Just a another quick update (I always say that, don’t I?) on what we’ve been up to since Riobamba.
We spent a few days in Baños, Ecuador – it’s a lovely little town in the highlands known for waterfalls and hotsprings, mainly. Pictures HERE. On my birthday we went on bike-ride down the valley to Machay, passing probably a dozen waterfalls along the way, surrounded by vibrant green hillsides, and getting soaked in the pouring rain. And sadly, a 5k hike to see 7 more falls was foiled by high waters making a crossing above a waterfall to continue the trail too dangerous. Still a great day though – we also got to ride tiny little cable cars, or tarabitas across the river gorge to get a close-up look at some of the falls. And, we finished the day with a soak in one of the town’s famous hotsprings, and fondue at a Swiss bistro.
The next day we had wanted to do a small hike, but since the weather was bad and we weren’t feeling that great, we opted to get massages instead – very cheap, and very available in Baños (about $60 for both of us to each get a 1+ hour massage, and me to get a facial, manicure, and pedicure!). We started out the day with our hostel’s “daily morning health bath” somewhat of a torturous, very regimented Turkish bath experience. After lazing around and eating lunch, we were off to relax some more, and set out for the capital the next day.
We’re currently in Quito. Photos HERE (more to come later!). So far we haven’t done much other than explore the old part of the city and cook some great meals (ironically, now that we’re nearing home suddenly all kinds of food from home is available, like bagels!). This brings us to the next big announcement, we bought plane tickets to come home from Quito, arriving in Portland on July 18th.
Until that date, we’ll be hanging around Quito, mostly. There’s plenty to do around here and we have most of our days planned: going to the actual equator at Mitad del Mundo a few hours away, doing some day-hikes at Cotopaxi, and perhaps Ecuador’s version of Crater Lake, Quilotoa, visiting the cloudforest at Mindo, where we’ll do some zip-lining and hike to see more waterfalls, and exploring more of the city. Since we have so much time (to fly on the 17th was much cheaper than any other date), we may also decide to take another brief trip further away to the northern beaches. Still haven’t decided though as I’m still recovering from my sunburn on our last day at Máncora, and it may prove too stressful to fit in another side-trip right before our flight. Vamos a ver.
Until then, we’ll keep adding photos and thoughts!
¡Nos vemos pronto!
Sharon and Tyler