July 21st and 22nd, 2015
Rest days Quito.
Had a bit of a sleep in and even though we still woke up early it was nice to just lie in the tent and not have to get up. Finally up and at ’em by first doing washing. Santiago had an old school laundry set up with a washing stone on an angle with water running over it like you see women using in olden day movies or documentaries. It took a lot longer than throwing everything into a washing machine and switching it on and I’m sure I failed the test of being a woman and will now never get married because I couldn’t wash clothes properly but they don’t smell as bad any more so that’s something.
Finally the others were up and keen for breakfast so we wandered into the main square and found only one place open. It was tiny and had only one guy who got the order all wrong then over charged us with a shitty attitude but live and learn. The Dutch couple who were also staying here had given us a tip on where to find a bike store so after breakfast we headed off to find it.
Basically head to the main road of Tumbaco and catch a bus to the Rio Coca terminal. Once there get off the bus, go outside the terminal and walk downhill for about 200meters until you come to a major set of traffic lights. Turn left and walk several hundred meters until you find a shopping centre. You will think this is it but if you walk abit further there will be a large Tattoo Plus store on your left at the set of lights. Go in and try to walk out after not spending way too much money on things you want but don’t need. I bought a set of brake pads for $20USD which is stupid expensive given I can get a hotel room for cheaper but they were the only ones that fit my brakes.
From there we wanted to go into the old town or the Centro Historical section so jumped on a trolly bus to take us there. Basically walk out of the Tattoo shop, cross onto the main road and catch a trolly going the opposite direction to what you just walked. After a lot of stops you will eventually get to Simon Bolivar which is opposite a park. You can get off here which is the start of old town or catch it one further and start from there. The bus from Tumbaco to Rio Coca was $0.35USD and the Trolly was $0.25USD which you need exact coin for. If you don’t have then there is a person on the entrance to the platform who will swap whatever change or notes you have for the correct $0.25 coin.
To return home reverse the process and make sure you don’t attempt it in peak hour like we did – wasn’t fun.
Also make sure you know where you’re getting back off the bus in Tumbaco – we used the KFC as a landmark as we got on there.
Once back it was a rather rushed goodby to Dave who suddenly realized he didn’t have as much time as he thought and with a quick hug and a keep in touch he was gone. I sat and cooked dinner with Chirs while Haley and Noel sorted SIM cards and iPads then a wander back into the supermarket for an ice cream before calling it a night.
Our Second rest day was a maintenance day with everyone washing their bikes, I changed out my front brake pads, Noel got his wheel fixed and washed all their pannier bags, Chris went through all his stuff and threw out a kilo worth of bolts and spare parts he had been carrying around unnecessarily.
Out for lunch and choices were limited but Donde Johns on the corner of the plaza was pretty good for bbq chicken. Afterwards we went in search of a real coffee and wifi and found neither. I split from the others and ended up at a sandwich bar ordering juices so I could use their internet which was short lived as they closed early. That afternoon was quiet time sorting last minute stuff and cleaning before out to dinner with a German couple who just arrived on a tandem bike. Chris actually knew them as they had met in California previously so small world. A dinner of swapping stories and telling tales before hitting the supermarket then back for chill out time in the tent.