After spending the New Years in Vilcabamba, Ecuador, I readied myself with the border crossing at La Balza on my way to Jaén, Peru. The trip would take me more than 10 hours and 200 miles (313 kilometers) across mostly on off-road dirt tracks through the Andes mountain ranges. A friend of mine, Chris, had taken this journey less than a week earlier.
Ecuador By Motorbike
My first taste of Ecuador was not a pleasant one with three hours waiting in one line at the first border I was not a happy camper. However once I got riding into the country, the roads were phenomenal. You would think that this country made for adventure riders, the mostly paved roads were excellent and the views spectacular, you just couldn’t stop as many times as you wanted to, as just about around every corner there was another fantastic view.
The country is a lot more advanced than most and with that came the dreaded road tolls, yes even motorbikes had to pay road tolls in this country. It seems the first thing a country does is tax road usage once it grows up and wants to be with the big boys. Even in advanced countries, it annoys me, the tax the fuel and then the roads! I would stay in this country for a few weeks driving through barren mountain ranges and then deeply forested mountains, then deserts, the landscape was ever changing. The country has some of the most spectacular vistas, and the food was exceptional, although they just love to cover their food in the batter!
I would spend New Year’s Eve here in Vilcabamba right near the Peru border and take in the local festivities before riding on a dirt road 200 miles to the frontier. The final days riding would also see me crash for the second time, this time around I just got too confident in my abilities and came unstuck on a slippery drizzle soaked road high up in the Andes. Luckily for me, nobody was around to witness my embarrassing slip! This taught me a few lessons I would carry with me for the rest of my journey; one is to respect the road and your abilities, the other is to be patient at all times. Crashing has a good side, as long as you do not get injured, and that it goes through the process of unpacking your bike and getting everything ready to ride again.
So come with me as I discover this country and all it has to offer.