Baños - not just the word for toilet

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Where I stayed
Casa molino blanco

Flag of Ecuador  ,
Sunday, November 3, 2013

Banos proved a great choice for our next stop (once Bob had got over the fact it had the same name as the toilet) set in a dramatic valley underneath one of Ecuador's most active volcanoes. This is the place for the adventurous- rafting, climbing, zip lines, canyoning, horse riding, hiking- you name it. Not feeling all that adventurous on arrival we chose instead to sit in the warm natural springs for the evening, alongside those much more deserving who were resting aching limbs from their day's activities.
We perked up later though and eventually managed a fantastic hike to a cafe on the hill high above the town, a morning of intense white water rafting (during which Bob fell in twice and Tracie once, between us collecting an impressive number of bruises) and a bike ride along the valley to a beautiful waterfall which we were able to scramble right behind by climbing through a small, narrow and very wet passage to the top.
The food here was welcome relief as well- there is only so much "comida typica" one can handle and we gorged ourselves on steak fondue at a fabulous and expensive Swiss restaurant and serving (drum roll) real Swiss cheese. Heavenly. The cheese across south america is truly awful.
No rest for the wicked though as they say, after just a couple of days it was time to move on again- this time to the unique cloud forest just 20km outside Quito where we had booked ourselves in for three days in an eco lodge in amongst the trees.
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