Well, what a busy day we all had today. Up and away early – luckily The Marriott provided the most varied and comprehensive breakfast, ever. It is safe to report all sorts of fresh juices and fruit, an omelette/ egg chef on hand to take your order and every type of meat, cheese, bread and pastries one could possibly want. Oh, and don’t forget the range of Full English cooked breakfast options. Not only masses to choose from, but for those that couldn’t eat at 6am, lots of sandwich or packed lunch opportunities!
So it was in the early light just after dawn we departed the city and took the run out to the racetrack. On the way however we crossed the equator. Obviously this event had to be marked. So, even though there was no a line on the road… one cannot expect every road to commemorate the equator, it’s a country, not a globe we are traveling through after all! Our ingenious crew found a lay-by and painted a temporary line, so all participants could strike the traditional pose of one leg either side of this notional line. Happily all participants later receive a rather nifty certificate commemorating their achievement, and our photographers were also on hand to photographically preserve this moment. So we all said “Cheese” or “Queso” As we say in Spanish.
We continue our journey to the Yahuarcocha Circuit Ecuador racetrack
which, was, apparently, once as long as The Nurburgring
. However it is no longer all intact, and only a section remains. The old track still exists and this circles the gorgeous lake, and can be driven, cycled, jogged or walked around….if you have the energy. Participants first completed a sighting lap, that is, a lap to get ones bearings and find out the route of the lap. This was followed by 1 or 2 laps, where participants attempted to complete the lap in the exact same time as their initial lap.
Results will follow…just to keep you in suspense.
We then managed to pop in three timed sections, all on tarmac, as a final farewell to Ecuador. Surprisingly for this country, not huge drop offs to the side, but more fast and flowing tarmac, with one section following what looked like a scenic drive around a lake, and emerging alongside an enormous church in Espejo
with fantastically huge figures positioned on the square and brightly coloured and gilded. Wow.
On A Huge Scale
If this was not sufficient activity for the day, we had a border crossing to achieve as well. From Ecuador to Columbia we had to transit ourselves and our vehicles. For those of us from Europe, this is an odd process that, thankfully, we do not have to go through when touring through Europe. All cars have to be exported from one country and temporarily imported into the next. The problem would arise at the next border if the process was not completed in order. Heaven forbid if a signature or an ink stamp was missed, who would want to drive five days back to rectify this? Not me!! Happily, we had Hernan plus Spanish speaking JJ and Jorge (AKA The Doc), to ease our progress, accompanied by Sarah, Chris and Ian all helping us with our paperwork. We had been warned that this border would be the most difficult and potentially time consuming, but happily this proved not to be the case. I cannot say we flew through, but we certainly made steady progress and moved confidently forward to Columbia.
welcome To Columbia
Happy In The Queue
Then, we were in Columbia and only xxxxkms from our overnight hotel. Columbia itself, much like Ecuador proved hilly and rainy, but so warm everything dries off in minutes, so no one seems to mind getting wet – although I have a roof on my car, so will have to ask the guys in the vintage vehicles how they feel…Andrew, Peter, your view??
Mad Traffic One
Mad Traffic Two
Fill Up My Boot Please.