Driving, Waterfalls, Ziplines, Party Bus

Trip Start Aug 17, 2013
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Ecuador  ,
Saturday, September 21, 2013

A group of 6 of us went into town this morning to rent buggies to drive around in. After getting harassed by seedy Ecuadorian sales men walking the whole street we bumped into another seedy Ecuadorian sales man who recognized us from one of the bars a few nights ago. We tried to rent 3 buggies (they are 2 seaters) but got told that they didn't have enough power to go where we wanted to go so we rented a jeep car thingy. The guy asked for our passports in order to take the car out- fat chance!- Tim left his license with him. Go figure- he was the one driving. Ecuadorian rules are twisted. We took off on the way to Casa de Arbol which is a treehouse halfway up Volcano Tungurahua. We drove around (on the wrong side of the road, might I add) and missed the turnoff to the treehouse which was terribly signposted and ended up 4x4 up the side of a mountain into pretty remote farmland until some farmers told us we missed the turn. We got to the treehouse and had the most amazing uninterrupted view of the volcano. There was a swing that hung pretty sketchily off the side of a cliff and took some photos which was amazing. Again the scenery was stunning which is pretty hard to get away from in Ecuador. On the way down one of the girls, Jenny wanted to drive and I have never been so petrified in my life. Literally was seconds from immediate death. I knew we were in trouble when she took the hand break off before putting the car in gear while facing downhill. We all pretty swiftly decided that we trusted Tim's driving more and got her to stop. We drove the waterfall route that we biked down the other day as we still had some time to spare. We stopped at waterfall 1 and Tim Jenny and I went zip-lining. We had the choice of seated, superman style or upside down and naturally as we were paying we wanted the most from it so upside down it was. Just before we took off we saw some rascal kids going through our car so I yelled at them and they got out pretty swiftly. The canyon was a good couple hundred metres wide but the zip line was pretty slow so we were upside down for a good minute. I wasn't heavy enough to make it the whole way across so I had to grab the cable and pull myself to the other side of the gorge. My fear of heights kicked in on the way back on the shit rickety cable car which I swear is not certified even by Ecuadorian standards. I have never been so happy to have my feet back on solid ground other than when I got out of the car after Jenny drove. After our zip line we drove the rest of the waterfall route in the hope of going back to our fresh trout restaurant that we ate at last week. We realized pretty quickly that it was only bike accessible. I would have paid stupid amounts to eat that fresh trout again. On the way back Tim tried to overtake a bus and hit the side mirror on the back of it haha. One observation about Ecuador is everyone here drives like shit. Everyone speeds, no one wears seatbelts, people park and overtake on blind corners, children sit on their parents laps while they are driving, they overflow the cars (largest count at 11 people in a 5 person car) This afternoon we booked a chiva bus (party bus) to go to a spot overlooking Banos. When the bus picked us up we were met by a group of people  who were out for a guys 22nd bday from Quito. The group had a few "woo girls" for those HIMYM fans. The bus was pretty sketchy and the driver was no exception to the Ecuadorian way of operating motor vehicles but the view over Banos really was incredible. There was a magic show going on at the top but it was kind of lost on all of us as it was all in Spanish so the theme never came across. We just stood around and drank. We got back to town for a little while but retired pretty early to bed.
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Ashleigh on

Love the pictures. Amazing stories. Keep it coming Matty

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