13.07.2010 - 14.07.2010 64 °F
Well, I´ve made it to Baños, Ecuador. We started off leaving Canoa, Ecuador (on the coast) at about 7:00 am and made it to Baños around 9:00 pm. It was a pretty long set of busrides, but incredibly scenic through The Andes. I ended up changing my plane ticket to leave from Lima, Peru, so I don´t have to backtrack 3 days in a bus at the end of the trip, I think that will be better. I also don´t come home now until the 30th. Had I changed my ticket to come home the same day (on the 27th), it would have cost around $800! Doing it this way it only cost $300-something, and I get the 3 days I would have spent in a bus, backtracking, getting to sightsee instead. Plus an extra couple days.
So last night, we all got to Baños around 9:00 pm and just walked arounda little bit, bought a coconut ice cream and then all hit the beds pretty hard. Oh, and this town is really, really cheap! We all ended up with separate rooms with full bathrooms in a hotel (not a dorm or shared rooms), for a whopping $5 per night! Baños is a town full of outdoor recreation, and cheap!
My first morning here in Baños started off when I saw what I thought was a traffic jam (this town is way, way too small for any traffic problems). I knew there had to be something happening. I saw an ambulance, but it was just sitting in the line of traffic with the lights on and going nowhere. Cars were just stopped in the middle of the road, and turned off with nobody in them. There were other flashing lights down a couple blocks in front of the police station. I, of course had to go investigate. There were TV cameras, photographers, local police and some other sort of police I´d never seen all over the place, sporting their machine guns and rifles, but no sign of any violence. I kept looking for the protest, but it turns out that wasn´t the case. I turned towards the small crowd to figure out what was going on, and the President of Ecuador was about 15 feet away! Fortunately I did have my camera, but I wasn´t at all gutsy enough to ask him for a photo, though I think I could have, and probably should have. Oh well!
In Baños, there´s options to go whitewater rafting, repelling down waterfalls, kayaking, zip lining, ATVs, guided tours from one to 5 days in the Amazon jungle...the list goes on and on. A lot of the excursions cost around $20-$25 per half-day ($90 all-inclusive for two days in The Amazon). I am not sure what to do first, I think either rafting or repelling down the waterfall or zip lining through the jungle. I think I will probably do at least an overnight in the jungle at some point too. Well, that´s all I have for now, since we just got here. I´ll post more about Baños later. Hope you´re all doing well!