Author Topic: Quito > Galapagos > Mera - Ecuador  (Read 937 times)

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Allez_Jambon

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Quito > Galapagos > Mera - Ecuador
« on: December 23, 2016, 10:06:11 AM »
I want to go to do some animal rehabilitation and research work in the Amazon rainforest and other parts of Ecuador so I hope/plan to travel around to these areas. I saw that there's a park in Quito but was wondering about the rest. I was thinking that having a skateboard would be a good way to meet people and make friends. I can't speak Spanish that well so I figured this would help and make me feel safer.

Has anybody done anything/been anywhere similar? I'm going by myself and I'm sort of nervous. I know I'll stick out because I'm Korean and American and am obviously not from there but I'm not a total retard with a fanny pack and a youtube vlog about living life to the fullest. I been to other places alone but never for so long. My largest fear is not figuring out the bus and getting robbed and stranded.

What do you think? I'd ask Reddit but I'm assuming I can't relate as well because they're not skateboarders and don't know what it's like to grow up chain smoking on curbs and eating shit in the streets. 

botefdunn

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Re: Quito > Galapagos > Mera - Ecuador
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2016, 11:47:36 AM »
I was in Quito for a week once, it was chill, good food. I can't speak to the skate scene there, but I felt pretty safe and it was interesting. I'm sure it'll be good, hope some locals find you on here and let you know what's up.


Allez_Jambon

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Re: Quito > Galapagos > Mera - Ecuador
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2017, 07:27:44 PM »
I was living in Burlington, Vermont working at a marketing agency doing graphic design for the past 6 years. Life became really stale and I had to do something. I donít think this life is going to work out for me so, fuck it. I have the money and time right now to do something, so I did about 1 hour research to figure out where I want to go and went to move to Mera, Ecuador to work at an animal rehabilitation sanctuary. I felt like I made the 5 year old version of myself proud and excited, taking long walks in the jungle at night finding the insects Iíve read about in books my entire life.






I brought my skateboard with me because I felt that itís a good way of meeting people. You donít really have to speak the same language. You just see somebody else and get psyched on their trick and high five them. While living at the sanctuary, youíre pretty isolated. The closest town took a long time to walk to and only had a population of ~1000. I could only get out and into town (BaŮos de Agua Santa 1.5 hrs away or Puyo 1.25 hrs away) maybe once on Thursday and once on Saturday but not all of the time.



There were 2 concrete structures within walking distance from the sanctuary. Both were used for the conservation of water or something but were no longer active. One had a patch of uneven concrete with stick and logs about. It was like starting skateboarding in a garage, putting the wheels in a crack so it wouldnít move.





Down further on a path was a structure with banked walls. It became my mission to clean this up little by little after work every day. First, youíd have to walk through quicksand, then I found a log to step on so I could hoist myself up. I found an uprooted plant where I used as a broom to start sweeping the muck out from it. It was probably 4 inches deep of stagnant water and plant matter that needed to be pushed off into the quicksand area. I realized that I could access the tool shed and build better tools. I made a few push brooms out of found scrap wood nailed together and got a stake to chip away the moss on the banks of the wall. Unfortunately it rains every day in the rainforest so it needed constant work. I built a dam out of sticks and sand to keep the water back so thereíd be less water to push out every day. I found a brush part of an old broom in the tool shed area. It took about 2 weeks to clear the plants, chip the moss away, drain the structure, and sweep all of the dust and plant matter away. However, the longest streak I went through without rain was about 2.5 days. I only got to skate it the day I finished everything, doing carves and a small backside ollie on the banks. The other few dry days (probably 3 in total). I would have a fucked up board. The bearings would rust over in a few days if not cleaned. Iíd have to pop them off, brush them off with an old toothbrush, and WD 40 that shit. I stopped using lemon juice and wd40 and it got better. I had been daydreaming of shooting good photos of the process and finally getting a frontside wall ride over a rivet, but fuck it was so hard to skate the damn thing. Well, all I got was this and canít do nothing about it.

I only ended up staying there for 2 months and took off around the country before I had to return back home.

Mera - I donít know why this park exists. Itís not a large town, there are not skaters, itís not in a place where people stop in between larger towns. The ground is that rough cement and there are oddly placed features in a decently sized park. Unfortunately, the measurements are rough and its hot as fuck in the sun. Check out the goofy mini ramp. You could drop in and get one lip trick in and then try again. I felt like a G for getting back nose blunts in the secondary forest. However, nobody around to shoot that shit for me.



BaŮos - I saw 2 kids with boards struggling to ollie. Thereís a bar called Stray Dog and Iíd just hang out there on Thursday nights and shoot the shit about Belle and Sebastian and other bands from the mid 2000s. Apparently kids meet up in the square to skate, but I never saw any.

Latacunga - Go to Hostal Tiana and leave your shit here to hike the Quilotoa loop. There really isnt much of a reason to be here otherwise. It might look sketchy at night when the bus drops you off on a highway, but it ainít bad. Look for the mask shop. Itís retarded. You can get hand made paper mache masks of celebrities for $2. I got a Saddam Huessian one there then some chicken and rice next door for $1. I saw 2 kids with skateboards so I waved to them. My spanish is horrible so I said something like where you guys play skate tables at? Thereís a weird old skatepark with a long ass snake run, a flat bar, a tws ledge, and an improvised handrail.



Cuenca - Eh, thereís a park but I didntí care. I was looking for the shop Demencia, but never found it. You can hit the dude up on WhatsApp and heíll help you out on how to get there. The skatepark looks like a THPS2 custom level. Thereís also a mini ramp at Hostal Yakumama. If you just ask, you can skate the 2í mini ramp when the staff is seasoning it. Itís not much but whatever, just hang out and drink a beer. Thereís some cool punk/metal bar here but I forgot the name.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6Fi2QvNKM4


Canoa - Itís a surf beach town. I donít know nothing about surfing so I just made friends with a stray dog and hunted crabs with her. By the bus stop, thereís a skate park. I didnít get to skate it because I had to leave town but it looked okay. Ledges and 2 quarter pipes which probably was meant to be a mini ramp.



Bahia - Sadly, there was an earthquake here which devastated the city. When it gets cleaned up, I imagine spots here because there used to be money in this city. Itís not mentioned in some books so I ended up here without any idea what happened.

Puerto Lopez - Probably nothing. I hated this town. Itís loud as fuck. Itís the Poor Manís Galapagos because it has an island only 2 hours away with many of the same species youíll find. However, because its a frequent tourist spot, itís a dump in my opinion. Go to Patacon Pisao for lunch though.

Mompiche - Nothing. Drink a beer and walk into the forest where it meets the water.

Esmereldas - They got a decently sized park. I was told to stay away from cities but that advice was from tiny old ladies from the andes. I was expecting some wild shit but ended up on the Malecon. I think an oil company founded a promenade. Thereís a large park there and most people are discovering skateboarding. Thereís no coping on any of the transition so you pump around and power slide and everyone does fly out indy grabs. Itís kind of cool seeing kids learn how to form their own scene. I met Raul there, who left Venezuela and started his own mobile skate shop out of his van. I think itís only Powell stuff and he hooks up a lot of the kids there. They asked if I liked Trap music and they all cheered! They asked if I like reggaton and they all cheered! They asked if I liked weed and they all cheered and gave me weed. Cool. There is a viewing are like Venice beach, and I got a ton of attention because they donít see skaters and they definitely never saw a skateboarding chino before.

https://www.facebook.com/laspalmasskateshop/
https://extraarquitectura.com/portfolio/pista-skate/

Valle Intag - I wanted to find Andean Bears and talked to a chief/mayor and he arranged for me to sleep in a school house so I could hike at 4:30 am in order to reach the area where bears are in time. However, I was probably a month late and the corn was less green. These kids definitely have never seen a skateboard before, but theyíre so cute and nice. All speak kitchwa but are named american names like, Mary, Dylan, and James. Waiting for a bus, the kids got out of school and one asked me to skate. He got all the kids to pay him 10 cents to watch me do kick flips on flat on some bumpy concrete.

Otavalo - I have idea why these kids have so much swag. I think like, chinese manufacturing drops off all the shit here for the region, so all the kitchwa kids have skytop like shoes and leather jackets and really sick haircuts. i saw a few skaters but didnt talk because I was in a restaurant. if you go to the animal market on a saturday, youíll see sad stuff, like you can stuff a guinea pig, a chicken, and a bunny rabbit in a shopping bag and throw it under the seat on the bus or see goats bungee corded down onto a pickup truck. its fucked and cool to see. i just see that shit objectively.

Quito - thereís a solid crew of dudes from different cities and countries all chillin at parque carolina. people are pretty cool here asking where youíre from. i met Gi Yun Lee and he was like my younger brother acting as a translator for the rest of the crew. Thanks dog. Shout out to The park has a modern section, a few weird circle bowls, an old snake run, and a full pipe with a bowl. Aside from the modern section, I found the most of it difficult to skate. You can find a bunch of street spots both the new town and the old town. There are spots by the Basilica in the old town and there more random shit in the new town. There seems to be spots for tricks, but not really plazas to chill. You can go hang out and watch skate videos at KFC.

https://i.imgur.com/tn5j97p.jpg


https://www.instagram.com/tableandoskateboards/

I talked to people and skating is more popular in the cities however, there arenít many shops. Most people have to buy boards in Guayaquil, Quito, or Cuenca. Skateboarding for sure exists in Manta, Riobamba, Ibarra, Ambato, and Guayaquil. Iím unsure if it makes it as far east as Coca, but probably not further.