Part Thirty Seven – Northern Ecuador

It appears that since I threatened to appear nude on buff3ysbicyclingblog that the click figures have taken another huge spike. There can be no other possible explanation. We now have hundreds of people each day enriching their lives through following the adventures of Buff3y the hardcore solo adventure cyclist.

Soviet-style monument to sharing the love – northern Ecuador

The town of Bolivar (about 70km south of the Colombian border) boasts a fine collection of municipal kitsch sculpture. One is the finest example of an excuse to render bare breasts in the history of misguided public artwork (refer photo). You couldn’t really hope for a sleepier town and the ten or so residents who bother to hang around the central square in the middle of the day all carry similarly bewildered/resigned expressions indicating that they may have mistakenly been beamed in there. The sculpture campaign has been such a resounding success that Bolivar boasts a grand total of zero hotels. Must ride on to find accommodation further down the hill.

A worrying trend in my photography is just standing in front of easily ridiculed public monuments and photographing myself with my bicycle. What the hell- it’s the small things along the road that make it all worth while.

The first exposure of the Inca civilisation to the Cybermen is of course still a subject of sometimes very heated academic debate. Some point to the difficulty in determining time lines in an environment where time lords may screw with the space-time continuum as a reason for there being no consensus to this day on when the exposure occurred. Suffice to say for our purposes, however,  that the visits have left an indelible impression on the artwork of the people up to the modern day, especially the head wear which includes the Raymi sun-god mask (refer Cyberman mask photo).

Anti-pollution street drawing – Quito
Sundays the central part of Quito is closed off to traffic so people can ride their recumbents.
Old Town Quito
Sunday 15km fun-run in central Quito (I did not participate)

The market in Otavalo is a treasure trove of handicrafts (and cyber-man woolen masks). Every Saturday the population of the town swells and the central streets become packed with vendors and bargain hunters. For me it was a good excuse to rest up for a day and take in the sights.

There is a long climb up to 2,850 metres to get into Quito and the setting is a magnificent one for a city of this size. The centro-historico is no place for a wondering tourist at night but during the day its a pleasant enough place to relax and enjoy if you have the breath. Will check it out tomorrow before forging on southwards into more mountains.

Peasant dancing monument – Otavalo
Cyber-Inca/Raymi woolen mark/hat. “You know our ways. You must be destroyed! We have very warm heads!”
Hats in Otavalo
‘Yes, we have many bananas’ – Otavalo
Poor excuse to sculpt tits – Bolivar Ecuador
Vegie Stalls – Otavalo
Stern looking cook but good rice/chicken stuff for $1.50 -Otavalo
Cyber-rider in Otavalo
Otavalo Market
‘Curly Land’ – Leunig would love this monument on Colombia/ Ecuador border
Primordial squiddy looking thing
Hunters attacking saber-toothed tiger – Bolivar
Bolivar Jesus relief

Bolivar Mammoth