Trip Start Mar 14, 2004
285Trip End Ongoing
This place is an outdoor paradise with plenty of mountain biking, hiking, rafting, kayaking and other opportunities. In my first day here, I rented a mountain bike with Bertine, a girl from Holland, and took off down the road that follows the Pastaza River
The next day was great as well. I went hiking with some people I met in Quito and new friends from here in Baņos to try and see Tungurahua, the volcano. Unfortunately, it was too cloudy to see the volcano but the experience we had couldn't have been planned. After we hiked to the first view point above Baņos, we met a local guy named Carlos who lived nearby. He is retired after 35 years with the electric company but now works by inspecting the seismograph equipment placed all over the volcano and reporting to the volcanologists that it's working OK. He also watches for poachers hunting illegally and calls the police when necessary. Carlos told us the history of the volcano and what happened in 1999. He was on his way to inspect some equipment so we followed him. Along the way, he invited us to his house and gave us all some natural tea, made us try some horrible liquor, and let us feed his chickens. On the trail, he explained all the plant life and the uses for the different plants and their leaves. It was great because there was no way we could have learned this on our own. At the viewpoint for the Volcano, which we couldn't see because of clouds, we said goodbye to Carlos and headed back to town... starving because we were now into 6 hours of hiking. After a late lunch, we all went to soak our sore legs in one of the nearby hot springs and then went out for the evening. A good full day....
From here, I am joining everyone on the train ride in Riobamba and then returning to Baņos on my own since there is much more to see and do......