Saturday (Sabado) 17th July, 2010
Day 491

Narupa, Ecuador
Narupa, Ecuador
Miles: 49,048
S 00.71254°
W 77.79428°

We left Baños late in the morning heading East. The road traveled along the side of a steep spectacular valley, dropping down into the jungle of Eastern Ecuador. It was raining and misting, but even so the scenery was spectacular.

At Puyo we joined the newly completed Eastern Road (we traveled on this last year) and headed North to Tena and a hotel that we hoped to stay at for a few days. We had a pamphlet with a few vague directions.

The rain got heavier and seemed to have settled in. By the time we arrived in Tena it was torrential. We eventually found the sign for a hotel/hostel calledHakuna Matata on the norther side of Tena indicating that we should turn left off the highway onto a side road. Just turning off the highway would prove to be prophetic. At the apex of a right hand curve in the highway the turn was to the left over a steep shoulder of the highway down onto a decidedly secondary, and by now water logged track. We followed this for about 6 km. As we progressed the track got narrower and wetter. Eventually we were confronted by a narrow bridge. Fortunately the height clearance was only 1.3m - not enough for the Tiger so we were forced to retrace our tracks and come up with another plan. I say fortunately - because if there was no height restriction we may have been tempted to try the bridge and I am not sure it would have been able to carry our 11,000 lbs.

With no better plan we continued past Tena onto the road to Quito for an hour or so until we eventually found a place to stop for the night. We spent a night right next to the road, surrounded by cloud and mist.


After not being able to access the hotel we had intended to stay at we simple continued down the road to Quito and Papallacta until we found a patch of accessible flat ground on the side of the road. It was being used by a road construction gang to store one of their heavy machines. But as it was Saturday we did not expect anyone to come and move it.