Published: May 5th 2011May 4th 2011
Two of my friends and I decided to get out of Cuenca last Sunday (Easter Sunday) to get away from the city life. So, we got on a bus for about an hour and fifteen minutes to get to the town of Giron. Actually before we even left the bus station we had some issues. In Ecuador you can buy a bottle of beer for $.80 if your promise to bring back the bottle. Well, one of my friends grabbed a few beers from a woman and told her in broken Spanish that he would bring them back in the afternoon when we got back from Giron. Well, as the bus started to leave this woman runs to the bus, jumps on and demands that he give her the beers. She was literally not going to let the bus go anywhere unless she got her two bottles back. With the help of the bus driver, my friend ended up paying her a dollar extra so that he could keep his beer and the bottles. After that little fiasco we were on our way to Giron in a bus that looked like it came out of an Austin Powers movie. The curtains
The other side
It looks like it was dry on the other side, but it wasn't. You literally could not escape the water once you stepped on the bridge.
had tassels and the fabric that was wrapped around the inside of the bus had lace on it. Although we were riding in “style” the bus was not exactly structurally sound. Every time we went over a bump the walls of the bus would bow out and then back in. Hey, we got there safe though.
Once we got to the town we needed to find our way to the waterfall that we were planning on hiking to. After talking to a few locals we found out that it was a twenty-minute taxi ride from the town, so we grabbed a taxi. When we got the bottom of the falls, a man approached us with tickets that we had to buy in order to enter the park. Well, my friend didn’t understand his Spanish apparently because he said, “No, thanks” and then started walking away. After my roommate and I finally stopped laughing at our friends mistake and the look on the mans face, we paid and started the “hike” to the falls. As we took our 200-yard hike we started seeing people walking down the trail, soaking wet. We figured that they had gone swimming I the pool
beneath the waterfall, but we thought it was kind of crazy because it was actually a little chilly out. The sun was not out that day and we were pretty high in the mountains.
When we got to the falls we realized that the other people had gotten wet because there was literally no choice but to get soaked if you wanted a good view of the waterfall. If you simply stood at the top of the trail, the view of the waterfall was obscured by a large rock. So you basically had to walk across this little bridge through the wind and water of the waterfall to get to the other side. The three of us decided that there was no point in coming this far without getting a good view, so we walked out onto the little bridge near a 200-foot drop. Then, once we were out there getting soaked we realized how good it felt. It was actually a really cool feeling even though we were absolutely freezing and we had no dry clothes. In the end, the waterfall was completely gorgeous and it was worth getting all kinds of wet. It was especially worth the
old fashion hot chocolate that we bought from the small café at the bottom of the waterfall for a dollar.
On the way back to the town we caught a taxi with an American girl, her boyfriend and his four brothers. In smaller towns they have pickup taxis instead of cars because of the rough terrain. So we sat in the back of a truck on our freezing cold twenty-minute trip back to the town of Giron. Once we got back to the town we caught a bus, but the bus was beyond capacity so we had to stand for the first hour. It was actually nice to get into a bus with so much body heat though, because we were freezing. After about twenty minutes though, it became so humid in the bus that we could hardly breath. Ecuadorians don’t really believe in opening windows because they believe that the cold air will make them sick. However, we made it back to Cuenca. We smelled terrible and looked a little homeless, but overall it was a great trip.
There are more photos below