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Published: June 16th 2017
Suspended over the river
Bungee jumper swings down over this raging river
Geo: -1.47201, -78.327
We're sitting on the porch of our cabana by the pool enjoying a morning cuppa and determined to catch up on some postings today. We're in a way-fun never-seen-a-place-like-this-before kind of town that I just can't get into yet--I still have to tell you about a fun day we had in Banos before we went to the jungle.
See? Waaay behind.
Everybody loves Banos. Set in a green valley amongst nearly vertical mountains carved by waterfalls and lorded over by an angry
Thunguragua volcano spewing lava continually.
You don't go to Banos to relax. You go to play. Bungee jump. Zip line. 4x4. Bike. Canyoning (climb waterfalls). Trams. Hikes. Bridge swings. Paraglide. And at the end of the day are the spas, massages and hot pools.
We hired a driver for the afternoon to see the 'valley of the waterfalls' and had a great time. Chicken to jump off bridges or fly like superman, we did take a tram across the valley to a waterfall. It cost $1, which of course included liability coverage. NOT.
About our hostel: La Casa Verde is an eco hostel built by an Australian/Kiwi couple trying to make a difference in this
country intent on destroying itself.
In their protest against Amazon deforestation all wood used in the lodge is agroforestry timber; the steel is recycled and the paints are non-toxic.
They don't use chemically based fertilizers or cleaning products and are developing their own in-house organic toiletries for guests to use.
While not off the grid yet (they have plans), their hot water is pre-heated by the sun to reduce the amount of energy needed to heat it up to hot shower levels.
They're thrilled to help locals build and live sustainably, but admit it will take a generational change to make any kind of impact. Adults are too used to tossing trash where ever, and dumping sewage straight into the river.
Polluted rivers are such a big problem in Ecuador. They cautioned us that if we wanted to go rafting, to do it in Tena--they do it on cleaner rivers.
But little things like refusing plastic bags at the super market and refilling water bottles are catching on, if only slightly.
Of course they recycle everything--glass jars are used for jelly or refilled with soda or beer--or used to create eye catching window panels!; paper and cardboard
are turned into artwork, garden mulch or mirror cleaners; plastic containers store food or grow new seedlings; aluminum is sold and food scraps composted.
Meals are harvested from their large organic garden--a vegetarian's delight, if not Bob's. The included breakfast is fresh off the tree fruit salad, big slabs of bread still warm from the oven, and an organic granola or muesli with yogurt. And all the tea and coffee you want all day long.
Best of all we loved the large kitchen-dining area that becomes a gathering place for guests sharing experiences. In fact that's where we met two women from Chicago, from Bob's neighborhood in Chicago. One of them actually taught in Bob's grade school!! Can you believe that? Out of 67,148 grade schools in the US (I googled it), they meet in Banos, Ecuador.
It's been our favorite place. Rebecca and Douglas go out of their way to be helpful. We've seen Doug go with some hiker friends of ours to make sure they found the right trail, as trails here are not marked well.
They're planning a camping trip through Wyoming and Montana next year so we invited them to come stay with us--we'll take them fishing
and golfing and show them our beautiful Flathead valley and Glacier National Park.
Here are some of the better restaurants in town if you're planning a trip here: Mariane--french provence food; Swiss Bistro--swiss style food; Quilombo--Argentinean steak house; Cafe Hood--international dishes; and Ali Cumba for good music and good coffee.
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