We´ve been in Baños for a couple of days, and have spent some of that time resting in the very nice room we found – it overlooks a lovely garden, and has plenty of hot water! Baños hasn´t quite been the town that I expected it to be – instead of being a sleepy tourist town in a quiet and beautiful mountain setting, it is a noisy, trafficy town in a beatiful mountain setting. Many of the tourists here appear to be Ecuadorian – we had heard that it´s a popular weekend destination for ‘Quiteños’, and it most certainly appears to be. There are odd theme-park style trains running around the town in the evening, complete with loud theme-park music. Lots of motorbikes, quads, and dunebuggies, which do look like a lot of fun, but are quite noisy. I´m kind of thinking it’s like the Ecuadorian Disney-land (it even has weird Disney character heads on top of the garbage cans). It’s an interesting town, to be sure, but not the serene town I was for some odd reason expecting.
It has been an enjoyable stay, as the setting is really lovely, the air mostly fresh (when cars aren´t zooming by), and today we went horseback riding for a few hours with a lovely guide and nice quiet horses, that didn’t try to throw us off – always a plus. We even saw the volcano smoking – not sure if it was a lot or a little bit, as we have no frame of reference, but it was still neat to see.
Tomorrow we are off again, this time to an even more remote, and much higher, Andean village (Chilchugán), along what´s called the ‘Quilotoa Loop’. Hopefully tomorrow’s bus ride won’t be quite as white-knuckled as the last. The distance certainly isn’t vast (maybe about 200km or so), but the whole trip is expected to take about 6 hours. The thrill of the ride really depends on the driver. Third time’s the charm?
We’ve booked a couple of beds at a wonderful (though a bit pricy) place called the Black Sheep Inn – I am looking forward to hopefully a few nights of peace and tranquility and stars (to be fair, we did have a few nights of this on the boat in the Galapagos, too).
We expect to be heading back to Quito on Wednesday, where we will try to book a day tour to Cotopaxi (another park with a volcano in it), where we wish to tear down the side on mountain bikes. And who knows what else we might get up to.
We probably won´t have internet again until Wednesday. We´ll post again in a few days!
Tags: banos, Ecuador, horses