The Mega Drive

Adventure driving at its finest is about the only way I can describe what we’ve been up to since our last post in Ecuador. After a gorgeous sunset, a full body massage at the spa in Vilcabamba (which is its own funny story…) and a few stimulating games of giant chess, we set out into the unknown in a big way. What would follow was over 1000 kilometers of dirt, mud, landslides, water crossings, bush camping, remote border crossings, construction, fog, rain and more taking us from the Amazon to the Andes to the Peruvian desert to the Pacific Ocean. I think we truly found the middle of nowhere during this adventure and couldn’t be happier with the Craggin’ Wagon’s ability to bring us through it all. Read More

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Ticklists, Raindances, and Shredded Tips

Banos: it’s one of those towns that’s toted as an action-adventure, extreme sports place… We really dug Banos, but the extremo part was a bit flaccid. They have a rope jump off a gigantic bridge, but based on the size of the jump compared to the bridge, I imagine the bridge was a bit embarrassed. So sad. Had Chip been with us I think I might have been motivated enough to go show them how things are done! We did do a little climbing while we were there. Nothing to write home about, but fun to get back out on the rock. It had been a while. We parked next to a nice hostel, made some friends up on the balcony overlooking the town and the church, visited the famous hot springs, and consumed many a cerveza while enjoying the beautiful steep hills and numerous waterfalls cascading down them. Read More

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Ecuador

Quito

There are several places to sport climb and boulder around Quito. We didn’t go to any of them but the info for them can be found at mondedo.com

Banos

There were two obvious spots in Banos to climb. One below the zoo and the other directly under the bridge where the puenting takes place. The puenting by the way while still likely to be a good time is so small a rope jump for the size and potential of the bridge that I was a little embarrassed for them,  though at $20 a jump I hardly think they care what I think. The climbing is grid bolted sport on short basalt. Something to do if your bored but nothing special.

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Cuenca

Paunte – Sport climbing about 40 minutes from Cuenca. Good sport routes. Well bolted but not over bolted. Sharp, positive volcanic rock. Many routes from 5.10 up. Both the description of how to get there and the topo provided on monodedo.com were pretty bad. I’ve added a better description on how to get there and where to camp on Mountain Project here. As for the routes, we never had much luck with the topo, but it’s sport, eyeball and jump on it!

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High in the Andes

After a healthy acclimatization period in Quito we hit the road and drove the Craggin’ Wagon to Cotopaxi. We turned off the road at the first sign we saw for the park and ended up driving a 26km cobblestone/dirt track to a secondary entrance into the park. It was fun and the rig did not disappoint. Read More

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The Galapagos Islands

I hope you’re ready for a lot of photos because that’s mostly what this post will consist of – namely because I snapped more than 1500 pics during the 7 days we spent there! We couldn’t walk 10 feet without practically stepping on the unique wildlife there and flipping the camera back on. But first, some Galapagos background info for your reading pleasure. Read More

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