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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Day 9-Febr 11-2017 Final Day Ecuador

After a great breakfast and story telling of the huge critter Ken encountered last night; as told in yesterdays post....we headed out on our last days ride to Quito.
Up in that canopy somewhere are monkeys swinging from branch to .......

a stop for lunch near a Resort with mineral hot springs

The Resort in the distance
This restaurant is made from recycled shipping containers
Entering Quito the back route.



Quito in the distance

narrow streets in The Bohemian District

Ken, I warned you about drinking those 2 Large Beer.....

We arrived at Freedom Bike Rentals about 2 pm and by the time we repacked and sorted the paper work, walked to end of street and hailed a cab, it was 4.30pm as we arrived at the Quito Airport which is about 27 miles out of the city.....We had a long wait, our plane didn't leave until 1am.

We arrived in Houston Texas close to 5;30am and went through a long line in customs which took about 1 1/2 hours or so it seemed. This airport is huge.....we walked a distance before Ken talked a lady on a golf type cart to take us to Section B.....another short walk and we had to take a tram to our loading dock......good thing we had 3 1/2 hours between flights.......arrived in Toronto during a snow storm....lucky to land as I heard they cancelled flights in and out afterwords......at least 3 custom checks to get back into Canada with both Ken and I having secondary security checks....guess the Police Officer didn't like the Horizon Unlimited slogan on the back of my tee shirt which read......Border Crossings are Only in Your Mind.....as he stopped me as I cleared customs and asked me what Logo on the front of said shirt meant and nothing about the slogan.....he did want to know if I had any electronics and replying yes, I have a computer, he wanted to know why, I replied that I Blog, then he asked if I took pictures, da, YES....then he said where is your friend, I said likely in the taxi by now....when actually he had returned and was hiding behind a post.......Home Free.....now to get to our car.....dig it out.....head home in the storm,,,arriving about 4;30pm, I spent 1 1/2 hours

digging out enough room to get my car off the road......Ken's wife Carol had invited me to dinner that evening....so a quick shower......to Carol & Ken's where I enjoyed to helpings of Roast Pork with all the trimmings of potatoes, carrots fresh beans and apple pie (2)........gaining back the 4 lbs I had lost during the trip........Thanks Carol for a delicious meal.....
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Monday, February 13, 2017

Day 8 & 9- Febr 10 & 11 2017-Ecuador

We left Banos around 8;30 am headed for Cotococho Lodge near Puerto Misahualli In the Amazon Jungle. The ride did not disappoint as we climbed higher into the mountains on breathtaking roads which were challenging. The vista was exceptional......in the high Andes at about 13454 ft the temperature plummeted. We soon began the descent and things warmed up.....we arrived at the lodge early as we wanted to take the afternoon boat trip up river in search of Anaconda.......
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the roads towards the jungle


another suspension walkway



coffee break along the road

we cross a suspension bridge

we turn right before this bridge which we will cross tomorrow

entering the Cotococha Amazon Lodge


path to lodge from parking area

Ken's room second floor.....here Ken would have nightmares....the lodge was wild with no electricity....the path through the jungle to the river was lit by oil lamps....we were provided with 2 oil lamps for light......during the night Ken, who was in a top floor thatched ceiling room, was awaken by a noise....upon shining his flashlight in the direction of the sound...he claims to have come face to face with a grasshopper the size of a rat....petrified he reaches for a club next to the bed and whacks the critter senseless......he checks the entire room for any other intruder....he is sleeping under a protected netting which is a canopy over his bed. I have none and am on the lower floor in the next grass hut with only screened windows...I have an uninterrupted sleep....not concerned about Jaguars that might leap through the light enclosure or the Anaconda lurking beneath the floor.....good thing I never thought about grasshoppers. Back to Ken....and a sleepless night....he awoke to find the critter had been resurrected and was starring at him with the only eye it had left from the night stand next to his bed.....I will let him tell how he dealt with that 

my bed, only screens in the windows with a gentle breeze and the sound of the river passing by, I slept soundly

my room on the lower floor

the open air dining room

the view from my porch

tonight cocoa beans will be roasted, shelled and grind ed into chocolate over this fire, then served with pineapple and biscuit to dip into the melted treat 

the lounge area where 2 American girls sitting in those 2 chairs last night had a large tarantula crawl up next to them...likes

the boat waiting to take us up river to a waterfall
through the rapids

landed and heading for the lagoon and waterfalls

we are told the boots are to protect us from the spray of the waterfalls 

the trek through the jungle

the waterfalls...lol....still think the boots were because of spray or maybe something more sinister like snakes....remember Ken with one foot up in the air

Ken ventures in
tubing home....Ken had a tube but declines this means of returning....maybe it was the stories I told on the way up about alligators and the flesh eating fish, I had read about

Lodge pool...no piranha, Ken. I will follow up with our final day tomorrow

   

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Day 7-Febr 9 2017-Banos Equador

After a delicious omelette breakfast....a short snooze...Ken knocks on the door......he says he has info on 2 GEO Caches.....lets go but it is our REST DAY.
Breakfast Room

Front of Hotel

Court Yard

Entry to Court Yard....where is Ken....I have both bikes ready

Ride up the mountain

Taken from the hotel....we need to get the top at over 8000 ft....2 GEOS UP THERE

View at 7600 ft of Banos. Our hotel is at the base of this spot which is straight down..

Banos

Road near top


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Ken busy waY DOWN A TRAIL FROM THE LOOKOUT 

1 of many blocks of stores catering to TOURIST

kEN FINDS A cache behind this truck in that wall,,,,,,he hides a medallion in it

KEN EXHAUSTED AS HE CLIMBS THE TRAIL AND DISAPPOINTED AS HE FAILS TO FIND THIS CACHE

kEN GETTING UP THE NERVE TO SWING INTO THE OBIS OF THE VOLCANIC CRATER

kEN ADMIRING THIS HAMMOCK FOR CAROL MADE ON THAT OLD LOOM BEHIND

kEN SWING ITS ONLY 300 FEET IF YOU SLIDE OFF...i THINK i SEE FLAMES THROUGH THE FOG

NEARING THE TOP OF MOUNTAIN AT OVER 8000 FT

MANY  COMPANIES IN BANOS SELLING EXCURSIONS


tomorrow WE HEAD UP OVER THE MOUNTAIN INTO THE AMAZON BASIN. KEN HAS JUST INFORMED ME THAT WE WILL BE IN HUTS WITH NO ELECTRICITY.

THE BLOG MAY GO SILENT FOR A DAY.....WE END THE BIKE TRIP ON THE 11TH BACK IN QUITO AND COLLECT OUR BELONGINGS AND HEAD TO AIRPORT FOR A MIDNIGHT FLIGHT.....THIS WILL BE A VERY LONG DAY AS WE HAVE TO BUST OUR *****TO MAKE IT TO FREEDOM BEFORE 6PM....THEN SPEND 6 HOURS WAITING FOR OUR FLIGHT...