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dannygoesdiving This is a blog & photo journal of the trips that I (Danny) and Jo (wifey) have taken over the past few years.

Ecuador - Banos

ECUADOR | Monday, 21 September 2009 | Views [1783]

Banos - waterfalls on the edge of the town

Banos - waterfalls on the edge of the town

Phil , Harald & Sylvie already had plans to travel on from Latuanga to Banos and as I had no firm plans I decided to tag along for a few days. We caught the bus to Banos, which cost $2 and took about 2 hours, time was passed by watching an Indian  language martial arts style film with spanish subtitles! The approach down the mountain road to Banos was amazing, as the town is set in a lush green valley on the slopes of volcan Tungurahua. In the flesh though,  first impressions were a little more disappointing -  lots of half completed construction and massively touristy. Phil and I booked into 'hostal transylvania' a odd place run by two Israelis, however at $7 for a room, breakfast and internet, who was to complain ?  The restaurants were geared for tourists, so the 4 of us had an evening meal of pizza and beer (and very good it was too).

Day 1:

I awoke with no plans and no itinary for the first time since arriving in Ecuador.  Phil and I decided to have a walk around the town, enjoy the 2 local delacacies of sugarcane juice and milcocha (chewy taffy).  The views on the edge of town were beautiful, especially the large number of waterfalls.  We met up with Harald and Sylvie for a mexican lunch before heading to 'Piscina el salada' thermal baths for a couple of hours of relaxation.  The baths are fed by thermal pools burbling from the base of the active volcano and are touted for there restorative and healthful properties.  The waters look abit unappealing being a murky brown colour, but I was assured that this was down to the mineral content.  To be fair it was very relaxing and topped off with a moccachino and slice of chocolate cake once back in the town !  In the evening we had soup, steak and beer whilst watching the movie 'The last king of Scotland'.  Banos may well be touristy but i was beginning to find it a great place to recharge the batteries, it also has all the facilities travellers need and has a very safe feel to it.

Day 2:

Awoke to a misty and rainy morning, we agreed to meet Harald and Sylvie  to do the Ruta de las Cascadas (the waterfall road) and bargained well to get two dune buggies for the day - what great fun!  They were only $6/hour each buggy so it didn´t work out much per person for the day. It pretty much rained on and off all day, so we got very wet and muddy, but had a great laugh - driving the buggies, especially off road  was like a real life arcade game.  We visited the 'Manto de la novia' & 'Pailon de diablo' waterfalls which were pretty impressive, but by the end of the day we were ready to head back to the thermal baths to warm up.  We chose the baths in town 'La piscina de la virgin' (shorter walk) and even endured the hottest pool at 48C (118F) - although only for a couple of minutes at a time.  We topped the evening off with a meal at an Argentinian restaruant - 4 courses of meat, along with beer and coffee, for the grand sum of $10.

The following day I jumped on a bus and headed back to Quito.

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