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Published: October 30th 2012
Arriving at the campsite so late meant that it was a lovely surprise the next morning to wake to find that we were camped in a beautiful valley surrounded by waterfalls and lush forest.
Rio Verde is a tiny little town and its main attraction is the proximity to Banos and the many adrenalin activities in the surrounding area.
After days on the road and in the jungle a day of leisure was much in need so with that in mind after breakfast we hitched the 15k into Banos.
With buses few and far between in this part of the country it’s common for locals heading in your direction to give the gringo traveller a lift.
After a few moments at the side of the road a couple stopped to offer a ride, it was bumpy but quite an experience riding in the back of a pickup truck, bumping over pot holes and under waterfalls in the 5 tunnels carved out of the mountains that we had to pass through between the campsites and th e town.
With the morning coffee not being particularly strong an injection of adrenalin was
needed to start the day so the first stop in Banos (after finding a Laundromat to drop of the stinky jungle clothes) was the 100m high bridge swing. That early in the morning there was no one else around. Which didn’t really put my mind at rest, but a quick check over the harnesses and ropes waylaid some fears, it looked safe so how bad could it be?
Harnessed up and standing on a ledge 100m up above the river it took me 3 attempts to actually jump but once I did it was amazing, the falling, the swinging, proper rush!
After the excitement of the swing it was down to some serious business of wandering, shopping and looking around the town. There was some sort of festival going on which gave the town a real holiday atmosphere- with bands playing and people setting off fireworks. To get a feel for the whole town we hiked up to the base of the Volcano – the volcano is still active and climbing any further it is not allowed – whilst the walk was only just over 1k in length it was straight up, so puffing
and panting we made our way up to the lookout point.
After a hot and sweaty climb to the lookout in the midday sun it was a relief to find a bar at the top, sitting beer in hand, looking out across the valley with music floating up from below was a very pleasant way to spend an hour. The hike down was slow and slippery, with pressure placed on the knees it was a reminder that I need to get knee support and walking poles sorted before I get to the Inca Trail, else I could be in some trouble
Back at the campsite late afternoon brought a BBQ and beers, sitting around playing a few drinking games and chatting with other travellers. Another early start tomorrow to pack up the tents and drive towards south to Chugchillan.
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