Banos Day 1 (Quito to Banos)

When we got back to the hostel last night, we just chilled out. The bartender that was working there decided to just up and leave and take a ship down the amazon to brazil or something crazy, so I asked the owner of the hostel if I could bartend. And bartend I did.

Was a good time.. a bunch of people went to a club which I guess was a good time but I missed out on that train since I was bartending, talked to/met bunch of random people.

Got up around 10 or 11, packed up my shit and checked out with Kristal & Richard. Walked down the road to grab my laundry that was washed, dried and folded for $1. We grabbed some pancakes for breakfast and asked our hostel to grab us a cab to the bus station Quitumbe. From where we were staying in “Gringo Land” (Mariscal) the cab costed us $15 and took around 30-40 minutes. The bus driver drove like a total maniac.

We were initially going to take the metro which I guess goes directly to the station, but it was so crowded and we had all of our gear so decided it more wise to just grab a cab.

The bus station was surprisingly nice and first-world-ish. I have been to some pretty sketchy bus stations in South America so this was a relief.
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It was very easy to find our bus as well to Banos, as each window said its destination. The window attendants of course argued over who was going to get a ticket, but besides that it was really easy. What a breeze.
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The bus costed us $3.50 each, and was to be about 3 and a half hours, we grabbed it from terminal 28.

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Although we were told it was “todo directo” (non stop) we were constantly stopping to pick up random people.
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The bus ride was interesting, between picking up the random people trying to sell us shit on the bus to picking up the other random people that would come on the bus and just ramble some nonsense, seems every bus we go on we have some sort of rambler come on for some reason.

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When we got closer to Banos, the roads started getting a little windier, as Banos is located in a valley. I was hoping the weather would be nicer since our elevation dropped from 2850 meters in Quito down to 1800 meters in Banos, but unfortunately it was just as cold. Wishing the sun would come out but I am told it is always cold and rainy here. Same as Quito, it ranges from about 55-65 degrees every day. When the sun was out in Quito it was actually pretty nice, but no sun here in Banos.

Banos was not what I was expecting, I was expecting a smaller, nicer town. However, its kind of a shit hole I noticed as we arrived at the bus station.
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I opted to stay at a different hostel than Krista & Richard because although my hostel (Hostel Backpackers) was more expensive ($10 vs $7), it seemed to be a more sociable hostel based on reviews I read. Krista and Richard are staying at Princess something-or-others, which is on the other side of the city, about a 7 minute walk away. The hostel is pretty much motel-style, with all private rooms, no dorms, nice place. So I figured that if I wanted to do something they didn’t, I might have trouble finding a companion.

My hostel was located at the end of the main road in the town, Ambato. I had to walk down a dark alley to access it. I am told this city is really safe as I guess if you are caught stealing, rape, etc, the cops don’t take care of you, the citizens of the town take it into their own hands..
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Within the town itself, there is a waterfall which has hot spring beneath it. Since we got in late this afternoon we didn’t really do too much exploring yet.
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I grabbed some dinner? with Krista & Richard, where and old couple came in and played us some music. Food was actually very good, for once. Getting sick of all the salty, disgusting food.

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It was raining, so I walked back to my hostel and we parted ways. We are planning on taking a horse ride up to the active volcano nearby tomorrow, I guess it costs like $18. This place is going to be so fun, I just wish the weather was nicer. We are also going to rent some buggies for $10 an hour and race around the city. Really excited.

Hungout with an Argentinian girl staying in my room until she left to meet some friends for dinner. In the lounge now, having a beer, gonna chat it up with these Colombian guys.

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