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Dalama Adventures Tale of two corporate types ditching their jobs and traveling the world for 14 months... check out all photos, blogs & interesting tid bits at http://www.dalama.net

Bonito Baños

ECUADOR | Thursday, 8 November 2007 | Views [731]

The surrounding roadways into Baños are still in a state of disrepair from the late August 2006 eruption of Volcán Tungurahua, which destroyed some of the local villages and closed the road going south from Baños to Riobamba, causing people in Baños to evacuate.  A little over a year later, the roads are still difficult to drive through, but well worth the time getting here.  The town is a bit touristy, nestled in between the crevaces of volcanic slopes.  There's a huge waterfall that we can see and hear from our very cool hostal window, cascading over the steamy hot springs.  I let my guard down last night at dinner at the Lonely Planet recommended Casa Hood, and had one of those souped up vitamin C drinks that they said was made with purified water.  Fighting off a cold, my body in craving vitamin C, and you can't get "real orange juice" here in Latin America... it all seems to be that nasty "tang" type sugary flavored drink.  So I gulped down the big glass of green liquid, only to find myself regretting the decision an hour later.  That said, armed with immodium, we head out for the 15K trek up to the mirador in hopes of seeing the volcano.  It's a bit cloudy today, but we're hoping with a little luck we may be able to see a glimpse of the smoking cone.  It takes us nearly an hour and 45 minutes to make the steep trek up, through a series of what seem like hundreds of hairpin curves, passing through local farms and small homes.  The views are amazing, and we hear a loud explosion, kind of like thunder about half way up the mountain, and see a large black plume of smoke and clouds rising from the cone behind the white puffy clouds.  Near the top we get a semi-clearing of clouds with gives us the "peek" we're hoping for.  There are black clouds in the distance, and we can see rain on some of the other mountains quickly moving our way, so we decide to make our way back down, only to find that my stomach is not in good shape to be making the descent... great timing!  I had considered bargaining with the locals for a horse or a truck ride down, but with the curviness of the roads, I don't think either of those options sound any better than sucking it up and making the trek down.  So it takes us over two hours just to get back down, perfect timing, the rain begins to dump as we hit town, and I head directly to bed.  After a whole day of not eating, I opt to down another round of Cipro cocktail.  If I'm better in the morning we'll head out to Cuenca, the world heritage quaint city, four hours south.  Our plan is to hit Cuenca for a couple of nights, then depending on our energy level, head to the beach for our last three nights.

Tags: The Great Outdoors

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