September 20th 2003
Our first long drive in the Weasel!
To make up lost time, we decided to drive back to Quito in one day, leaving Guayaquil at 6:00am, thereby giving us enough time to arrive in Quito before it got dark. We thought the Panamerican would be the best road to take, so headed off towards Riobamba and up through the mountains.
The roads were pretty quiet most of the way and we had some great views as we climbed up into the mountains.
The landy is feeling the effects of the altitude. It was driving fine at sea level, but as soon as we started to climb above about 2500m and continued to climb to 3800m, it was not its normal "perky" self with a drop in power and black smoke coming out of the exhaust.
As we dropped down into Riobamba it became evident we would be lucky to see any of the volcanoes that line the sides of the valley due to low cloud.
We passed a few police checks along the way and had no problems at all, they were all very friendly and just waived us on.
Arriving back in Quito and the Hotel Plaza felt a bit like coming home, especially when they gave us the same room we had been in prior to going to Guayaquil. The receptionist could not get over the fact that we had shipped a vehicle all the way from England and kept calling us "locos".
September 21st - 25th 2003
We have decided to stay in Quito for a few more days, finishing off various jobs on the landy in the comfort and security of the hotel car park and within easy reach of nuts and bolts shops. Joe from the South American Explorers Club has been taking Ed to various places around Quito to look for the tools and bits and bobs we still need - or left at home!
So whilst Ed is doing all the hard work, I am just sitting on a deck chair supervising and learning more Spanish.