We have spent some time drifting around Quito, the capital of Ecuador, to ask for prices and to research a bit about solar panels: price and technical specifications. A local family in the suburbs of Quito was hosting us, and from there we ventured into the capital with a local, busy, bumpy Ecuadorian city bus to do our research. The bus ride was often a nice little excursion: It took an hour and being the only gringo on the bus, the locals often started a conversation to understand what we were doing in Ecuador and in this local bus. “We will try to build a raft and float down the Amazonas river”, we explained in our mediocre Spanish, though I don’t think it made a lot of sense to the local people. “De donde eres?” seemed to be more interesting to them: “Where are you from?”
Our research into Solar Panels lead us into some industrial areas of Southern Quito were we wandered around some dusty streets to find the Engineering company that specialized in Solar Panels. Knock, Knock on the gate and their dog instantly and aggressively jumped at the fence, barking. Nice Welcome. The secretary greeted us with a smile and after a little while a polity 50-something year old Ecuadorian Engineer appeared.
We talk about our project and our requirements and he shows us around his company showroom, proudly announcing that their company had won a price in Germany for their technology. “Germany”, he proudly repeated.
Their products appeared professional and he promises to compose a small system for us that would meet our requirements. We both left the factory with a big smile, but a strong feeling that his soon-to-be-expected offer would be out of our price-level. 2 days later he emails us his offer of 1735 USD and we sadly have to turn it down. In the mean time we have established contact with some Peruvian companies that are much more competitive, and it is now our plan to procure the solar panels in Peru.
A warm goodbye to Santiago and his friendly family, who hosted us in Quito. Two goodbye beers and a 20 minute walk through rain and we arrive at a busy highway at midnight, to catch an overnight-bus into “La Selva” = The Jungle. 6 to 7 hours, they say, so we expect a 9 hour bus ride. We arrive after 6,5 hours as promised, good start!
The Photo shows Santiago and his friendly family. Peycho is setting in the front and I am sitting to the right