Friday, November 9, 2007

Banos - 7th - 9th October 2007

Volcan Tungurahua

After Cuenca I decided to head off to Banos which turns out to be a really lovely little town situated on the flanks of the active volcano Tungurahua. The volcano has been pretty active in the last couple of days so I thought I´d try my luck and on the first night go volcano watching!

Well it seems that one night is the one night that nothing is going on! A great view of the town though.

Banos is very well know for its outdoor activities, with rafting, cycling, trekking and horse riding available. Also the town has a really nice friendly feel to it, far more than Cuenca had and to be honest far more than I have felt anywhere yet in Ecuador.

For my experience of the outdoor life I decided to head off on a cycle ride 15km to the east of the town on the edge of the Orient (part of the Amazon), the route takes in several different waterfalls before reaching the spectacular Pailon del Diablo waterfall just past Rio Verde.

When I look back at the days activities I´m not really too sure what possessed me to think I was gonna be able to cycle that far, but obviously something did and I gave it a go!

About an hour down the road I was beginning to feel the strain but still persevered deciding it was gonna be sooooo good for me!

After about another half hour I came to the conclusion that good for me or not it was gonna be an impossible ride so headed back to Banos and hired a quad bike! Now I´m talking!

The locals found it funny it seems that me, a girl, was hiring the bike, the locals along the way also stopped and stared, apparently its not the norm here!

The ride was now gonna be so much easier, at least it would have been if it hadn´t started raining as soon as I left Banos and again guess where my waterproof jacket was? Certainly not with me! It seems I´m bound never to learn!

Despite the rain the ride was good and so much better now that an engine was involved.

Along the way I came upon a type of cable car across the valley, it was $1 a ride so I gave it a go it looked a bit scary and a little strange on my own but it was good fun, on the other side we picked and entire Ecuadorian family and back we went again.

Me looking slightly nervous about the cable car experience!

Waterfalls on the way.

It rained all the way to the huge waterfall but nicely managed to clear up once I got there.

The waterfall itself was magnificent and very very wet but hey I already was so no problem there!

Theres a little cafe at the bottom of the track for a well deserved drink and a dry place to rest the body, then it was back on the quad bike to head back to town and a nice hot shower but still no volcanic activity!!

Next stop Otavalo Market before the Galapagos on Sunday.

I can´t seem to get any more pics up on this blog, if I manage later I will if not it´ll be after the Galapagos.

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