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Published: December 12th 2007
Volcanoe above town
This is the view from the road driving into Banos
I actually flew into Costa Rica yesterday and I´m in the capital at the moment waiting for my bus to depart for the beach, but this blog will be about Ecuador. First off I should mention that tragedy struck yesterday. I left my favorite shirt in a hotel room, and I left my f$%&%!$ digital camera in the taxi that dropped me off at the airport, so no more new pictures after this blog.
After several days in ecuador, we headed up to the mountain town of Banos. After arriving, we all instantly regretted that we would only have two nights there. It´s the kind of place where one could easily spend a week. I wish I was still there. It´s nestled right at the base of a huge smoking volcanoe, and surrounded by lush vegetation and cascading waterfalls and hotsprings. The first night we went to one of the hot springs. The location was great, but I have to admit that it didn´t compare to the hot springs in Colorado. Still, it was nice. We found an amazing little restaraunt with great pad thai. Great everything, really. The next morning we went white water rafting. We had only booked
a half day trip on 3+ rapids, but after doing that, we all wanted more. We talked the guides into taking us up to the big rapids for fairly cheap. We even talked them into going through the class 5 rapid that they normally make tourists walk around, so it was some pretty intense rafting, which was the some of the most fun I´ve had in a long time. The highlight was definitely when we slid on top of a huge boulder in the river and I catapulted into the river. We ended up rafting all day and getting free lunch for about $40 each. That night there was a huge street celebration in the town (there is ALWAYS a celebration in any town in Ecuador) that lasted until almost 4 am. Unfortunately our hostel was a little to close to the noise, but oh well.
The next morning the girls did some strange purifying steam bath regimin at the hostel that sounded unpleasant to me, so I went and picked up a new book. Afterwards we were all walking down the street to rent some bicycles, when the ATVs caught our collective eye. We ended up renting one
View from the hostel
ATV and one little go cart/dune buggy for a couple hours. We drove down an extremely scenic road to a bridge with bungee jumping. It was actually part bungee jump, part swing - I little hard to explain. I went first. Jumping off of that bridge was the greatest two seconds of pure panic I´ve ever experienced. Both of the girls also took the plunge. We then sped back to town, returned the vehicles and went on a bit of a shopping spree. I ended up with about 25 CDs and DVDS for less than $30. We caught a late bus back to Quito on which we had to stand for several hours until room opened up to sit.
We had two more days in Quito. On my last night, Dan the local, took us out to a restaraunt with a completely unbelievable view of the city. Unfortunately, these pictures were lost. I flew out yesterday to Costa Rica, and the girls left this morning back to Canada. I hope to spend a week just relaxing on the beach and not losing anything else...
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