Salento, Colombia to Otovalo, Ecuador
Just a quick post on the two days of riding to get to Ecuador in time for New Years Eve. Not much happened these days. Just lots of riding. From Salento I rode with Ian into Ecuador. We rode all day from Salento as far as we could till the sun was about to set.
We stopped in El Bordo for the night and found a room at the Copacabana Hotel just as we entered town.
We left at sunrise the next morning to make it to the border early. I’d heard differing reports on how long this border takes so I wanted to be there as early as possibly. Checking out of Colombia was a breeze; 10 minutes and we were on our way into Ecuador!
The immigration line was long but they had 6 or 8 people working so within 20 minutes we were stamped into Ecuador. No cost! I had heard this process has taken up to 3 hours so I was relieved when we were through so fast. I thought we’d be on the road in no time. The customs office had a different idea. With a line of 25 people ahead of us I thought we’d maybe be there an hour. After all Ecuador seemed to have it together in immigration with so many employees working. Customs had two people working then the guy left and it was only a woman working. The line behind us kept getting longer and longer. By the time we got out of there it had been over 4 hours just in the customs line! We weren’t able to purchase the obligatory insurance as the insurance office was out of the forms. This wasn’t a problem they processed our import permit without it.
Ecuador got started off on the wrong foot but quickly I was feeling great as the scenery was just gorgeous. It was so beautiful I almost forgot we needed to get gas. The first station we came to had no gas. Then the next was closed as well. And the third! I was getting worried. While stopped at the gas station looking at a map where the next town was a man came up and greeted us. He said there was a gas station open just 1km further.
After a couple hours of riding on great roads with beautiful scenery we rolled into the town of Otavalo. We only spent an evening and morning there in the town but it was a great place. If there wasn’t a New Years Eve party in Quito that I didn’t want to miss I would have stayed here and spent time exploring the area and the city.