Friday, 24 April 2015

Baños

From Latacunga we caught another local bus to Baños (pronounced banyos) which was a peaceful town full of proud Ecuadorians going about their daily lives in traditional dress, culturally uncompromised despite the towns popularity with tourists. On our first day we signed on the dotted line at the tour company and headed to one of the many cascadas, waterfalls, to begin an afternoon of canyoning; essentially abseiling down sheer waterfalls. I love outdoor activities so volunteered myself to go first, angling myself diagonally off a cliff into ice cold mountain water. Remembering all the advice, techniques and what-not-to-do's is no easy feat whilst trying to forget that dangling yourself backwards off a waterfall goes against all human instinct. BUT when I made the final leap into the swirling pool below, it was so exhilarating I just wanted to move to the next rock face. 


Three hours and about a million selfies later, we had made it to the bottom. Soaked to the skin and shivering cold, we hopped on the dirt bikes back into town and agreed it was definitely $25 well spent! 
On our second day in Baños, after a spur of the moment night out on the tiles, we went to the 'Swing at the End of the World' to try and shake off our hangover. This swing has made it into many 'top ten things to do before you die' lists so we had high hopes. Typically the Andean weather was not on our side so the 'end of the world' was out of sight but the swing itself is just abit of pure, childlike fun next to  a zip line that wouldn't look out of place in a kids playground. With only a piece of rope to keep you on the swing, health and safety obviously hasn't reached Ecuador yet but that was part of the experience. With only a small crowd, and a tenth of the adventure we have had the past few days, it was a charming quiet afternoon spent in the foothills of the towering Andes.