enveloped in thick fog many times. We stayed in a hostel aptly named the Cloud Forrest where we met a number of other adventurous travelers from all over (Israel, Czech Republic, Australia and the US) and we had a nighttime visit from some local girls who performed a couple of beautiful dance numbers.

While we try to take the best pictures we can, this is truly an area of the world where the camera just cannot capture the true essence of what we saw. But something is better than nothing.