November 18, 2013
Pat Sherwood and Ian Wittenber come face to face with death on the treacherous mountain roads of Ecuador.
Oct. 18 was Day 67 on the moto. The odometer read 8,500 miles.
After we filmed a community piece in Quito, Ecuador, the goal was to ride to Guayaquil. Google Maps said it would be 5.5 hours, so we figured 7.5 hours. We have learned that Google Maps cannot predict rain, potholes and broken roads, animals in the road, police checkpoints, etc. We add two hours for every five listed on Google Maps.
My bike started right up, but Ian’s was still starting and then immediately dying. I had no idea why this was happening. We had literally just gotten the bikes out from the Kawasaki dealer in Quito two days prior. Whatever the problem, it was bound to bite us in the ass at some inopportune time.
After some stops, we got on the road at about 10:30 a.m. Getting out of Quito was quite a pain in the ass. The traffic was thick. The roads were bad. There was zero signage as to where in the hell we were going or what road we were on. The roads constantly split into multiple directions, and we had to make a random guess several times. Finally, we got the hell out and onto the main “highway” we needed.
Then things started to deteriorate. Badly. And they got progressively worse in a hurry.
In fact, a few hours later I found myself standing on the side of the road and thinking, “Well, this is where Ian gets killed.”