¡Ya Basta! (San Juan, Colombia/Pimampiro, Ecuador)

¡Basta! Enough is enough. There comes a time when you’ve had enough.  Time to throw in the towel. Time to accept the fact that you’ve done everything you could and submit to fate. That time came this morning when Davy mumbled “I don’t feel good,” and curled up under his sleeping bag once again.

Ever since Popayàn we’ve been dealing with one crisis after another.  Davy was sick in Rosas.  My back went out in Estrecho. Davy’s toe looks horrible and he’s been dealing with periodic bouts of stomach trouble.  This morning was the last straw. We had had enough.  It was time to call it a day and jump on a bus to Ecuador.

I never thought a 100-km trip could be such an adventure.

John and Daryl are still pedaling, but Davy and I left our bikes behind at Doña Teresa’s house. We’ll go back in a few weeks and ride them over once Davy has a healthy toe again.  Hopefully by then he’ll also have a healthy stomach.

So anyway, Davy, Carlos, and I headed over to the border with 8 paniers and 3 big, yellow drybags. I had no idea how we would handle them all once Carlos left.  As it turned out, we ran into a couple of young Canadian guys on a crazy roadtrip to the end of the earth and they offered to take us all the way to Pimampiro.  Yes!

We check out of Colombia with no problem at all, but when we arrived at the Ecuadorian side, we were not quite so lucky.

“Where is his dad?” the border official asked.  “You can’t cross without permission from the child’s father.”

“He’s coming on his bike,” I explained.  “He will cross the border tomorrow with the brother.”

The official looked at me like I had lost it big time.

“Seriously,” I continued.  ”  We’re all traveling together on bikes, but this kid is sick and needs surgery so we left our bike in Pilcuan and are going to Ibarra quickly.  Once he’s better we’ll go back, get the bikes, and ride them over.  But my husband and other son are riding their bike now. They’ll arrive here tomorrow.”

I can’t help but think the border official figured you just can’t make up a story like that, so he stamped Davy into Ecuador.  Yeehaw!!

We made it to Tulcan, the Ecuadorian border town, and Jonathan (one of the Canadians) and I set off to find the insurance office while Davy and Andrew circled around waiting.  An hour later, we finally met up – we had had no luck buying car insurance, and they had gotten in an accident!  Imagine that – “Sorry officer, I don’t have any car papers at all – my friend is out right now trying to buy insurance!”

Luckily, Andy was able to pay off the other driver and continue on.

After driving through some of the most dramatic scenery I’ve ever seen, we pulled into the little village of Pimampiro – our home for the next month.  With our last-minute change of plans, I had no chance to notify our contact, Paul, of our arrival.

But (this the best part of traveling in small towns) all we had to do was ask, “Do you know where the gringo lives?” and they directed us exactly to his house!

So here we are, in this stunningly beautiful Ecuadorian pueblo at last.  It’s been a long time coming, and I’m thrilled to be here at last!

Kilometers today:  John & Daryl=25 / Nancy & Davy=0

books by Nancy Sathre-Vogel

About Nancy Sathre-Vogel

After 21 years as a classroom teacher, Nancy Sathre-Vogel finally woke up and realized that life was too short to spend it all with other people's kids. She and her husband quit their jobs and, together with their twin sons, climbed aboard bicycles to see the world. They enjoyed four years cycling as a family - three of them riding from Alaska to Argentina and one exploring the USA and Mexico. Now they are back in Idaho, putting down roots, enjoying life at home, and living a different type of adventure. It's a fairly sure bet that you'll find her either writing on her computer or creating fantastical pieces with the beads she's collected all over the world.

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5 Responses to ¡Ya Basta! (San Juan, Colombia/Pimampiro, Ecuador)

  1. jacob October 23, 2009 at 4:52 pm #

    Ohh yeah.. sometimes I look back and wonder if our group was ever without some illness or bike trouble, etc.

  2. Kathy Hensley October 25, 2009 at 7:37 am #

    Wow, Nancy! I’m glad to hear the you and Davy arrived safely in Pimampiro. Sounds like you have made some wonderful friendships along your journey–those are indeed priceless (and one of the reasons why our family travels so much). I hope that Davy recovers fully (toe and stomach) during your month in Pimampiro. In the meantime, our family is following you along on our big world map, and sending you lots of positive energy!

  3. Helen Napier October 25, 2009 at 10:09 am #

    Hi guys.

    Sorry to hear about your travails- hope Davy is feeling better soon.

    Just thought I’d drop you a line to let you know that Scott made it to Ushuaia today so he has finished his trip and broken the world record!

    Thanks so much for taking the time to check on his progress- it’s thanks to meeting supportive folks like you that he got anywhere at all.

    All the best for the rest of your travels,


  4. Becky P October 29, 2009 at 11:55 am #

    What an awesome adventure! You guys are doing something that will change your kids lives! Good luck on your son’s surgery, enjoy your month off! (-:


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