As usually happens when we take extended time off the bikes, we have complete and total loss of momentum. We’ve been at the Casa de Ciclistas near Quito for six days now. We have had two failed attempts at leaving. Today, by the time we had everything packed up it was noon and Scott wanted to eat pizza and I decided to get my hair cut (if you think it’s difficult to describe the desired hairstyle to your hairdresser, try doing it in Spanish).
We made promises to each other that we’d be on the bikes tomorrow morning. It’s a good thing my sister is visiting us on the 26th because otherwise we’d be short on reasons to leave.
This place is a paradise for traveling cyclists. Santiago and his family have been hosting cyclists for over 20 years. When we asked Santiago about staying the extra days, he just laughed, apparently everyone ends up staying longer than anticipated. Some people have stayed a month! There were 8 other cyclists at the Casa when we returned from the Galapagos. It’s always fun to meet other travelers, share stories of adventures and misadventures, check out each others gear, and share route tips.
A motley crew: Lee from Canada, Daniel (aka Papa Gordo) from Germany, Matt from the USA, and Edu from Colombia.
We got a lot accomplished during our stay. Scott washed the bikes and replaced his break and shifter cables and housing. In the process he discovered he has a broken shifter. Luckily we have enough time for a replacement to be shipped to my sister.
We also completed a waterproofing project on our panniers, after washing them (man, were they dirty!). Scott mixed together paint thinner and caulk and we painted the silicon concoction on the inside of our panniers (an idea we borrowed from Marion and Virgile). He also painted the outside of his panniers, but I’m going to spray mine with Nikwax, which my sister is bringing down from the States. It’s going to be an experiment to see which works better. We had some extra remaining of the concoction so we slathered it on the bottom of the tent. The tent only has to last the 300 mile ride to Puerto Lopez. We figured it wouldn’t hurt.
I was tasked with going through over 4000 photos that Scott took at the Galapagos and updating the website. That’s a lot of boobies and iguanas to look at!
We also took a day-trip to Quito and walked around the old town, appreciating its Spanish colonial architecture.
Palacio del Gobierno: