Cuenca and Baños

Trip Start Nov 03, 2008
Trip End May 2009

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Flag of Ecuador  ,
Saturday, March 21, 2009

More chaotic travels...bus time tables are variable here, they may or may not turn up, our 12.30 bus finally arrived at 1.30, or maybe it was the 1.30 bus on time? It was a bit like you see on travel programmes, battered, dented and noisey. The chickens were amusing for a while, the cockerel crowed for the entire trip of 4 hours. Crossed the boarder into Ecuador without too much bother, but Luciano, the trip leader lost his football as a bribe payment, think he got off lightly! Another 4 hours on another clapped out bus, this time with cats and chickens, got us to Cuenca. 
Cuenca is about the size of Sandhurst and they have managed to cram in 15 churches and 2 plaza squares....where we only managed a cross road and set of traffic lights.The town seems more cosmopolitan than Peru and more affluent, lots of posh cars and well dressed women....but the shop window dummies are well scarry, big boobs and short necks = deformed, but Bri developed a real facination for them.
Baņos ( pronounced like banos, spanish for toilet, which is unfortunate) is a tourist destination....guess thats how we landed there. Not much going on in the town except it has lots and lots of cafeīs and bars. Its the extreme sports / activity centre of Ecudor....we decided to be less than extreme and just walked up the chuffin big hill to the cross to check out the view over the town. Zoe came with us and did well in her flip flops : o ) 
Bri has aquired an adiction to beanie hats and wears them like Dopey from the 7 dwarfs, a look that only he seems to be able to pull off. We have arrived in Ecudor at a time when they seem to be holding their elections. They have invested big money in posters and cars covered in pictures and with loud speakers blearing out the "vote for me cos you can trust me " messages. Its the wet season here and they aint joking. Its full on wet stuff, the type that hurts. We stood in a shop doorway for 45 mins in the hope it would pass over, it just got worse but in the absence of TV, it was funny watching the world go by getting drenched... you had to be there. Mable x

What a mare of a bus trip, it seemed to take forever and they arrived in the dark and wet surrounded by clouds, it was only the chickens on the bus that provided any real light relief.  Cuanca was nice, shame they landed there late Saturday and was mostly shut on Sunday. Mac found a fab coffe bar and had the first decent coffee for as long as he could remember in fact he had two!  Mac spent some time sketcing and was followed around by a freaky looking bloke with a milky mouth, not inducive to artistic creativity.  On his return to the hotel, which was realy nice, he found Mable finishing off the bottle of beer she had bought for him, she said it was very nice which made him feel much better.  The trip to Banos was marginally better but stopped to pick up and drop off passengers every 30 seconds, or this is how it felt.  Thank God for iPods.  Banos is a quaint little town on the doorstep on an active volcano and is great if you want extreeme activities, as if living on an active vocano is not extreeme enough!  While hunting for a new beenie Mable got acosted by a mad Danish woman who told her to come to her cafe for coffee, she was so scary Mac and Mable felt bad karma would follow if they didnīt.  The coffe was good and the rolls fab and the Karma of the universe restored.    Zoe, one of the group was still not feeling good and was not well enough to travel to the jungle, which the tour leader did not sell at all well.
Only one toilet, no electricity, hours of hiking, big spiders, killer mosquitoes and nets with holes in and beans and rice soup for dinner....... Mac and Mable decided to stay with Zoe for support, poor Zoe, never mind.  So it was time to go to Quito, refreshed and with new beenie to his collection.  Mac has also decided to vote for party 72 in the elections, well Valarie anyway..... sheīs HOT!   Mac x x
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