Tungurahua obscured by clouds
(One sour note – During the trip, Novena heard “scuttling around” noises coming from the luggage bin underneath the bus. When they got to Baños, she discovered her camera and some cash missing from her suitcase stored there. They filed a complaint with the bus line, but not expecting much response from them, since it likely was an “inside” job if it was stolen by someone with access to the luggage compartment…Hard lesson learned…
We ended up heading back south, towards Guayaquil, and by the time we confirmed this mistake (on the outskirts of Guayaquil) we had no choice but to push back north from there, through Babahoyo, San Miguel and ended up in Guaranda just as it was getting dark and checked into a budget hotel there.
|The town square of Guaranda was|
brilliantly blazing with holiday lights, and
reminded me of KC "Plaza Lights"
|Town square of Guaranda in daylight.|
The four of us opted for the back road, though we knew it would take more time. We tremendously enjoyed that drive through a number of indigenous villages along the way, and got into Baños by early afternoon.
|This view of Chimborazo seen along|
the "old" route we chose..
|One view from the 4th level balcony|
from Hotel Eruption.
A few tables and chairs added to that
terrace would be a good addition.
We stayed at the budget Hostel Erupción, located adjacent to the main plaza in town, and met up with Bob and Novena there.
|Cuy served here.|
Why am I reminded of the old
"Hamster Dance" tune?
"Hamster Dance" - thanks/courtesy to you guys who came up with it...Has always made my day.
Something about Baños at night seemed reminiscent of New Orleans in a way – a “quaint” Bourbon street vibe, I thought.
|Photo - Courtesy of Novena|
On Sunday morning, we all went on a 4-hr double-decker bus tour that featured the area cascadas (waterfalls) and a pass by of Tungurahua Volcano. Tungurahua is somewhat currently active now, but not enough to be afraid of visiting this town, and there are several hills and valleys that protect Baños from lava flows.
We bought our tickets from one of them – the day before - cost of $6 each, and make a beeline for stairway to top of bus as soon as you get on. May or may not be crowded on top.
This tour also basically turns around after passing the volcano, towards some of the best waterfalls in other direction, and heads down the "old road" to Rio Blanco, the "gateway" to the Amazon rain forest of Ecuador.
Along this route is also the best and longest zip line in Ecuador.
On bucket list for next trip here.
|One of the tunnels we went through towards|
the best known waterfalls.
|The original old road/gateway between Baños and|
the Amazon rain forest in Ecuador.
Once considered the most perilous road in Ecuador,
has since been improved (in the last 7 years or so)
with pavement and guard-rails.
|Standing underneath the|
"Puertos del Cielo"
(Doors of Heaven)
|Especially enjoyed the Pailón
The "Devil's Caldron" Waterfall.
On that day from rope-swing bridge.
What a blessing to see the Almighty
show up with
this rainbow of promise.
|"Do one thing a day that scares you"|
After we got back, we went in different directions for the rest of the afternoon.
And so glad I did it!
That bus ride was not very comfortable (said by me, who instantly falls asleep on virtually any moving vehicle… the KC Chiefs could hold football practice in my bedroom at night, and I wouldn’t rouse).
|A delightful scene I came across:|
on my way back to taxi after