There was plenty to do in Banos and so we started off with a pretty good breakfast at the local market. We managed to avoid chicken and rice and even got a coffee so on the whole felt much better.
Banos is located in a lush green valley and one of the activities on offer was riding bikes down the valley taking in the waterfalls so we jumped at the chance. One of the best things about the ride was that it was completely down hill (well almost).
As we rode down we passed by a whole load of opportunities to zip line across the canyon and a variety of other swing activities. It was nice to see but we had already done our zip lining and so contented ourselves with admiring the fantastic views.
The place is so green!! In fact the whole of Ecuador was green we hadn’t seen a single brown patch. Once again we were treated to the sight of waterfalls, none of which were huge or massively impressive but nevertheless they were lovely to look at.
The pinnacle of the ride down was the Cascade de Diablo at the end of the ride. We locked up our bikes and headed down the valley to the viewpoint. It was another steep walk down but really quite pretty and very tropical.
At the bottom were a couple of houses and a bridge across the river. It must have been some feat constructing these buildings as we had a hard enough time just walking down!! Anyway the views of the falls were very impressive. There was a huge volume of water flowing and we both got soaked!!
After the climb back up to the road we were famished and luckily our Spanish is improving a little and we were able to translate a sign outside a restaurant that said that you could catch a fish and have it cooked straight away!! We couldn’t resist and it was delicious.
Outside the restaurant there was a queue of trucks waiting to give us a lift back up to town. Very civilized bike riding indeed, all of the hard work taken care of.
While the thermal baths we had had last night were good we had read that there were some more picturesque ones about 2 km out of town. Of we set (uphill again) but it was worth it. While I wouldn’t necessarily describe them as particularly beautiful or picturesque it was very relaxing bathing in the warm waters and this time the hot one was bearable.
We were all very relaxed when we had finished and enjoyed the downhill walk all the way home even though the heavens opened and we were soaked to the bone when we got back. Thank goodness for our trusty rain jackets!!
That evening we arranged to meet up with Bill and Emma for a drink and there were quite a few other “gringos” in the bar too so we had quite a good night swapped many stories and gleaning information off of one another.
Unfortunately while the company was good I am not sure the hygiene standards of “The Stray Dog” were quite up to scratch and four people out of the group ended up spending quite a bit of time on the toilet through the night!! T