Back in South America after taking time back home in Texas to rest, see my girlfriend graduate, prepare for the second half of the trip, and, most importantly, to make sure my dog didn't think I was dead. Now I've returned to Quito, Ecuador, to pick up my motorcycle and finish the trip like this: Colombia, boat from Cartagena to Panamá, Costa Rica, Nicauragua, Honduras, Guatemala (possibly Belize), Mexico, and finally home-sweet-home in Texas.
I've spent the past week in Quito waiting on minor repairs and tune-ups for the bike and getting sick. I suppose I should be glad it happened during my down time. Now that the bike and I are both feeling better, we're saying goodbye to the Andes again and heading east into the Amazon rainforest. I've been invited to volunteer with a zoo in Puyo, Ecuador, where I plan on meeting a beautiful tapir and making her my bride. Stay tuned.
While things move ahead here in Ecuador, here is a quick look back at the trip so far, for the statistically-inclined. I've pulled the waypoints from my GPS and graphed them out by country--except for the first leg of the trip, Patagonia, which straddles the border between Chile and Argentina.
The gaps in the charts are instances when the GPS ran out of battery mid-ride.
Next is the ride from Punta Arenas, at the southern end of Chile, along Argentina's eastern coast and then up through Mendoza, over the Andes, and in to Chile again.
The next graphs cover the two days when I blasted through the northern half of Chile.
Perú, really pushing it the first few days so I could get to Cusco and see my girlfriend. After that the pace relaxes as my mechanical beast and I tackled the high Andes.
Only did a few days of riding in Ecuador back in May, but still got a fair taste of the vastly different climates that are packed into this small country.
Finally, here's a consolidated map of all the terrain covered between Punta Arenas, at the southern tip of the continent, and Quito, near the northern end of the continent and at the center of the world. Think of it like a mathematical map of South America.