Trip Start Jan 14, 2013
27Trip End Apr 15, 2013
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Hiking in Banos means picking up rudimentary maps.....and heading off....headlamps check,water check,...snickers bars check....rain jacket check....animated rudimentary maps to the top of mount something check.....this hike starts by taking us 2.5 hours up another 2000 feet along a "straight" forward beautiful road of interlocking brick with cobblestone edges. By the 2 hr mark my ass, calves, ham hocks and feet are begging for mercy and we are hallucinating about a funky cafe at the top with fireplace to warm up along with papas fritas, a tall Pilsner and a view of the volcano. We meet a German gal along the way for the final leg and reach the top in pea soup. The hiking gods are with us and a guy wanders out and waves us into his home complete with beautiful view, burning fireplace, papas fritas and tall Pilsners. Apparently he knew we were coming, along with a few other worldly soles who opted for hiking today instead of jumping off bridges or rafting down five grades
"Just follow the decending road and turn left at the white house you can see in the distance a few km down, don't turn right". Forty five minutes later the "road" to nowhere simply ends where the left turn isn't, leaving us with option 1; follow the goat trails down a steep bank and cross that river in the distance and maybe it will lead somewhere, or option 2; hike back up and follow the same road we came up on back down. Option 1 is voted in by the three of us and we become goats, take 3 different approaches to crossing the river....and end up 4-5 km south of the wrong side of the river canyon separating Banos from said adventure hike. We have officially trail blazed a beautiful new hiking route and could add a fantastic new entry to the rudimentary maps of Banos.
Packing up and leaving our funky hostel Chiminea ($250 for 10 days including breakfast, laundry,beers and waterfall views - for the two of us - highly recommended ) with life time memories of Banos and heading to the central city of Cuenca, about a six hour bus ride further south.