4×4 Guaytacama-Ecuador-Stuck in the Mud

Imagine a fun family day out at the 4×4 race track. Well, it is fun really, but maybe not  so much for the competitors, on a cloudy, but dry day in June, in a small village in the Ecuadorian highlands.
The day should have started at 10.30 am, at least that’s what all the posters said.  But we knew better, and arrived at 1.30pm, went straight to get some hornado and asked the lady serving us how long had the event been going and her reply was: it hasn´t started yet. Oh well, glad we weren’t in a rush to get there.

After a delicious hornado we walked towards the track  and just at the start was the first was car in place and awaiting the Queen of Guaytacama to come and wave the flag, through the mud she walked to do her duty, for all of 30 sec. and then off she went.

The first few cars finished the course, but from there onwards the track was such a mess and the disorganization that came with the event you knew you had to be in  Ecuador. Only a couple more cars made it to the end.  There were more cars broken down dotted around the course than finishers.

There wasn´t a safety vehicle so be seen either in the form of a policemen, ambulance or fire brigade. The policemen normally at least come and check it out just for their own amusment.

We got some fun photos and had a great time.

The one on the left tried to pass the broken down car. But also got stuck for a couple of minutes.

It took the organizers or disorganizers around 20 minutes to get this car out.

Another one bites the dust


4×4 in Ecuador

Most small towns and villages have their locals festivities and one of the events is 4×4. Today in Tanicuchi was no exception.  Tanicuchi is off the Panamerican Highway, around 1 1/2 drive south of Quito in the province of Cotopaxi. A makeshift piste was set up, zigzaging through stream which was diverted specially for the event, plenty of mud, loose dirt, spinning wheels, loud music, Pilsener (even though it´s Sunday afternoon), fritada, cueros, raspaditas and plenty of people to get in the way. (It´s amazing how many people like to walk on the piste especially when there is a fast 4×4 car hurtling towards them). Forget safety, I am sure loads of drivers have already had a few beers before getting into their cars and no police or ambulance in sight, but  it´s great fun and a cheap day out. (Actually entrance is free in most places). It´s also amazing that only around half of the cars actually finish the race. There was a variety of vehicles, motorbikes, quads and vitaras, monteros, pickup trucks, (even one that according to the rumours going around was 1 day old. I said he must have more money than brains, funny thing is he didn´t finish) and others. The first female driver I have seen competing, I have no idea in what place they finished but at least they finished.

Safety, whats that? I am going to compete in whatever clothes I happen to have on.

Waiting to compete, at least he has a helmet in his hand.

Most of the quads needed a good push to get out of the water.

There really is a quad in the middle of all this.

The diverted stream was suppposed to flow under a small bridge, except it was blocked and as time past, the water got deeper and deeper, many cars got stuck.

There were times I got a little close to the cars, or should I say they got a little close to me as the ground was rather muddy and slippery, they often had little control and were happily sliding around. Remember I mentioned the car that was 1 day old, well this was the result of the race. It didn´t finish. It´s a Toyota Hilux.

The water got deeper and deeper. This Vitara died here. It had to get  towed out.

A good push get him out of the mud.