Hola from the lovely little town of Banos!
I have been here a couple of days and wish I had a little more time to chill out here. The streets are colourful and all around you can see lucious green hills. It took me while to find my hostel, asking different people where I needed to go and after a while of looking very lost I finally made it! I dropped my stuff off and took a walk up to GeoTours. I had heard that this was a really good company to do white water rafting with and I wanted to make sure I was going to be in safe hands! I then had a little qalk around a knew I was going to love it here. There are lots of graffiti murials over walls and I love wall art.
I got up early the next day and walked up to the tour company. There I met a girl, Lauran, that I had actually met in the hotel in Lago Agrio when I was waiting for my pick up for my jungle trip. That was nice to catch up with her and hear what she had seen in the
jungle. Five girls altogether were doing the rapids which was quite nice. We were given wet suits, helmets and shoes to wear and then shown the safety practices whilst rafting.
We got in the raft and set off. It was raining which meant it was quite cold but I suppose it was an ideal activity...what else can you do on a rainy day! The rafting was so much fun, especially when we rowed straight into huge rapids. None of us fell out of the boat thank goodness but there were some instances when at least one of us was nearly in! I would recommend Geotours, their english was brilliant and they made it really fun but safe. We all then went for lunch which was part of the price and sat their shivering, hoping for hot water back at our hostels! I was pleased when I got back and found there was hot water yay!
That evening, I got talking to some people at my hostel and they invited to me to the hot springs. We entered for only three dollars and went straight to the famous hot hot pool which was about 45 degrees. I lasted two
seconds and literally felt like I was being scolded. I tried to enter for a bit longer again and think I got about five seconds that time haha. I kept on going in and out until I got my whole body in but really could not stand it. There was a warm (cooler) pool upstairs- so much nicer! It was outside and we were surrounded by the hills and waterfalls (cascade..my new spanish word). Beautiful! Next to the pool we were in there was a flow of cold water that was takem from the waterfall that fell down beside us. Freezing! It felt really nice to go from cold to warm, cold to warm. I then braved the hotter pool downstairs and found that it was so much more bearable. Because my body temperature had heated up, it meant that I could stand the hotter water! I stayed in for a few minutes and as soon as I got out I felt really dizzy. My body obviously didn't like the scolding hot water! I went straight to the cold water fountain to cool down and had a bit of a sit down so that my heart could get back to
its normal rate! I have no idea how people stay in their longer.
That night, I went out for some drinks wityh people from the hostel. One of the girls, Macarena, is a journalist from Argentina. She was telling me about the job she used to have where she felt like she was always reporting on bad news. She now works for a news programme and a radio programme that only reports GOOD news and works to help people out. I talked and listened to her for ages and she was so inspirational. I loved her positive outlook and how reporting positive news can make people feel better and also brings people together. One of the her radio programs, a young boy rang up saying that he needed a bike. Three other people rang in and offered him their bikes. She seemed like she loved her job and loved helping people. It was really great to listen to her. I have decided I'm going to be more positive and concentrate on the positives when things go wrong on my trip...well I will try!
The next day (today), I went to the famous La Casa del Arbol, the house
of the tree with Hannah, a girl from my hostel, She is learning Spanish so I left it up to her to book our taxi! Cas del Arbol is a treehouse that was built on the top of a hill that looks out on to Tongaruhah volcano. Unfortunately, when we got there it was quite cloudy so we couldn't quite see the volcano. Attached to the treehouse is a swing and you can swing on it and swing out on to a ledge over the hill. The ledge wasn't straight down but I still swung over a big drop! Lots of fun and a beautiful view over the hills (the bits that weren'y covered with cloud!)
I then took a walk around Banos with Hannah and took my last photos before my bus this evening. First bus to guyaquil then will frantically walk around the bus terminal in Guyaquil to find a bus to Mancora, Peru. So excited to go to Peru but know I would definitely love to come back to Ecuador one day...especially to see the Galapogas islands! Lots of saving for that trip as it is so expensice to go there!
Mucho amor, Emma
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