Early Awakenings In Banos.

Trip Start Feb 01, 2005
Trip End Dec 31, 2020

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Where I stayed
Las Rocas

Flag of Ecuador  ,
Friday, October 21, 2011

It is rather hard to get your mind around.

"Banos" is the Spanish word used when asking for the toilet. Toilets generally have a sign saying this. Now we are staying in a most beautiful town in Ecuador and it is called Banos! I am presuming the Banos word is more like our "Bathroom" and as Banos the town has hot springs this is the meaning. Still hard to get your mind around!

Banos has been good to us. We found a lovely hotel in a convenient place, with mountain views for $12 a night. We met a lovely couple David and Milla to spend some time with (more about that later), AND crossed off another UNESCO World Heritage site (Sangay National Park).

There is one thing that Banos was not good to us for though - mornings. Specifically, very early mornings. At 5.30 am we were rudely awakened by very loud brass band music and firecrackers. We jumped out of bed and looked out the window and unbelievably there was a real live,uniformed brass band playing in front of our window! It continued on all day. The group of about 20 marched up and down the streets of Banos, seemingly playing the same strident tune all day accompanied by booming fire crackers. We asked what this was about and were told it is a religious week celebrating the dead and this is part of the festivities.   

We decided to do a truck tour on offer for a rather reasonable $10 each. We weren't really sure what it was going to entail, other than it was going to take us to see some waterfalls. This it delivered, and much, much more. Firstly we drove around with music blaring trying to find some more starters from the various tour operators until eventually we had about a dozen. Then we went roaring off and the guide began a commentary in Spanish, of which we understood zilch. At our first stop, we had no idea what was being said, when a couple on the tour came up and interpreted for us what the guide was explaining, that we could go across the valley in a flying fox basket affair, for the princely sum of $1.50 if we wanted. We all did. For the rest of the tour David and Milla interpreted the Spanish for us and in the course of the day, we became firm friends. David is a Colombian living in USA and Milla, a widely travelled Ecuadorian. Even though their birth countries don't see eye to eye, THEY certainly do!

The day progressed with adventure sports being offered at various stops for a fraction of the cost elsewhere. Our new found friend David did a "Flying Fox" head first type of activity. We took another flying fox basket affair from a cliff down to the river and a beautiful waterfall. Later in the day we climbed a long way down to a gorgeous set of falls for a swim, then weathered the strenuous climb back up again.  

All in all the truck tour was a fabulous day out. Not wanting the good vibe of the day to end, we made a date with David and Milla to meet up for dinner, then availed ourselves of an extra cheap massage (90 minutes with a facial for $25!!) before dinner. Some good food, wine and excellent conversation in an Italian restaurant led to more drinks and conversation at the Leprechaun nightclub. Getting to bed well after midnight, we were not in the best of moods to appreciate our rude 5.30 am religious band music and fire cracker accompaniment again!! 

Footnote: Sangay National Park is UNESCO World Heritage listed.
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