Ecuadorian encounters

Version française disponible ici. 

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. 

An evening after a mechanical day, we shared with him a “cervezita” while playing “Perudo”. This is at this moment that we noticed it was not easy to explain the rules of this game in Spanish ! Once started, we play a game after another, bluff succeed each other, smiles are on all the faces.

After a week of cohabitation, the side-cars are ready to hit the road again. We left Juan and his camper van to carry on the adventure towards the Equator line. 

Leydi, Fernando et Valentin

Arrived by chance in the campsite of Mitad del Mundo, we have been welcomed by Valentin, his son Fernando and Leydi, after riding all the day. The campsite is nothing compared to a traditional campsite. There are no more big spaces under the pines like in the South-West of France but a small garden in this family campsite. After setting up our camp, Fernando presented his project to us. He would like to create a Spanish class and sharing the culture of his ancestors to the travelers by the astronomy, beliefs and cooking culture. After going around the property, we continue chatting with bizcochos (local biscuits) and “Queso de hoja” (a fresh cheese served in a leaf). 

The next day, we are invited to follow Selinda on the top of the hills to collect the sap of agave which after fermentation will be a Guarango, an alcoholic drink with an unusual taste.

Initially, we were supposed to leave the village after this, but we have finally found better occupations by staying here. 

With Fernando, Julien went to find a washer with a specific thickness for one of the rocker arms of a sidecar.  In the meantime we are cooking a quiche and a tarte tatin to make our hosts  discovering a bit of the French cuisine. While Valentin, Fernando and Leydi are making te surprise to prepare a Pachamanca chicken. For this recipe, from their ancestors, the chicken is slowly cooked with vegetables in a dish placed in a hole covered of lava stones incandescent. This hole is covered by a sheet metal, also covered by ground to keep the heat. An hour later, it’s time to enjoy. A three-course menu worthy of Franco-Ecuadorian families. We are sharing again a great time with all the family. The next morning, Letri told us all her secrets to make the true “Empanadas con Queso”. The most important is to keep in mind that “the most important is the decoration”! We are again having a great friendly time with everyone around the outside table in the sunshine.

But everything has an end, it’s time to say goodbye when Fernando needs to leave to give an English class in the Cayambe’s college. The last photos are taken before to jump on the sidecars and leaving their path with horn blasts.