Bike Rides,Elections, Waterfalls and Dysentary
May 11, 2005
The main reason I came here was to check out a huge downhill bike ride that goes past 15 different waterfalls. Sounded like fun with minimal effort so I decided to check it out. I ended up hooking up with some backpackers I met on the Quitltoa loop for the ride. Basically we rented a bike for the day, pointed it down hill and gravity took care of the rest
. I didn't take a pictures of most of the waterfall because as cool as they are its still a waterfall in the end. The ride was great and the lush green mountain scenery was icing on the cake. The ride took about 4 hours which ended when we ran out of waterfalls and the road decided to head up hill. After cooling off in the river we loaded up biked on a passing bus and were back in town in time for a late lunch. Afterward I went for hike on the surrounding mountains to get a bird eye view of the town. Unfortunately the clouds never lifted the whole time and I never did see the Volcano.
That weekend just happened to be Ecuadorian elections where the local people are not allowed to drink by law and all restaurants and bars are closed. At first I thought the weekend was ruined but due to bad food I ended up in bed with dysentery anyway!
Banos is a little picturesque town that lies at the bottom of huge volcano. The clear to yellow-brown waters of the baths are heated by the Tungurahua Volcanoe. In 1999, Tungurahua was put on orange alert, indicating the likelihood of an imminent eruption and sending Banos inhabitants fleeing, with only about half of them returning later. No large-scale eruption materialized, but levels of volcanic activity have remained high, offering sensational views of spitting lava, particularly at night. This place is right smack on the gringo trail and offers an insane amount of activities. The main activy is soaking in the thermal baths the town is named after.