Ecuadorian experiences

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Catching the bus on the move from the roadside

In Ecuador, having a car is a luxury. If not possible by foot, main journeys will be by bus. Alongside the road, there are usually people waiting the “collectivo” to reach the closest city.

In Cayambe, we went with Fernando and Leydi in the supermarket. This one is 10 kms away. We went on the main road and waited 3 mins before to wave at the first bus coming towards us. This bus of 53 seats was going to Ibarra, 150kms away. But it didn’t hesitate to stop in the hill, 10kms away from Cayambe in the middle of nowhere, to help us reaching the city in exchange of a few centimes of American dollars per person.…

Ecuadorian encounters

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Juan et son combi Volkswagen

Upon our arrival at the Summerwind campsite in Ibarra, we set up the tents next to the nice Volkswagen camper-van of Juan. 

The timidity plus the separation between our camps didn’t help to communicate. Only some friendly “hello” and “enjoy your meal”. But after a week spent in the campsite, sharing the kitchen and the terrace, we finally properly met. Juan is from Medellin in Colombia. He decided to continue his work while travelling in the world. He drives many kilometres before to stop a few days when he crosses a nice campsite to be able to work on the programmation of websites.…

On the Ecuadorian roads

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Crossing the bridge separating Colombia to Ecuador, we ride our sidecars for the first time on the Ecuadorian roads. From the first kilometres to the South of the country, the motorbikes will enjoy this perfectly smooth asphalte. We can note this road surface is actually the same all along the Panamerican highway plus on the secondary roads reaching the different volcanos.

Unlike Colombia, the Ecuadorian highways are not managed by private companies but by the government. For each toll, we pay the small amount of $0,20 (USD).

In comparaison with Colombia, the waste management is one of the biggest preoccupations for the country.…

Baños, Cuenca and the Peruvian border – 5 days – 1820 metres above sea level

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The volcanos are behind us. We continued our journey towards South-East and therefore getting closer to the Amazonian rainforest and its secrets. 

The first stop was in Baños, a city in a valley which is famous by all the Ecuadorians and the backpackers for the thermal baths and the vertiginous swings. 

We arrived in Baños on the All Saints Day. For this special day, Ecuadorians are meeting each other to celebrate the deaths. Next to the cemeteries of the city, there is a special atmosphere during this day. Many stalls have been built for the opportunity to get flowers or a Guagua de Pan (a traditional bread shared in family specifically this day).…

Ecuador, land of volcanos – Cotopaxi – 4 days – 2886 metres above sea level

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Ecuador is a land of volcanos! On a territory twice smaller than France, there are over one hundred of craters in the country. 

During our crossing of Ecuador, we privileged landscapes of the Andes Mountains rather than the coast to go exploring the volcanos of Cotopaxi and Quilotoa. 

After the horrendous traffic in Quito, a capital that we crossed without a glance as we couldn’t wait to go back in the tranquility of the nature; we arrived un Lasso, on the bottom of the impressive Cotopaxi. Air became fresher! We set up our camp in the Hacienda San Joaquin at 2886 above sea level.…

From Ibarra to the Equator – 7 days – 2225m above sea level

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Once the border crossed without any issue (only passport, driving licence and documents of the vehicles are required) we did a quick lunch break in the Tulcan village. We took the opportunity to withdraw some American dollars.

Indeed, Ecuador is the biggest country in the world which doesn’t have his own currency. Since the 9th January 2000, the American Dollar replaced the “Sucre” which didn’t survived the economics and politics crisis in Ecuador during the 90’s. 

Then, we headed to the South and did 150 kms on a nice asphalt to reach Ibarra.

We spent a week there.…