We were off to Baños after a great breakfast and coffee at Casa Sol in "Gringo-landia". The bus station was great - filthy, dodgy and full of people - just like a bus station should be! We boarded the "Amazonas" bus and flew down the PanAmerican highway at break-neck speed - especially noticable as we were in the front seat!
Slightly stressful (ok, VERY STRESSFUL)- but the scenary was SUPERB! It was a beautiful clear day and as we drove through Cotopaxi National Park we could see the volcano clearly, topped with snow! It is the highest active volcano in the world - luckily it was cooperative and was quiet during our stay. As I sat admiring the scenary and Jonathan was reading a covert copy of Sports Illustrated (and he asked - where is the cricket coverage!) - I gasped as our bus driver decided he would pass all the traffic by going OFF ROAD on a half-finished road and wind down into the valley.... no words can describe the scenes of our life flashing by!
Arriving in Baños was like the Garden of Eden... we wound down into the lush green valley - if I didn't know any better, I would think we were in the Lake District outside of Salzburg in Austria! Sadly, there wasn't any Wienerschnitzel or VonTrapps to be seen, so we quickly realised where we were.
We wondered around the town, which was a lovely little place and very compact. It was the weekend so it was full of local people from the town enjoyng time with their families which was a nice site to see!
Feeling adventurous, we climbed up to a viewpoint high above the town (one HELL of a climb straight up!!) and were rewarded with the scenary below us... it actually made me homesick for one of the first times on this trip (many of you know of my obsession with all things Austrian!!).
Baños is known for its healing baths (it means "Baths" in Spanish) - we attempted to go one evening however it seemed most people had beaten us to it. We decided to try again as Jonathan didn't fancy getting in the water with hundreds of half-naked middle-aged Ecuadorian men!!
We found a lovely place for coffee run by a relatively scary Danish woman (sorry Rikke) who stalked us on the street, had a conversation with us at her cafe for about 3 hours, then had no idea who we were the next day!! I know what you are thinking - we can't be THAT boring!!!
Anyway, after a few days of relaxing and fresh air and after our journey, the thought of another 12 hours on the bus to our next destination didn't appeal.... and we have been looking forward to Cuba for about 8 months! We have decided to skip the southern part of Ecuador and head straight to Havana early! So, as long as we are able to access email, we will try to keep up to date on stories from there - there are bound to be alot!!