We arrived at Diego’s shop around 1 am, and Santiago drove us back to the hotel. We had to wake the owners to let us in and give us a room.

Diego promised to take the engine apart, find the problem and fix it.  We were not exactly where we wanted to be, but we figured we’d be there for a few days and made the most of it. It’s amazing that we’ve met such great folks that are helping us out so much.

We ended up taking a taxi to the very Americanized mall several times in order to get internet service and entertained the child. It’s weird to be in a commercial centro that has a ‘Z Cavarici’ store. They also had a KFC with a indoor playground, and when you are stuck in a hotel near no restaurants and with no wifi, this is actually a little closer to heaven than I ever thought I could say about a fast food chain.

We also realized that we first arrived in Quito back in mid-November and we are still here. It’s really time to get out of here. We even killed some time amending our taxes from last year. The things you can do when you’re waiting for your car.

Anyway, Diego kept his word and a few days later we we got Red Beard back and she was running like a champ. He tore down the engine again and said he found no real problems. Jason was puzzled – maybe we had loose cylinder heads? He went through the engine and checked everything again – all good. Still no clue. The compression was good – better than when we arrived in November – and it was time to finally go.

“You only have to pay after you finish your trip and have no more problems.” – Diego

We made a quick stop at Cristian’s house to say farewell and thank him again. Bode celebrated our departure by shooting off some sort of fiesta espuma we found at the store, and we were off.

We’d heard great things about Baños, Ecuador so this was our next stop. The drive was about 4 hours of mountain driving along the Pan-American. We took it slow and easy this time.

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