After another 21 hour journey I made it back to Quito Ecuador at 12 midnight. I hopped in a cab and found a hotel that was located near where I stored my motorcycle. The next morning I retrieved my bike, pumped up the rear tire which had mysteriously gone flat and hit the road. I was headed for a place called Canoa along the coast about 400km away.
Getting out of Quito was my first challenge; it’s a huge city with a surprisingly small population of 1.4 million. It’s built into the mountains and really spread out. A wrong turn has you going into an undesired valley and gets you completely lost. The old part of the city which is really small is nice but the rest I could do without. There was not much there to hold my interest so I got the hell out of there as quick as I could. It’s also at about 3000 meters altitude so breathing was a little difficult for me. I felt like I had a belt around my chest the whole time I was there.
Finally after a few wrong turns I made it to the right road and back into the Andes. That’s when the rain started again and visibility came down to about 100 meters. I’m sure the view was spectacular but I couldn’t enjoy any of it, I had to concentrate on not dying on this slippery fog covered road. After two hours riding at break neck speeds of 60kph through this,the rain stopped and I was out of the Andes and on flat ground.
The roads for the next while were good so I was able to make up some time and reached Canoa around 5pm. I met up with a friend of mine Aine who lives there and we set about getting on the piss. We drank the bar dry literally in about 10 min. We had the last two beers in the place and we had to drink them out of mugs. There is a law in Ecuador that prohibits the sale of alcohol after 4pm on Sundays. They don’t tell you that in the brochures.
The next day was spent repacking my bike and tightening up loose bolts followed with some relaxing and surfing (badly) on the beautiful beach before partying well into the night. Canoa is a nice place to visit, I could easily spend a few months here but I have to move on and try catch the a little bit of Dakar at least.
I was ready to leave Canoa at 6am but my land lady had other ideas, Ideas, I should say dreams, she didn’t show up till 7am to unlock the gate. I have a hell of a ride in front of me for the next few days. It’s a challenge I generously except, I love big days in the saddle, watching the scenery change from mountains to desert like it did today was fantastic.
The border crossing was the usual hour or two of riding around, Although in fairness if I could speak or read Spanish it would have been a breeze. When will them Spanish speakers come to there senses and learn to speak the english.
I had a close encounter today like I had in Guatemala with the dog, except in place of the dog there was an eight or nine year old little girl. I rounded a corner doing about 70kph (which I was legally allowed to do) when suddenly this little girl ran out from the side of a house that was on the main road. She ran directly into my path. I didn’t know if she was going to keep running ,stop or turn around. I hit the brakes as hard as I could and skidded straight for her waiting to see which direction she was going to go. She looked up at me terrified, and along with my heart stopped mid beat. She just froze to the spot with one leg still in the air mid run. I thought to myself this is going to be bad, I thought I don’t want to see this, I thought about closing my eye’s so I wouldn’t have to see it. Then all of a sudden it was like being in the matrix, everything slowed down, started moving in super slow motion and I had a chance to think.
Continuing on in this course was going to end up with a dead or mutilated little girl and me heading to jail so this was not an option. I had to come up with plan B in milliseconds. I figured as long as she didn’t move I could accelerate full throttle and just about get around her. I had one go at this, do I go to her left or right. I choose left and opened it up to come out of the skid. She didn’t move and she’s still alive. My heart has aged considerably though. I pulled up to the road side and roared at her but she didn’t even move. I think she was frozen to the spot. A women came out as I was about to head back and took her from the road. There was someone looking out for the both of us on that stretch of road and thank god there was, another two lives might have been ended on that road side today.