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Day27–Is Crossing the Equator a BIG Deal?, Sun, Jan 23, 2011

Border Crossing #10, Cross the Colombia/Ecuador Border AND the Equator

Start & Stop: Pasto, CO to Quito, EQ

Mileage: 227 miles

Hotel: Hotel Real Audiencia, Quito, EQ. Parking across the street.  4th floor and no elevator! $60 USD + $5 parking

Exchange Rate: $1 USD = $1 USD but they give you small change in local coin.

PanAm Toll: $ 0.20/motocicletia

Dean: The ride from Pasto, CO to the CO/EC border was mind boggling!  We twisted our way up and down smore enormous mountain ridges.

Got to the border at 9:15 AM.

Lisa: The border crossing was so easy that I thought we did something wrong.  Not kidding.  I checked the bikes out of Colombia by simply handing the guard a slip of paper, stood in line for 5-minutes to get the passports stamped and rode across the bridge to start the process in Ecuador.  Lots of guards standing around so I asked one, “Senor, por favor, donde esta Aduano para los motos?” a very elementary way to ask where customs is for vehicles.  Well, in perfect English he responded, “Go wait there, my friend will be back from his break in a few minutes”.  Okie Dokie.  We waited, the friend showed up and the soldier came over to interpret.  Out of there in about 15-minutes.  That just can’t be … when you think of the cluster that is Central American borders, how can this be so painless?  I was certain I missed a step somewhere.  Oh, and did I mention there is no cost to any of this?  In fact, there are signs everywhere that say that customs services are free.  Nice touch.

Ecuador uses the lowly USD!

GPS shows Lat as 0.00000 - The Equator Line! Lisa was upside down 15 minutes before this shot.

Dean: We crossed the equator from the North into the South.  We took photos of our GPS at N 00.00000 and there was no sign or monument or anything. It was at a very down-hill curve section of the road.  Lisa and my GPS are set up different but we had to be within 4’ of each other for the GPSs to both read N 00.00000 (Dean) and N 00 00.000 (Lisa).

Lisa: Man, I am sick.  But I still took one for the team today.   We pulled over to the side of the road to take our photos and because the road was so cambered, Dean said he couldn’t put his sidestand down.  I adjusted a little and said that I would come get his camera and take the photo.  Easing the sidestand into place, I needed to get off on the high side of the bike, very near a deep concrete wash.  Anyone have any doubt about what happened next?  Yup, somewhere in this graceful dismount, the not-so-wee Strom went over, taking me with it into the ditch.  Sweet.  Lemme tell ya, the Wee hit hard.  Really hard.  Me, not so much.  In fact, I emerged pretty much unscathed for an old gal.  Surprisingly, flagging down help while laying in a ditch is no easy matter.  Dean, of course, could not get off his bike because it too might fall into the ditch.  So there I was, pretty much underneath my completely upside down motorcycle, trying to get someone, anyone, to help me get it righted.  Meanwhile, gas is pouring out of both the main vented tank and the aux vented tank.  Did I mention I am sick as a dog?  Oh, and that all my heated gear is getting covered in gasoline.  Yeah, no, I left that out right?

So in all of this, it is lost on both me and the “seated one” to take a photo of my bike, completely upside down DIRECTLY on the equator. That’s funny, no? But yeah, we were both preoccupied so no joy there folks and a reenactment is going to cost you at least the price of the mirror that shattered.

Dean: Nothing was lost to me regarding this situation.  My only concern was Lisa’s safety not a photo op!   The banked turn that zeroed out GPS was steep enough for me not to get my kickstand down.  When Lisa goes over and into a cement culvert, I had to get my bike into a safe parking situation.  I rode 50′ up the road and made a U-turn and came back on the high side of the road and parked.  By this time Lisa had scrambled out of the culver.  The Wee was wheels in the air!  A SUV stopped and watched Lisa’s wheels up and me U turning.  When I scrambled across the road, he came out to help and a third driver stopped .  The four of us lifted the Wee back onto its wheels.

10 comments to Day27–Is Crossing the Equator a BIG Deal?, Sun, Jan 23, 2011

  • Brother Tom

    You guys should ask nephew Joel where his family lives in Quito and make a stop. How knows, they might take good care of you. Tom

  • Brian R.

    I knew things would go smoother once Dean started handling the border crossings!

  • chuck hickey

    n fact, I emerged pretty much unscathed for an old gal.
    I copied and pasted – so that I could not be accused of interpreting incorrectly –
    Boy – or girl….. you must be SICK.
    I will happily pay for a new mirror for a reenactment of the equatorial crossing. I’m guessing – no… I SURE that I can make my meager investment back
    on EBAY when I auction off the picture.

    hope you feel better – and
    good one BR !!!!!

  • John Stamps

    Congratulations on crossing the Equator! YES, crossing is a big deal. There is customarily a big celebration aboard ship when crossing either the Equator or the International Date Line and everyone, including the Master, must participate if it is their first time as a polywog before they become a Shellback. King Neptune obviously wanted you to ‘earn’ the right to cross his equator with rain, mud and discomfort. Since I’ve crossed both Lines as Master and therefore I’m a qualified representative for King Neptune, I’m satisfied that both of you have been appropriately humbled and I’ll see that you receive your Crossing The Line certificate. Please be safe, I want to see you both again.

  • Bounce

    Get better. Sick while on travel wasn’t authorized, young lady!

  • Jerry W

    I’ll see Chuck’s mirror and raise it a turn signal. Do it again, do it again!

  • Nose

    Gotta say,I’m following your adventure from up here in the frozen north,tucked away in my log cabin/house,bikes parked beside me here,in the livin’room.We rode the 3 Flags the same time,a couple years ago,it ended in Nanaimo,dunno if ya remember us taliing in Mexicali,before we left) Anyway,wishes for good health,and mucho luck,the rest of the way…Nose

  • Minuend

    Hey, be careful out there!

  • “Yup, somewhere in this graceful dismount, the not-so-wee Strom went over, taking me with it into the ditch.”

    I swear I can hear Bennie Hill music this very moment……

  • Don Lindfors

    Ah, but it seems there was a celebration of sorts. You see most poeple would have a story that is boring, “We crossed the equator, here’s a picture”. But you two put a motorcycle upside down, the short legged one can do no help and locals make it all right again. Priceless!

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