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Published: September 2nd 2008
Bunny, Rachel´s mom got here this week so for the weekend we took a trip south to the small adventure town of Baños. The town is known for its hot springs and adventure activities. It took about four hours to get there and we didn´t arrive until after it was dark so the first night we pretty much just checked into our hotel and went out for dinner at a cute local restaurant and then explored the town a bit. While we were walking a dog started humping Bun Bun´s leg and wouldn´t leave her alone, and some of the locals were laughing at us= so funny. anyway, that was all the excitment for the night.
The next morning after we woke up, Amanda, Rachel and Bunny did a spa treatment which was kind of like a sauna, but more intense. I decided to go for a run in the rain and explore the town. After we me up for ç breakfast on the rooftop of our hostal over looking the town, with a view of the hot springs waterfall. Then we signed up with a travel agency to do the bridge jump and canyoning that day. We walked to San
Francisco bridge, which is 90 meters (about 270 feet I think) and they set up the ropes right when we got there which made me the most nervous. The fact that it wasn´t already in place and that there probably aren´t any safety standards here was the scarest thing for me, not to mention the height of the bridge. Rachel went first and then Bunny just got right up and did it, so I knew that I had to go, even though I was so scared. They put a harness on me and connected me to the rope and I stood up on this little platform hanging over the side of the bridge and tried not to look down. I counted to three and just jumped and there was only about a second of free fall and then you just swing under the bridge for a bit and then they lower you down to a cliff overhanging the river below. It was was fun!!! After the morning excitiment we got suited up in wetsuits, jackets and keds for shoes and took a truck about 10 minutes outside the town to this beautiful waterfall. There were only two other people there
washing their clothes in the river and we had to cross over barbed wire to get to the waterfalls so it felt like we were the only people that were able to do this! We had to hike a bit to get to the first waterfall and the guide in Spanish explained to us what to do and then we repelled down our first waterfall. I was actually a lot more scared than I thought I would be because my shoes had no traction and I thought I was going to slip and not be able to breath under the water of the waterfall. But with shakey legs I made it down and so did everyone else, even Bunny!!!! Then we did a little rock slide next to the waterfall, where I hit my bum on the bottom. We did another smaller waterfall and then the last one we had to repel off a cliff and then lower ourself down on the rope in another waterfall. Its hard to explain, check out the pictures. But I was soooo scared and then half way down my braid got stuck in the rope and the pulley and I thought I was going
to die hanging there but I finally pulled hard enough and got my braid out, thank goodness. After that we had to hike back up to the car and probably the most scary and dangerous part was climbing up this rickety ladder, but everyone is still alive.
After we got back from cliff jumping we walked down the streets of Banos in our bathing suits which probably wasn´t culturally appropriate but we went to the hot springs which ended up being closed, which is probably better, cause Rachel and Bunny went and they sounded like dirty pools with tons of people in them.
That night we met some other travelers and met up with them for drinks at this really cool restaurant with a fire pit and then after we went to a local bar for dancing, pool and another fire pit.
The next morning Amanda and I rented bikes and traveled south along a busy and scary road, with beautiful sights along the way. There were a number of waterfalls that we saw from the road and beautiful countryside. It was scary though cause there were tons of trucks and buses passing us and at one point we had
to go through a long tunnel and we couldn´t see very well in the dark and a bus was coming and there wasn´t a lot of room to pass so I had to peddal really fast so I could get out of the tunnel before it passed me, probably the scarest thing I have experienced so far on the trip. But we rode bikes for about 3 hours and then took a bus back to Banos. That night we went out to dinner with our new friends and after dinner we took a party bus up the mountain to where there was supposed to be a good view of the active volcano, which errupted a couple of years ago and supposedly some nights you can see lava. But we didn´t get a show, other than the act done by the locals around a fire. After we road on the top of the bus back down the mountain and it was crazy because there were tree branches and telephone wires that we had to duck from so that our heads were not taken off. Over all it was a weekend of excitment and near death experieces and adventure, I loved it,
and I can say that only because I have lived to tell about it. Viva Ecuador!
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