Hello all from Quito ,Ecuador.I have an hour to Kill before I get my Ecuadorian Tattoo so seems like the perfect time to catch you all up on my adventures.
I left Guayaquil and headed for Riobamba.I found a decent hotel near the Bus Terminal and this became my base for the last week.I arrived on Sunday to find out that the next train to Alausi and the "Nariz del Diablo" (the Devils Nose) wasn´t until Wednesday.
On Monday I had a good look around and had my laundry done but by Tuesday morning I was a bit bored so decided to get the bus to Alausi.What a stunningly gorgeous little villge ,tucked into the greenest of Mountains.I got a hotel there for the night and in the morning I went to the train station for the train to Devils Nose.Its amazing here that you can go more than a week without seeing another white face but when you go to 1 of these tours they all come out of the woodwork.I met a nice Kiwi couple and a Dutch Doctor (who wants to do the country GP thing in Oz) and we went on this rackety old bus that had been converted into a train.This was very disapointing becouse on all the postcards ,advertising ect ,the train was an old steam train and you could travel on the roof.Disapointments aside it was a great 2 hour tour with a great bunch of people.The Devils Nose was a bit of an anticlimax though.I was expecting a big evillooking mountain ,the shape of a nose, but it was only a little outcrop on a hill that looked a bit like a nose if you squinted LOL.I will put some more pics up on Facebook ,in the next few days, so you´ll be able to see for yourselves.
After the tour I got the same train back to Riobamba and booked back into the same hotel.1 of the many things I love about this part of the world is that if you return to a hotel for a 2nd or third time your status gets elevated from resident to family member.That is a slight exageration but you get my meaning.They are genuinely happy to have you return.
Next morning I got bus to Ambato and booked a hotel.There isn´t much to see here so I would recomend others to jump straight on bus to Banos de Aguas Santa.Having said that ,everything happens to me for a reason.I went into a Chemist,to get some panadol, and the lady was so proud of her country that she chatted with me for about 20mins about all the surrounding villages and she helped me plan a long way around trip back to Riobamba.
I then went to Banos ,which was my origional plan.On the way out of Ambato the bus stopped to pick up a farmer with 2 massive tractor tyres.They loaded these on the roof of the bus.As I watched them load the wife complained they had paid $500 each,if only they knew.They couldn´t get the ropes tight enough so I climbed up and offered to show them something.At 1st they didn´t want to insult the white man ,so they humoured me, but after I´d done 1 Truckies Hitch ( a knot that creates a pulley system for tightening ropes then undoes in a shake) they were all eyes n had me repeat it 5 or 6 times until they all had the idea.It was all handshakes n slaps on the back after that.When I arrived in Banos I got a hotel overlooking the Puente de San Francisco (San Fransisco Bridge).I told the lady I wanted to Bungee Jump while I was here.She laughed and pointed out my window.There was a guy jumping off the bridge as I looked.I locked my door n ran staight out of the hotel.Turns out its not a bungee jump but a giant rope swing off a very high bridge (again photos in next few days).Terrifieingly wonderful and only $20.Met an Aussie couple there who jumped aswell.Later I did a tour to the waterfalls that included a trip on a tiny Cable Car over a giant Gorge.
Next morning I got bus to Puyo then Macas.This was the Chemist ladies idea and took me down dirt roads through the Amazon Jungle.I stayed in Macas that night then got bus to Riobamba in the morning.All up it took about 10 hrs travel time,from Banos to Riobamba, to do around 200ks.Stunning country.
I then booked back into my hotel in Riobamba.That was yesterday and I got bus here to Quito thismorning.I have heard so many stories about pickpockets n thieves here that I was a little nervous walking around.I´m sure I was worried about nothing ,TOUCH WOOD, all the other travellers have grins on their faces.
Oh well thats it for now.Getting my Tattoo in 15mins so was perfect timing.
Chau for now PAUL
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