Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Leaving Ecuador

Our pre-purchased tickets for the Fútbol (soccer) game said it started at 15:00, so we showed up at the arena at about 10 minutes to. We could hear the noisy crowd inside but all the doors were closed and no one was letting anyone in. There were a bunch of people around the door but only a very few, like us, had tickets. We wondered what those who didn't have tickets were doing crowded around the doors. We couldn't understand it. So we found security (military police) and they couldn't get us in until a man with a cell phone presumably called someone inside and finally the door was opened. Well it became instantly aware to us why those people were crowded around, because it was a stampede through the door squishing bodies through then running in all directions to the bleachers.

Apparently the game started at 14:00 and we were watching the second half of the game. It was mildly entertaining to watch not only the players but also the enthusiastic crowd. It was 0 - 0. It was the local Manta team playing a team from the interior called Barcelona, the latter being Ecuador's and these locals favourite team. Barcelona team wears yellow jerseys and the favoured team was evident simply by the sea of yellow in the bleachers. Jordan actually bought a Barcelona jersey too for the game. Two minutes from the end, the local Manta team scored twice to the boos of the crowd.

We went to a parade on November 3rd which I think was celebrating the "Day of the Dead" (close to Halloween). There were a lot of celebrations throughout the weekend with many, many people in town and shops closed down. Lots of loud music of course!

We decided to be adventurous and try out paragliding, so on Sunday we went to Canoa (20 minutes out of Bahía) on the 6th of November. We sort of knew where to go and when we looked up into the sky, we saw a bright yellow canopy and a pair gliding. We drove up to the top of the hill and asked if we could also do it. We waited for our turn and then I went first with our glider, Alicia, and then Jordan had his turn. We both felt assured that she was competent and trustworthy, and we each had an awe-inspiring, breathtaking ride with her. Better than an airplane but not better than being able to actually fly like a bird - which of course no one can do! We would highly recommend this as an activity to try if you never have. Below is Alicia with Jordan, but you can't see Jordan as he is leaning off to the side to take this photo...

Flyin' high!

We have also been completing boat chores. Our anchor chain was successfully re-galvanized in Manta Ecuador and thankfully our autopilot is working after it was fixed in Seattle USA. Jordan has installed the new sheet on the main sail, attached new mouldings to 2 port windows and the stateroom hatch, and applied silicone to a few galley counters while I mended the head sail. Numerous other small projects have also been completed.

It's now time to leave Ecuador for Easter Island. We will be pulling anchor early in the morning tomorrow, November 17th, for about a 3-week sail. We hope to post Position Reports as we make our way (but no guarantees!) Hopefully, we will be able to go ashore at Easter Island with our dinghy, but if the water is rough, we won't be able to. Then we will have to keep going to Puerto Montt Chile which is also about a 3-week sail. So we may be out of touch via our blog postings for quite awhile (other than Position Report link at upper right of our blog).

Monday, November 07, 2011

Synopsis

A brief synopsis of our wonderful 15-night, 16-day motorcycle trip of inland Ecuador and Columbia:
  • We stayed 5 nights/6 days in the very beautiful Colombia and 10 nights/10 days in Ecuador
  • Total distance travelled was 3,525 kilometres
  • Cost of hotels (or hosterias/hotels which can be the same as a hotel) was $361
  • Fuel amounted to $89.52
You can't depend on signs stating distance to the next place. The first sign you come to could say "town name 75 km". Then you travel 50 km and come upon another sign which says "town name 35 km" or "town name 10 km". My math says it should be 25 km! But most signs never even state how far to the next place - they only point in the right direction for a city, town, or village and do not mention how far away it is. That is, if there are any signs at all!!

An interesting traffic practice is for motos to give clear way to oncoming passing vehicles. You have to drive defensively. Usually no problem though, as the shoulders are broad, and slower traffic including motos use them as a lane.

A great sign noted throughout the curving roads of the Andes on what may happen if you pass...


Total mileage that we put on the motorcycle since we purchased it is 4,842 kilometres (almost 5,000 in 3 months) which also includes our trip to Quito in August. We have now sold Ruby, this little gem, as we will be leaving Ecuador soon. She ran great for such a little bike and took us up high into the mountains and way across 2 provinces without any trouble.