Banos Anyone?

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Here I am in Banos! My first trip in Ecuador!

No . . . it is not what you think!  Banos is a city in Ecuador . . . not the bathroom.  Well, it is that too, but not in this case. 🙂  Two weeks ago (13/10/12), two Riobamba volunteers – Sarah and Alicia – and I went on a day trip to Banos.

We left on a bus at 7:20AM.  It takes about two hours to get to Banos from Riobamba.  The bus was very clean and quite comfortable.  (I didn’t know what to expect for my first Ecuadorian bus ride.) There was a  television too!  I was excited when they started a movie, but then I realized that it was The Thing – a scary and gross movie, in my opinion.

This is the river running through Banos.

During the rest of the ride I tried not to watch the disgusting things going on in the movie, but sometimes I couldn’t help but to sneak a peek.

We arrived around 9:30AM and explored the city.  It was quite beautiful.  It was nice to wear a t-shirt and feel warmth all day long.  (This is not the case in Riobamba.  Usually it’s warm in the morning and early afternoon, cool in the late afternoon, and very cold at night.)  We walked around the bridge and river in Banos and then hiked up to a sculpture at the top of a mountain.  Let me tell you, I was exhausted.  The altitude was rough on my lungs! I made it though . . . with plenty of sweating.

This is one of my favorite photos so far! Amazing!

Next, we walked over to a waterfall in town.  It was breath-taking, as you can see.  After that, we went to a restaurant for lunch and then to a different restaurant for dessert.   We had to take advantage of being on “vacation” for the day and have dessert, right? 🙂  After that, we walked around town a little bit more and then headed back to the station to catch our bus back to Riobamba.

Overall, it was a wonderful trip.  As many of you know, one of the things I want to do while I am in Ecuador is to travel to many of the beautiful places in the country.  Banos was my first trip and I enjoyed it a lot.  I also loved learning how easy it is to travel by bus in Ecuador.  Plus, the bus is really inexpensive!  Our tickets were $2.00 each way – what a bargain, huh?

One final thing you may not know about me – I love public transportation!  I know I am in the minority with this one, but it is really fun and humbling being around other people experiencing the same things as me.  I don’t know how else to explain it . . . I just like it.  Even in St. Louis, I loved riding the MetroLink.  Go figure.

So . . . now I turn it over to you.  Here is a link to 10 places to visit in Ecuador.  Check it out (it’s brief!) and tell me:

  • Where do you think I should visit while I am here?  Why?
  • If you came to visit (which you could!), where would you want to travel?
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13 responses »

  1. I would love to visit all the locations on the list but my top two would probably be Cotopaxi Volcano and Galápagos Islands. Volcanos have always intrigued me and this one looks beautiful! And, the Galápagos Islands have always been a dream destination–so much to do and such interesting history. I would put those at the top of my list if I were you 🙂 I’m starting to think I may have to bump those up on my own list as well!

  2. How far are you from the Galápagos Islands? (I think pretty far)? Can humans go there? Isn’t it owned by Ecuador? Am I weird? 🙂 This place called banos was the most beautiful town named after a bathroom I’ve ever seen!! Love it. And you look great by the way! All warm and sunshine-y!!

  3. $2 – wow, that is reasonable. I would pick Canoa for the beach, Cuenca because of the history, and Galápagos Islands to either snorkel or check out the seals. When do you actually start teaching your students? How are you attending church service? Does it feel like “home” yet?

    • Hey buddy . . . thanks for your reply. I am going to Cuenca next weekend, so I’ll report back on that one. And, I start teaching on November 5. Church . . . I have gone twice . . . trying to figure that one out. Keep asking. Talk to you soon my friend!

  4. Gorgeous, Rachael! And…..you will get no argument from me about pubic transportation. When you come back, it would be easy enough to live near a bus stop or form a carpool (that’s public transportation, right?). 🙂 Unfotunately the US, as marvelous as it is, really lacks in that respect except in larger cities. Looking forward to your next “vacation.”

  5. Hello Rachel,

    We so enjoy your posts. It must be an incredibly beautiful country. I appreciate your encouragement to Peg and I regarding travel to another country to live, especially Ecuador. It is likely that Peg and I will be in Ecuador in early December. Since we are co-facilitating in Explorations, we do not want to leave for Ecuador until it ends. Explorations is a huge blessing in its challenge. I am co-facilitating with Sandy Moriarty and Peg is with Bob Stergos. You are missed in the bookstore by many.

    Peg and I plan to visit a housing development called Jama Campay north of Manta on the coast in Ecuador. We would very much like to make arrangements to have you come there or we meet in the middle or we come to RioBamba. There is a lot of questions, but please think this over and without stressing too much on how to fit this into your schedule, can we try to arrange to meet? We hope to spend a week in Ecuador and would really like to see you. I appears to be quite some distance between us, but let’s try to figure it out.

    We are in communication with some in Ecuador who end their emails with Fuerte abrazo which translates hardly hug, I am confused. Can you help? I am guessing it is a familiar salutation meaning, “warm regards” or some affection like that. At first I mistranslated it to “strong arm,” that really threw me off.

    Tom Barratt
    tbarratt@boonecenter.com
    http://www.boonecenter.com
    636-875-5209 direct line
    [logo 5-7-10]

    • Tom . . . yes! I would love to see you guys in Ecuador! Email me and we will keep in touch, ok? I will make it work. And, “fuerte abrazo” means strong hug. It’s a sweet sentiment. Enjoy it. 🙂 I look forward to emailing and figuring out when I get to see you and Peg! 🙂

  6. I think you are in paradise! Before I forget, Ann says Hi and another student, Cynthia (the lawyer) sends her best. I thought The Qulota Loog, the Galápagos Islands or Mindo is where I would love to go. Also, for the first time in my life I was able to ride the subway in Nueva York and the Metro in Washington DC. I know what you mean about public transportation. It’s great, had to take pictures. Keep up your good work. I am certain your students love you!

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