A Travellerspoint blog

August 2019

last day on the mainland


View Ecuador & Galapagos ... me gusta mucho! - 2015 on Ils1976's travel map.

A good night’s rest really can do miracles and somehow I must have been more tired than I initially thought coz I didn’t even hear our alarm clock go off at 6 AM. So instead of jumping out of bed like yesterday, I just snoozed for a little while till it was actually time to get out of bed and as soon as I got dressed and put all my stuff in my luggage, I was more than curious how this day would end.

Just like yesterday, breakfast was not something to boast about, but the hotel owner did his best and besides yet again giving us some stale bread, he offered us a freshly squeezed juice as well as scrambled eggs, so I cannot say that he didn’t tried!

Promptly at 8 AM we left Cuenca behind us and as soon as we were on the road again, we were in for quite a drive. Our main goal for today was Guayaquil where we should arrive late this afternoon, but not before we had one last view on Las Cajas National park. We had a quick photo stop at the viewing point of "Tres Cruzes" and unlike yesterday, the weather today was extremely cold, but than again, maybe the altitude of more than 4100 meters could have something to do with things as well and as soon as I had one last look at the beautiful lakes and mountains, I hurried inside the bus again where it was warm and cozy.

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Back on the road again, we went for a drive of nearly 3 hours and although we past through loads of interesting villages, I somehow lost the fight against mr. sleep and dozed off, only to wake up again when we had our first technical stop at a local gas station. As soon as I got out, I was surprised to notice that the cold and dry climate I was used to during the last week, had changed into wet and humid atmosphere and I don’t exactly can say that I liked that!

Luckily it was but a short stopover and as soon as we were all back in the bus, some of us with more than enough snacks to secure the second part of our drive, we were only an hours drive away from our lunch place at a small cacao plantation.

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Upon our arrival, we were welcomed by the family and instead of going for lunch straight away, we first had a small walk on the plantation where we learned more about the plant itself as well as the product. Being a Belgian, I know all about chocolate and of course I can say I am a little bit addicted to it and why shouldn’t I be, it is the most delicious thing there is, but when you see the cacao beans and the process how it is turned into rough chocolate, that is something entirely different and I don’t even mind the fact that there is some kind of rotting process involved … I am still proud to be a chocoholic!

After the little presentation of the cacao bean, we were invited for lunch which was nothing to classy but it was just really good. At first there was a bit of a misunderstanding since I am allergic to seafood. Don’t get me wrong I love eating fish, but I cannot eat shellfish without a trip to the hospital and as the dish of the day was shrimps with rice and something more, I sadly enough had to refuse it. The man of the house seemed a bit disappointed and thought I didn’t like his food, which wasn’t the case and thanks to the better knowledge of Spanish from my buddy, she was able to explain why I couldn’t eat it and although I had to wait for quite a while, even thinking that I had to skip lunch all together, they made a vegetarian dish just for me … how sweet and with a big smile on my face I told them their food was awesome, which it really was!

Sadly enough, we couldn’t stay at the plantation for ever, so as soon as we were all ready to leave, we went back on the bus for our last stretch of the road, all the way to the largest city of the country … Guayaquil, where we arrived about 2 hours later. As soon as we arrived at our hotel, we first got a bit of time for ourselves and although it sounded really appealing to go for that shower, I just instead went for a change of clothes … out with the long trousers and in with the shorts … it was just such a change to go from cold to hot, but than again … I am not complaining at all!

Guayaquil is besides the largest city of the country, the most densely populated one as well and as soon as you arrive at the city, you know that the Wikipedia writers weren’t wrong. Upon our arrival in the late afternoon, we first had a short walk through the small park across our hotel, which is known for its iguanas before Manuel took us to the Santa Ana Hill from where you have an awesome view on Guayaquil. It is a bit of a challenge to walk the stairs, but the atmosphere on the hill is just so nice that for some reason I didn’t even believed that Guayaquil is also known as a dangerous place. Maybe that explains why at the tourist spots there are so many police officers and guards walking around, where there is smoke …

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Going down from the Santa Ana Hill, we walked most of the boulevard or Malecon as it is called in Spanish, which because of the Holiday Season, changed into one gigantic Christmas decor and although most of group members thought it was odd, me and Tania loved every minute of it and the both of us really got into the Christmas spirit, much to the dislike of our group members. Since we were the two only Belgians in the group between nothing else but Dutch people, we were the odd ones so to speak and here in Guayaquil it turned out once again that despite the fact we speak the same language, we are two different nationalities … you can’t blame us for having fun!

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As soon as the clock turned 8 PM, we were all set for our last dinner together and since we were all looking forward to some yummy food, our tour leader Freddy, once again made his final mistake and took us to a very local restaurant, where the waiters only spoke Spanish and the food was more than traditional. On itself this isn’t too big of a problem, but on the other hand, the majority of our group wasn’t used to eating that food, so even after spending more than 2 weeks with us, he still didn’t know his people … kind of strange, but on the other hand, so typical as well. Not knowing what to expect, we made the most of it and although it wasn’t exactly the best moment of our holiday, we still had a pleasant time, but by the time it was midnight, the both of us as well as a few others, called it a night and just went back to our hotel, which was only a few meters away. 

Once we were back in our room, I still needed to pack all of my stuff and although I managed to get everything into my bag in record time, by the time I was finished, it was already way past 1 PM. Completely knackered after such a long day, the prospect of sleeping in tomorrow was the only thing I could think of before my head touched my pillow and I went of to dreamland.

Posted by Ils1976 11:36 Archived in Ecuador Comments (5)

we truly live on a beautiful planet

After an entire night of tossing and turning and hoping that the ice would work, I was more than glad to hear our alarm clock go off at 7 AM. For once in a long time, I literally jumped out of bed and I was just so glad to see that my ankle, although still a little bit swollen, was not in such a bad shape that I couldn’t put on my walking shoes … Las Cajas NP here I come!

Breakfast, which is basically the most important meal of the day, wasn’t exactly something to look forward to after one look at the stale bread, the sugary jam as well as the strong black coffee. Not my idea of a great first start of the day and after I finally got a bit of tea, I just had one bite of the stuff and decided that for once, it wasn’t too big of a problem to skip breakfast all together. Although the start of the day wasn’t all that good, I was more than glad to see our guide arrive so that we could finally leave for our morning walk. 

Today we were going to visit Las Cajas NP, which is situated about 30 KM west of Cuenca and after one quick stop along the road for some snacks, we were more than ready for our walk through this amazing park with more than 250 altitude lakes.

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According to Freddy, this was going to be a fairly easy walk, since we were going to leave at a hight of 3500 meters and slowly work our way down, only to be picked up again by Manuel a few hours later and a few kilometers down the road. I must admit that in the beginning I was a bit suspicious when our fearless leader said something like this, but after our start at the entrance of the park, we just walked around an enormous but beautiful lake where our guide told us all about the indigenous trees, plants and flowers. Some of them were just so tiny that we had a hard time looking for them.

It must have been more than half an hour into the walk, when we suddenly changed from flat terrain to a more hilly one and although this wasn’t too big of a problem for me, Tania and a few others of our group, some people weren’t really up for such a challenge, not even for what was coming up next.

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After climbing a few rocks and even some more while at the same time having a great view on a few lakes as well, we all of a sudden came across an polylepis forest, which is also better know as a “paper tree” forest. The trees on itself looked like they were death, but in fact they were quite alive and although I loved the spooky feel as well as the challenge of going down through the trees, I guess a few members of our group didn’t agree with me as I heard some swear words coming from the back of the group. Once we were back in open terrain, we saw nothing else but one rocky hill after another and even a few falls as well and while I was having the time of my live and loving every moment, others were almost bursting in tears and asking themselves why on earth they’d come along and the only thing I could think of was … FREDDY!!!!

It seemed that once again he misguided us and at the same time made sure we were all victims because the weaker ones weren’t able to follow the stronger ones, which resulted in loosing precious time more than you could think of and instead of just having a morning walk, it turned out we were going to have an early afternoon one as well.

While Tania went along with our guide and a few other members of our group, i just stayed behind and helped the slower ones with getting up the rocks and down the rocks again and all the while I didn’t hear a peep coming out of the mouth of our fearless leader. He wasn’t happy, but to be honest, the rest of the group wasn’t either and this was just such a shame coz we were walking in one of the most beautiful parks I had ever seen and although the circumstances weren’t at their best, I just made the most of it and enjoyed every minute of it while trying to cheer up the slower ones of our group.

It must have been an hour later when I even had to leave them behind coz they were just so slow and although I stopped to watch every 15 minutes to see if they were still moving, another member of our group took over my task, which enabled me to go and seek up the first ones of our group and our guide with whom I caught up again at a local swamp, which on itself was quite a challenge getting through!

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As we were already more than 3 hours into the walk, at a given moment I was glad that our guide told us that we were almost at the finish, not for me of course coz I loved it so much and I am sure that some had the same mentality, but somehow their was a bad vibe hanging around our group and this wasn’t necessarily good for the team spirit and after we’d overcome that last muddy and rocky hill, we finally saw our bus and Manuel again … more than 2 hours later as planned. Once back in the bus, we were all tired and as our guide told us we just had walked 8.4 kilometers, I must admit that I was proud that I still had the perseverance of walking such a distance on this altitude without too much of a problem.

At 4 PM, we arrived back in the city and as soon as me and my buddy were back into our room and had a change of clothes and footwear , we could finally go out and discover this colonial city of which its historic center is proclaimed to be an Unesco World Heritage Site. Cuenca is really a beautiful city and I was a bit amazed to see so many churches. People in this part of the world are really religious or they have so many sins that they need all the churches! Whatever the case, you can’t ignore them, even if you try!

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By the time it was 9 PM, the both of us had gone through more than many streets, visited more than enough churches and had a fantastic dinner in the process, so instead of keep on walking through the dark streets, we just called it quits and had an early night. Since I didn’t had too much sleep last night, I didn’t mind one bit and while Tania was checking her mails, I turned off my light and went to sleep!

Posted by Ils1976 06:23 Archived in Ecuador Comments (2)

the longest day


View Ecuador & Galapagos ... me gusta mucho! - 2015 on Ils1976's travel map.

My gosh, how on earth can a person feel so bad? It is just so weird since there wasn’t even a bit of alcohol involved, but by the time it was 6 AM, I still felt like a zombie. I guess I can only blame it on the mosquito bites coz for some reason, the more I got, the lazier I become and although I know that only the tsetse fly can spread sleeping sickness, I somehow wonder if this isn’t the case for the Ecuadorian mosquito as well? 

Since I am not a scientist, I can’t say for sure, but luckily, as soon as I got some food into my system, my zombie mode slowly disappeared and by the time I got my luggage out of the room and into the bus, I was more than ready for another day on the road.

Today we were going to have a very long bus ride ahead of us coz we were going to drive all the way towards Cuenca, our end destination of the day, but not before we had a few “sightseeing” stops along the way of course. 3 hours into the drive and a few photo stops and a technical stop later, we finally arrived at Alausi, which is basically just a very small town like many others in Ecuador if it wasn’t so known not only for its patron saint Saint Peter but for their train station as well. Alausi, is the starting-off point for the infamous train ride towards the Devil’s Nose. If this doesn’t sound ominous enough, the Spanish name “Nariz del Diablo” will do the trick for sure!

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Ecuador’s train system is quite remarkable to say the least coz in the late 1800’s - early 1900’s, they finally were able to link the coastal city of Guayaquil with the capital Quito after overcoming many obstacles at a mountainside known to the locals as “the Condor’s Aerie”.  This section of the track was quickly renamed “the Devil’s Nose” because of the many deaths among the workers, who where building the connection and for that same reason, till this day, it is called the most difficult railway in the world!

Sadly enough because of many frequent delays and derailments, as well as El Nino-related weather, most of the tracks were devastated, but the 12-km stretch from Alausi to Sibambe still remained, allowing people to go out and seek up this “death defying mountain” which can only be reached through a series of tight zigzags carved out of the rock.

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The two and a half hours train ride back and forth towards Sibambe was quite interesting and although it was a bit sad that we couldn’t sit on the rooftop of the train anymore, we still were able to see some beautiful landscapes and together with some traditional dancing during our quick stop in Pistishi, it turned out to be more than an interesting morning. Upon our arrival back in Alausi, we quickly hurried towards Manuel and our bus, not only because we still had a long road trip ahead of us, but secondly because we also wanted to see the ruins of Ingapirca.

Ever since we got into the bus at Banos early in the morning, our tour leader Freddy told us it was near to impossible to go and see them coz by the time we got there, it was probably closed and even till this day I still can’t put my finger on it why he didn’t wanted to go and see Ingapirca, but since the major part of our group wanted to see it, we became mutineers and forced Manuel and Freddy to drive us to the Canar province and the small town which bears the same name of the infamous inca ruins. Although Freddy predicted we couldn’t see the ruins, we somehow managed to arrive at the archeological site an hour before closing time, are we great mutineers or what!!!

Still not entirely happy, Freddy went inside the ticket office to get us the entrance tickets and as soon as we were inside, he guided us through the site telling us all about the ways of the incas and as we walked alongside the ruins all the way up to the Temple of the Sun, we had quite a good idea on how the Canari indigenous people and the incas peacefully lived together. Sadly enough, not much is preserved and besides the observatory which has a religious and scientific significance, there are still some traces left behind telling the specialists that the complex played an important role as a fortress and storehouse as well. Even till this day, the locals try to do their best to preserve the remnants by using the traditional building methods, which basically means they get their hands dirty, but on the other hand, they make sure that this magnificent complex doesn’t get lost either, something I can only rejoice!

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Once we were back on the road again driving towards Cuenca, the landscapes were still pretty amazing, especially when Manuel decided to take a shortcut into the unknown of which I am sure wasn’t really meant for driving with a very large bus, but as it became darker and darker, I was really looking forward to arriving in the third largest city of Ecuador, which we did a few hours later. Driving up to our hotel shouldn’t be too big of a problem, but as we arrived near our street, we soon noticed that trouble was not far away as people were on strike and closed of one end of our street and if this wasn’t too crazy enough to talk about, there were some serious street works going on as well, but thanks to the ingenuity of Manuel, we managed to arrive at hour hotel at about 8 PM.

Since it was already too late to go out on discovery on our own, me and Tania decided to go for the easy way and joined the rest of our group for dinner in a restaurant not that far away from our hotel. It took a while for everyone to join us at the reception area since there were some problems with certain rooms, but as soon as the whole group was back together again, we could finally go and have dinner, something I could only cheer for since I was starving!

Dinner wasn’t too bad at all and for once Freddy did his best to be a good leader, he even managed to get us a special act. One of the waiters, who happened to be a magician as well, delighted us with some tricks and although it had been quite a long day, thanks to this little bit of entertainment, we all left the place with a smile on our face. As soon as the both of us were back in our room, I was just so tired, that I almost fell asleep in the shower and I was more than looking forward to a good night's rest, when all of a sudden as I wanted to crawl into my bed, I noticed that my foot or more particularly my ankle was really swollen. It seemed that during the day, I got stung by another insect and it seemed that once again I was allergic to it. Just my luck I suppose!

Tania had the same experience a few years back and told me that things could get worse. Since I wasn’t looking forward to staying in our hotel, while the rest of the group was having fun in the NP tomorrow, we both went to the reception area to ask for some “hielo” and after waiting for about 15 minutes, the young guy came back with a big bag of ice for my foot. A little after 1 AM we turned off the lights and while I wanted to sleep, I somehow couldn’t anymore … I was tired as hell, but the thought of getting an ankle with the size of a football, kept me awake almost the entire night!

Posted by Ils1976 06:06 Archived in Ecuador Comments (2)

enjoying Banos to the fullest

For the first time since we began our trip here in Ecuador, we had an entire day free to ourselves and although me and Tania are the first ones to grasp this opportunity with both hands, we still allowed us to be temped with a morning bike ride from Banos to Rio Verde, which according to our tour leader Freddy was going to be a very easy ride, not that this meant a thing of course but still … because something is easy, doesn’t necessarily means this should be a bad thing!

So, all ready for yet another exciting day, the both of us arrived promptly at 8.30 AM at the reception area, where we met up with 10 other members of our group, as well as our tour leader Freddy. 

While most people of our group were going to do other exciting things like horse riding and rafting, our rather large group of 13 people walked slowly towards the bike shop where we got our essentials like a helmet and of course … a bike! 

As soon as we were all ready to go, we followed Freddy, who led us straight out of town and although he told us yesterday that the ride to Rio Verde was only going to be downhill, the moment we left the town, we got our first little hill … of course this wasn’t too big of a problem, but the last couple of days I began to notice whenever our tour leader says one thing … it turns out just the opposite … very strange!!??

We must have been riding for about 5 km’s when we suddenly had a quick stop at the Agoyan Hydroelectric dam from where we had a great view on the Pastaza river and as soon as we were all ready for another few kilometers, we were on our merry way again. Instead of going only downhill, like we were told, once in a while we also conquered a few “bumps” as well, but to be honest, that wasn’t our biggest problem, the persistent rain however, was something completely different. I can honestly say that I hate rain, especially if you have to ride in it … no fun at all!

Next stop on our ride, were the Falls of Agoyan, which we visited a few days ago as well and although we saw them last in awesome weather, even in the rain they are quite impressive, which on itself was quite interesting.

Freddy gave us all a chance to go for another canopy ride if we wanted and of course, the both of us went for it! 

We were already soaking wet, so we had nothing to loose and as soon as we were geared up again, we said our Hail Mary, got a push from the guys upstairs and before we knew it, we were flying like a bird … in the rain! 

That last part wasn’t exactly the most fun and as soon as we were flying, I noticed I couldn’t keep my eyes open coz it hurt that much, but still, once we arrived at the other side, we chose to go through the air as well, so we had to walk up a few meters, which was actually very though, but the reward of flying back, even with my eyes closed, was well worth all the sorrow we had gone through … I am so loving this!

Besides me and Tania, a few other women of our group went for a ride in the sky and as soon as they got back, we went for our second half of our morning ride. Sadly enough, it was still raining, but we made the most of it and as soon as we rode for another few more kilometers, we arrived at our third stop of the morning, where we went for a walk of about an hour and besides seeing one waterfall, we even crossed a few locals, which on itself was quite interesting … not even mentioning the muddy roads we walked on.

During our walk, we got a bit of luck as the weather changed for the better, but as soon as we arrived in Rio Verde, the pickup place for our bikes as well, we were still soaking wet and in my case even hypothermia seemed to emerge as well. I was just so glad to see that local bus which took us back to the center of Banos. 

As soon as I got out of that bus, me and Tania wanted to go back to the hotel as quickly as possible, but not before we had one stop at the yummy empanada place to fill our already hungry stomachs. With something warm and delicious in our hands, we walked all the way back to our room and a hot shower and a change of clothes later, I felt all human again and was more than ready for an afternoon of exploring the town.

By the time it was 4 PM, we had seen all there was to see in town and since we weren’t interested anymore in going from one souvenir shop to another, we decided to go for that other thing we were thinking about for the last couple of days. Although we should have visited "Casa Del Arbol" with our group, for some reason Freddy didn’t mention it, but knowing us, if it is mentioned in the program, we had to see it.

After inquiring some info at a local taxi, the driver told us it was but a half hours ride away from the centre of town. The weather had chanced for the better, we still had a few hours of daylight ahead of us, the price was more than right and we had a female driver in front of us … did we need more signs to go ahead with this … of course NOT!

Once we got seated in that yellow cab, we were on our way towards “the end of the world” and I have to admit, driving up the mountain after countless of turns, made me truly believe we were driving towards the end of the world. Although our driver told us it was going to take but half an hour, it took us almost an hour, but the reward of seeing that infamous treehouse together with the swing was well worth it. 

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Sadly enough we couldn’t see the Tungurahua volcano because of the fog hanging around, but still … we had half an hour of fun on the swing and knowing you are above a canyon is more than thrilling enough to say the least!

On the way back to town, we had the company of a rainbow, which was actually really cool and as soon as we got back to our hotel, we just picked up our swimmers for our last goal of the day, which was a visit to the local thermal baths, where we arrived just after dark. Unlike the thermal baths in Papallacta, which were basically meant for tourists, these baths were more visited by the locals and less decorated. Instead of beautiful landscaped swimming pools, these were just concrete pools with brown but incredible hot water and although me and Tania were amongst the few foreigners who wanted to go for a swim, we were welcomed with a smile and interrogated as only an Ecuadorian can do.

By the time it was 8 PM, we were starving and sought out something to eat, which of course wasn’t to big of a problem. Thanks to the Lonely Planet, we found a nice establishment close to the thermal baths and about an hour later, we were happy campers once again.

Completely knackered, we slowly walked back to the hotel, where we still needed to pack all of our stuff, which we finally managed, but by the time it was 12 PM, I urgently needed to close my eyes. I was already in zombie mode while putting on some itching lotion and as soon as my head touched my pillow, I was of to dreamland.

Posted by Ils1976 05:42 Archived in Ecuador Comments (2)

another day on the road


View Ecuador & Galapagos ... me gusta mucho! - 2015 on Ils1976's travel map.

Amazingly enough, I only woke up once in the middle of the night because of the usual itches, but as I surprisingly enough am getting used to it, I can without a doubt say that I had a fair night!

Today, we were going to be another day on the road, but of course not without the usual 1 or 2 stops along the way and the first stop of the morning, after saying goodbye to the friendly staff of Inti Sisa, was actually the “highlight" of the day as well, as we were going to do a short hike up the mountain Chimborazo. With its 6310 meters, it has the highest peak in Ecuador and another interesting fact is that its location along the equatorial bulge makes its summit the farthest point on the earth’s surface from the earth’s center … pretty cool, when you come to think about it. I guess we must have been on the road for about 2 hours, when we finally reached the entrance of the National Park. Not that the distance between Guamote and the Chimborazo was that big, but along the way we made more than a few photo stops just because the view on the mountain was that amazing. I don’t exactly know what it is with this mountain, but I just kept on looking at it and although I am not a real mountain specialist, to me, it was one of the most beautiful ones I had ever seen. 

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After a quick “technical stop” at the beautiful stone entrance, I hurried back to the bus like my ass was on fire … it was just that cold and with the constant wind blowing, it felt like my hands and feet were turning into popsicles.

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At an altitude of about 4000 meters is was already pretty cold and we still needed to climb up to 4800 meters before we even began our short morning walk of which I was sure, was going to be a tough one!

There are many routes up the slopes of the mountain, a few ones even involve some mixed rock/ice climbing, but since our group and me included, aren’t exactly experienced rock climbers, we just drove our bus up the mountain, till we reached the first refuge called Carrel at an altitude of 4800 meters.

Since this refuge was going to be our starting point, we made sure we were well prepared for this very short but strenuous hike up a mountain at a very high altitude. Besides loads of layers of clothing, we bought some yummy Ecuadorian chocolate and together with a good spirit, I was more than ready for the 1 kilometer hike.

I know this sounds a bit ridiculous, a 1K hike. Can you even call this a hike ??? At this altitude … you definitely can!!!

Together with 7 other people of our group, including Tania and our guide, we were the first ones to go up the mountain. We first paid our respects to the ones who left their lives behind on this majestic mountain through a moment of silence. In a way it is so sad but on the other hand, that’s nature as well. It just reminds us how insignificant we really are.

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Our guide, who’s name I unfortunately forgot, told us a little about the vegetation and made sure we were fine as well coz at this altitude with the thin air and all … high sickness isn’t that far away.Halfway up the hike, I left the quick ones in front of me and every 10 to 20 footsteps, I had a quick rest to enjoy the views and strangely enough, although I walked in a very slow pace feeling the thin air and feeling a bit tired as well, I somehow wasn’t really exhausted. It was totally weird and once I reached the Whymper refuge at 5000 meters, I was proud as hell that I made it under the hour!

Maybe a 1K hike doesn’t sound that impressive, to me this was quite an achievement and at the same time, something i will never ever forget!

By the time the last ones reached the refuge as well, we had one last look at the summit before we headed back down.Sunshine had changed into fog, which basically was a bit of a killjoy and about half an hour later, we were back at the first refuge, where a hot chocolate with some marshmallows awaited us … what an award after such an effort!

Sadly enough all fun things have to come to an end at some point and as soon as we were all back on the bus again, we were more than ready for another few hours on the road.During our road trip, I tried to keep my eyes open, but I have to be honest when I say that I really sucked at it. I guess the strenuous walk had something to do with that as well and by the time I woke up again, it was already way past noon and time for lunch, which we had in the little village of Calpi.

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Calpi is but a small rural parish and although at first sight, you might think there is not too much to see, at this small village, which is the home of a few catholic nuns, they have set up a small project together with a few local women in baking some delicious quinoa cookies. 

I was a bit disappointed that we couldn’t see how these yummy cookies were made. Instead of visiting the bakery, we just went on a short walk through the village and the pastures and fields surrounding it. After saying goodbye to the women, it was back on the road again for the final stretch all the way to Banos, where we arrived a few hours later.

With still a bit of daylight ahead of us, we tried to check in at our hotel as quick and possible in order to see a bit more of the town but as soon as we stepped outside again it started to rain a bit. It seemed that it wasn’t going to be a pleasant evening and the cold wind blowing through town wasn’t helping as well.

Freddy hoped we were all having dinner with him, but just like me and Tania, a few others wanted to seek out something on their own as well. As soon as we said “adieu” to our group, we tried to find the main street which is known for its many restaurants and although this was a bit difficult without a guiding map, after a bit of searching, we did manage. The weather here in Banos wasn’t at its best with its occasional showers and as it was getting darker and darker, instead of walking through the many streets of Banos, we just went on the lookout for something to eat, which we found at nice looking Italian restaurant.

Sadly enough, once the food was brought to the table, we had to find out at the spot that the cook managed to serve us a very cold pasta … what the heck ??? How on earth can you serve this to a person at a cold and rainy evening ??? What was he / she thinking of ??? 

This was definitely not how we wanted to end our evening and as soon as we were out of that joint, we were back on the way to our hotel, but not without one last stop at a local empanada place. This small eatery served some divine empanadas and while Tania went for 2 simple ones, I went for the one with banana and chocolate … I had died and gone to heaven. It was the most delicious thing I had ever eaten, it was just that good.

A hot cup of coca tea later, we left the eatery and decided to call it quits for the day. We slowly walked back to our room and a hot shower later, I just went to bed. It was only 10 PM, but I was completely knackered, something I have experienced more than once on this trip. It seems that I was not only stung by a few mosquitos, but by a sleeping bug as well!

Posted by Ils1976 05:32 Archived in Ecuador Comments (0)

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