Trip Start Mar 09, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Ecuador  , Tungurahua,
Sunday, March 28, 2010

Now its time for some fun...Baņos is sort of the try hard Queenstown of Ecuador.  Its the place where backpackers go on their way south to take part in extreme activities.  On offer were dune buggies, quad bikes, bungy jumping, mountain bike riding among other things.

We were only making a flying visit to Baņos so mountain biking was our sport of choice.  We hired some (in hindsight, completely shit) mountain bikes to set off on a 60km tour of the waterfalls around Baņos.  The roads were fun, when we were going down hill and the water falls were really cool.  We stopped at the Machay Falls for a dip in the natural jacuzi that lies near the bottom of the waterfall.  Only once we were half way down the bottom did we think what a mammoth journey it was going to be back up to the top of the waterfall. We had certainly worked off any bad foods consumed during the first part of the day.

Back up on our bikes and back on the road under the afternoon sun, Lou and I slogged it out up some gruelling hills....Well they were really slight gradients but when you are riding a bike that has no suspension and sticky breaks, even the smallest incline seems like a freaking mountain.  Anyway, 35kms on and we spotted the only bus going back the other way that we had seen all day so, without any discussion, we flagged it down, put the bikes underneath, and got ourselves back to Baņos in relative comfort.  The loud blaring spanish music to my ears.....Its all about perspective eh?

<Hose B>
Hindsight is a great thing but we should really have been suspicious of the 60km "all downhill ride that will comfortably take 2-3hours, with breaks"! Thinking about it now, or on the uphill as I did A LOT, that would have meant we would cycle over 20-30km p/h. We didnīt and it took us over 5 hours to reach 35km!

Its the bikes I tells ya, its the bikes.  If Id have had Todds wheels I would have killed it.

Its really cool when walking around the main square here.  Every second shop is stretching toffee from hooks in the doorways.  Its really cool to watch....and tastes oh so good....Until you lose a tooth.  In our travels along the streets we also spotted the famous guinea pig being bbqd on the side of the road.  Sooooo wrong.....The poor little critters with their claws and teeth still intact.  I could almost make out the plea for help from the little dood that was sizzling away on the hot plate.  Oh well, Im sure well give it a crack soon enough :P

So we found one cafe in Baņos where we ate lunch one day and stupidly had a coffee the next.  Now, admitedly the sandwhiches were pretty good but the Danish lady running the place was a complete bitch.  The place was called Cafe Ali Cumba.  If you are ever in Baņos, feel free to go in there and leave a big steaming turd on her doorstep.

Dear Ali Cumba Bitchface Lady, Ok, so your sandwhiches were pretty good, I will admit that.  But you are a sourfaced, pushy, rude and unfriendly cow.  I think that the reason you are not in the Lonely Planet is not because the writer is corrupt like you think but because you are unfriendly and do not make people like us feel welcome.  I will never recommend your cafe and I would strongly suggest that you pull out what ever it is that has climbed up your rear end.  PS - Your smoothie tasted terrible.

On another note, we found the best Mexican restaurant in Baņos.  Freaking awesome.  5 thumbs up to the dood that owns that place.  Hes got it going onnnnn.

Weīve also had plenty Ecuadorian cuisine in banos, itīs not all Mexican and Danish / French baguettes. We have eaten our fair share of rice, chips and roasted chicken too. They are obsessed with roasted chicken and potatoes in Ecuador. They say there are over 200 varieties of potatoes in Ecuador. I think they could give us Irish a run for our money in the poppy dept!

Finally, we were able to satisfy our karaoke cravings on the night before we left.  We decided to have a couple of quiet $1.50 long necks and met a small group of friendly folk.  One thing led to another and before I knew it I was on the stage belting out Brittney Spears (hey, they had a very limited song choice...ok ok, its one of my songs, I admit it).  Karaoke.....the universal language...

Ive gotta go and help HoseB.  Shes trying to extract her other wisdom teeth with the toffee mentioned above.

PS, I havent put any apostrophes in this entry because I cant work out how to type them on this damn keyboard.

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Aisling on

I like it.

Chiara on

Does this comment thing work??

itsgrandlike on

Looks like it...

Todd on

Haha, 60km all downhill...suckers! Not sure even my bike would have helped you ;)

Visitor Ali Cumba on

I would like to make one comment:
The lady running Ali Cumba is not Dutch but DANISH!!
And I really liked the smoothies, they where great!!!!

itsgrandlike on

However, she was a cranky bitch

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