November 7, 2015
I had planned to head for Quito this morning. With the help of the local Yamaha dealer here in Ibarra, I was able to locate a fork seal at one of the dealers in Quito, and was planning to be there early this morning in hopes of getting it replaced. Unfortunately it began raining last night and has not really stopped since. I’m not opposed to riding in the rain, but I hate to tear down my camp and pack a wet tent away, along with a wet bike cover, if I don’t have to. (By the way, it’s really just the rain fly of the tent and the footprint that are wet; the tent itself is nice and dry and I’ve spent the last 20 hours or so in it, nice and cozy, reading my Kindle and working on my laptop). I’m really in no hurry at this point, so I’ll wait out the rain for a day or two.
Yesterday I rode into Ibarra and up to Laguna de Cuicoche, a mountain lake at just over 10,000 feet elevation. Starkly beautiful is the only description I can think of. It is a park, but I was the only one there.
On the way through Ibarra, I happened across a Yamaha dealer so I dropped in to see about buying a fork seal. They didn’t have one, but were happy to track one down for me in Quito. They had two XT250s on the showroom floor identical to mine. When I pointed out that I was riding the same bike around the world, they were suddenly surprised, quizzical, and excited. Lots of questions about the bike (no English — I am actually really enjoying attempting to converse only in Spanish), how it has performed, speed, comfort, etc.
My campsite is literally across the street from the Ibarra Autodromo, a beautiful roadrace course. My tent is about 100 feet from the outside of Turn One. I’ve been yearning to ride around the track, but haven’t found a way to do that yet. The last couple of mornings before the rain, people used the track as a walking course for exercise, and in the evenings bicyclists and rollerbladers use the track.
Just behind the trees in the middle of the photo above is a motocross track. Yesterday I could hear a couple of guys there, one on a four stroke and one on a two stroke.
I’m glad that the campsite has good wifi, since I don’t have much else to do while it rains. Looking forward to the ride to the equator (I’m just an hour or so away), then on to Quito, hopefully tomorrow.