Cuenca, Ecuador

The last bigger city in Ecuador we stayed in was Cuenca. The old center is very pretty, but spending a night within the city limits was more complicated than we thought, because we wanted to have a secured parking spot for Herbie, but we couldn’t find a hotel with a parking possibility, so we had to search for a place out of town.

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Herbie on TV in Ecuador

The Long and Winding Road

We spent almost three days in Puyo, but now we are back in Baños de Agua Santa. Tomorrow we’ll finally take off towards Cuenca, following the Pan-Am Highway.

Just right after taking these awesome shots something happened to our Love Bug.

Domi couldn’t shift properly anymore. First he thought it is a broken clutch cable.

But afterwards he had to find out that it was the return spring which was broken.

It was frustrating, because at that time we were in the middle of the “jungle”.

Normally those springs never brake, Domi said. We were obviously the exception.

Domi drove without a clutch all the way to Puyo in the first and second gear.

There we got to a mechanic named Angel, who was so kind to help us out.

Domi removed the engine and we ordered the suitable replacement kit for the spring.

The spare parts were coming from Ambato, so we had to wait. But finally we got them.

We want to thank José from the “Latin Volks” in Quito who ordered the parts we needed and “maestro” Angel from Puyo for his help, his patience and his hospitality!

Baños de Agua Santa

Yesterday we arrived in Baños de Agua Santa, also known as the “Gateway to the Amazon”. The Love Bug took a rest from those unpaved roads within the Cotopaxi National Park. Today we’ll pass Riobamba in order to reach the city Cuenca.

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Further On Up The Road

Tomorrow we’ll leave Quito continuing to follow the Pan-American Highway towards Peru. Herbie and we really enjoyed staying in Ecuador’s capital for a little while.

The Love Bug cannot wait to drive further on up the road heading South.

We already got a ton of invitations by VW Bug fans all across South America.

Meanwhile we took a brake from the “Panamericana”, having coca tea among others.

We loved strolling around Quito’s downtown observing the little things in daily life.

Especially the churches are definitely worth visiting. They are all different but beautiful.

The streets are comparatively clean and the city seems to be pretty safe too.

Number 53 is still waiting for departure. Tomorrow we’ll finally hit the road again.

Our next destination is the Cotopaxi National Park, a volcano south of Quito.

Quito, Ecuador

Here you can get some impressions of San Francisco de Quito’s historic center.

Grand Hotel, Quito

While we’re spending time in Ecuador’s capital, Quito, we’re staying at a perfect spot. Our hotel is located directly in the old center and the views from our room at the third floor are stunning. Also the people at the “Grand Hotel” are very, very nice.

A Ride to the Top

The elevation of Quito, Ecuador’s capital, is 9,200 feet (or 2,800 meters), making Quito the second-highest capital in the world, after La Paz, Bolivia. Yesterday’s evening we took a ride together with our air-cooled VW Beetle friends, the “Catso Club” and its “Latin Volks”, to “Virgen de El Panecillo”, the major monument of Quito’s hills. And as we promised this before: “San Francisco de Quito, we love you!”

Quito’s Bug Fans

We got invited to the weekly meeting of Quito’s “Catso Club”. Although it was a rainy Saturday, about thirty Bugs found their way to the gathering. Also a team of a national television station was there and interviewed Domi about our tour. Thanks to José from the “Latin Volks” and Alberto, our host, we got the chance to find new friends!

We miss you, Austin!

Last night we received the sad message that our dear friend Austin passed away.

The first time we met Austin was at a café in Los Angeles in 2010. From our first conversation on, a deep friendship developed since then. Although Austin had to go through countless difficulties in life, he was always caring, sensitive and had a strong will to live. Austin remains as one of the most inspiring persons of our lives.