We had a good day motorcycling and witnessed some amazing skills. There was a small boy on a BMX style bike who grabbed the back if a semi trailer as it went by. He held on to the back as the semi sped up to 35 mph! He didn't let go for miles! The cars behind the semi followed him so close they would have run him over for sure if he had let go. The truck went up into the mountains and he finally dropped off smiling only to ride down the hill and do it again! Amazing! The road turned to shit, it was like riding on a rough dirt road, only it was paved. We made it to just over 10k feet when we were passed by a group of 6 adventure bikers like we were standing still. The road was twisty and full of cars, but these guys didn't seem to care. They flew down the mountain at well over twice the speed limit. We followed them closely for a while just for the sport of it, but the anxiety and stress of it all caused us to drop back. We saw them stopped at a gas station a while later putting on their rain gear. We flew by and beat them to the border of Ecuador. Things were pretty straight forward. Got our exit stuff done in 40 minutes, but the line for the immigration into Ecuador was hours long. The whole process took 1/2 a day! We ended up making friends with some other long distance bikers from Canada, China, and Colombia. We followed them into the border town and ended up staying at the same cheap, read horrible, hotel. There was a discoteca downstairs and we were treated to the sounds of bass and yelling until the wee hours of the morning, followed by the police dispersing the crowd. The upside was the nice people we met!
The next day we woke up to a church bell bonanza at 5 am. It sure is hard to get away from noise of any kind in these countries that we travel through. We walked the streets before anything was open to get our bearings for the days ride south. We had to wait for some people to wake up as our bikes were parked in the secure lot and it was jammed with other cars so we couldn't get out. We ended up finding a cool bakery for breakfast and then we got out of the lot and headed out of town. We rolled on until we needed gas and when we stopped we met another group of motos headed our way. They warned us of the automatic radar police ahead. We thanked them and went back to checking the map for our route to come when a couple on a GSA rode up and said hi. They were from Bolivia and they are headed our way so we chose to follow them. They were quick and we ended up getting caught speeding by the very system we were warned about but the nice cops let us off with a warning. The couple that we were following ended up making about a hundred wrong turns in Quito but we eventually made it out of town and decided to just go it on our own. We didn't have a map with any sufficient amount of detail or a GPS of Ecuador so the navigation was quite interesting. The equator went by today without even so much as a sign... We thought it would be more of a major event, but we just rolled trough it like any other mile. The miles flew by and the scenery was like a patchwork quilt of green laid over the mountains. We ended up with a nice campsite at a posh hotel and crashed for the night at 9500 feet.
Today we awoke to the hotel feeding its pigs which lived in the field next to us. They were hungry suckers! We rode through clouds and the temperatures dropped to the low 40's as we crested 12000 feet. The clouds were so thick as we rode the side of the mountains that we could only see 20 feet ahead of us! We soldiered on into the mist and finally started to descend to the sea. Once we came down out of the mountains the towns got poorer and there were tons of men dressed as women with ropes strung across the highway begging for money. Maybe a New Years thing? The miles flew by and we ended up at the border for Peru. Things were as screwed up as usual at the border, paperwork wise, but the difference was there was no one else there. We finished up in a couple of hours and headed into Peru. An hour down the road we saw a camping sign on the beach and here we are listening to the surf scrub the beach. I am laying in a hammock beneath two palm trees as get caught up on the blog tonight. We had homemade vegetable chicken soup for dinner tonight and we plan on ringing in the new year Peru style as we have been invited to a party at a local house just up the beach. Here's to not wasting a minute of the time we have here. Live each day. Happy new year!