Doug Ruth's 1996/97 Trip Report Summary #2
Date: 31 Jan 1997
To: BMW -GS motorcycles mailing list
Subject: Trip Report - January 1997 Summary
NOTE: I changed the format of these summaries slightly, giving briefer
information, but giving dates for everything, so the reader can refer to the
more detailed trip reports for more information as desired.
WHERE AM I NOW?
January 31 found me in Banos, Ecuador.
WHAT WAS MY ROUTE?
The following is a brief summary of my route, naming the city/town I stayed
in that night.
1-2 Medellin, Colombia (with the family of Carmenza Restrepo)
3 Manizales, Colombia (Hotel California)
4-10 Manizales, Colombia (with the family of Alonso Flores)
11-12 Popayan, Colombia
13-14 Tierradentro (San Andres de Pisimbala), Colombia
15-16 Valencia, Colombia
17-19 San Agustin, Colombia
20 Village along PanAm Highway between Popayan and Pasto, Colombia
21-22 Otovalo, Ecuador
23-28 Quito, Ecuador (with family of Alex Morillo)
29 Quito, Ecuador (Hotel Plaza del Teatro Internacional)
30 Riobamba, Ecuador
31 Banos, Ecuador
Jan 21 - Colombian/Ecuadorian border at Ipiales, Colombia and Tulcan,
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH
Jan 1-2 - Hospitality of Carmenza Restrepo and her family in Medellin
Jan 4-10 - Hospitality of Alonso Flores and his family in Manizales
Jan 4-10 - Week-long festival and fair in Manizales
Jan 4-10 - Riding a Suzuki Intruder for a week
Jan 7 - Bullfights in Manizales
Jan 14 - Tierrodentro underground burial caves
Jan 15-16 - Friendliness and hospitality of the campesinos at the blockade
(see this date under LOWLIGHTS also)
Jan 18-19 - Carved stone heads at San Agustin
Jan 19 - Cockfights in San Agustin
Jan 21 - Sanctuary of the Virgin of Las Lajas, a huge gothic church built
on a bridge over a river near Ipiales, Colombia
Jan 22 - Otovalo, Ecuador and its Indian markets
Jan 23 - Crossing the equator, from north to south
Jan 23-28 - The hospitality of Alex Morillo and his mother in Quito
Jan 28 - Mitad del Mundo monument on the equator north of Quito
Jan 29 - Old City in Quito
Jan 31 - Spectacular Volcan Chimborazo (6310m)
Jan 31 - Road from Riobamba to Guaranda to Ambato crossing two 13000+ foot
Jan 31 - Hot springs in Banos
LOWLIGHTS OF THE MONTH
Jan 8 - Tatianna falls out window and I carry her to hospital
Jan 15-16 - Being threatened and having it "suggested" that a "donation" of
my motorcycle and camera will solve the problem (see this date
under highlights also)
INTERESTING PERSONAL ENCOUNTERS
Jan 11 - In Popayan Margaret Mercado, owner of a '61 BMW R27, introduces
herself, and gives me her address in Northern Chile and that of
her brother in Santiago.
Jan 13-19 - Ronnie from Holland, and Gerardo, Andres, Leila, and ****,
students from Bogota who I travel with in the Tierrodentro and
San Agustin areas.
Jan 15-16 - Senior Aleman (see this date under LOWLIGHTS).
Jan 23 - Rob at the South American Explorers Club clubhouse in Quito, who
had been reading my trip reports on the GS mailing list.
Jan 27 - Dave Johnson, from Wisconsin, riding a Honda XL650, who had read
my write-up at the Road Knights clubhouse in Panama
BIKE PROBLEMS, REPAIR, AND MAINTENANCE
Jan 21 - Checking my front brake pads I find that 2 pads are feathered
down to the backing plate. I replace them with 2 pads I removed
in Guatemala which still have 1/16" material on them.
Jan 24 - Installed a new Pirelli MT60 rear tire. Thr Bridgestone Trailmax
rear had lasted just over 5000 miles. The front Bridgestone is
Jan 24 - Installed new Ferodo front brake pads,The Galfers lasted less
than 5800 miles!
Jan 24-25 - 5K mile service: Mobil 1 20W-50 Synthetic oil, adjusted valves
Jan 25 - Right-side valve cover gasket has small tear around one of the
small mounting stud holes, resulting in a bit of seepage along
the stud. Decide to live with it for now.
Jan 25 - Right-side valve cover center mounting stud appears to be pulling
out. Am able to thread it back in and decide to watch it
carefully in the future.
BIKE DROPS, SPILLS, AND CRASHES
none - must not have been riding any good roads.
PROBLEMS WITH THEFT, VANDALISM, POLICE, CHECKPOINTS?
Jan 15-16 - Not really, but see this date under LOWLIGHTS
Jan 21 - I'm 95% sure my Kryptonite cable lock got pilfered, while I was
still sitting on the bike, surrounded by a crowd at a road
blockade in Ibarra, Ecuador.
WHERE AM I HEADED FROM HERE?
My plans have changed a bit from what I originally envisioned. This is to
ensure I get to Tierra del Fuego before the weather down there becomes too
bad. I'll proceed to Lima, Peru, basicly as originally planned, taking my
time along the way to see the places I'm interested in. However after
leaving Lima, I plan to put it in high gear and head south to Puerto Montt,
Chile, where I hope to take a 4-day ferry south to Puerto Chacabuco, where
I'll pick up roads over to Argentina and then down through Patagonia to
Tierra del Fuego. Then I'll turn around and sort of zig-zag my way back
north, picking up the interesting places I blasted past on my way south,
eventually returning to Southern Peru and Cusco and Machu Pichu. Actually by
skipping as significant a place as Machu Pichu on my way south, it almost
guarantees I'll return to southern Peru, because it would be absolutely
insane to ride to South America and not see Machu Pichu. A benefit is that
the weather will be better at Machu Pichu later than it would be if I went on
my way south. A side effect of the zig-zag route on my way back north is
that it may take 1-2 months longer. It's too early to say.