Amazing waterfall, amazing view!

Trip Start Jan 16, 2011
Trip End Jan 15, 2012

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Flag of Ecuador  , Tungurahua,
Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Day 134

We took a morrning bus from Shell to Banos and passed on of the most beautiful landscapes in Ecuador. In general, Ecuador is extremely green in the Andes area. It is divided into 3 areas – coast, Andes and Amazon. The Andes here are not as high as in Bolivia and thus much greener. Sometimes really lush-green which I like very much! On our way to Banos we followed the river Pastaza which is great for rafting. Right now the waterlevel was however too high, after quite a bit of rain last week, But it's impressive, the river cut in between the mountains, the street winding its way back to Banos. Once we arrived I got back to our hostel where they were already very concerned about me not returning. I didn’t take their business card when I checked-in and didn’t have the phone number of the hostel. We did call the information to get their number, but it was not registered – wanted to call the hostel to tell them that I won’t be back for 2 days, as I didn’t check out when I left Banos. Planned a daytrip which turned into a 3D/2N tour! The hostel guy told me if I had not returned by checkout time he would have called the police as he thought something happened to me! I checked out, we want to go to Quito. Had lunch in town and Kory wanted to do one more activity in Banos before we leave. So we checked back in again in the hostal and then rented a jeep – no roof, no doors – so let’s hope for no rain and to drive to a great waterfall Pailon del Diablo. The ride was amazing, we basically drove back partly towards Puyo. It is a 20 minutes walk downhill to the waterfall, then a few stairs up to a viewing platform from where you are basically next to the waterfall and get wet from the waterdust. The fall is extremely powerful – impressive. A couple more stairs lead to the next balcony from where you literally have to crawl up a few metres in a tunnel-like formation of rocks to reach the highest viewing point. Now you are below the falls – a huge rock is above you over which the water comes down. We got pitch-wet, but it was an amazing view! The problem was the wind on the way back to Banos, being wet and having an open car! But it was fun! Instead of returning the car we decided to go up a mountain for a view over Banos. The way up there is totally curvy. On top, at Luna Runtun is a Spa which has a café – with a view! We met an elderly couple from France that walked up all the way. Respect! We had a cappuccino to get us warm, then made our way down in order to avoid to much overtime and extra cots for the car. When we turned into Banos I saw Michal, my Israely friend with whom I shared the cabin on the Galapagos cruise! We couldn’t stop and she didn’t see me. But when we got back to the hostel, she was there as well. As I mentioned before, Transilvania is a popular hostal for Israelis. She didn’t stay here but only visited some friends. We had a shisha and agreed to meet for a drink and play pool at Rocky’s later tonigher. Rocky’s has a pool table and when we arrived team Israel was already playing against another couple. Our turn was next. Kory is a good pool player and we did quite well. Kory impressed and an English guy wanted to play one on one with him. In the end we stayed till 1 am – playing and watching pool for 3 hours! It was time to leave, we want to head to Quito tomorrow morning.
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