Saturday, April 29, 2017

Baños day 3 and going home

We leave IN TWO DAYS for our next big vacation. I told myself I would get the Ecuador posts done before we did that, so here, just under the wire, is the last Ecuador trip post.

Our main task for our last full day in Ecuador was to get back to Quito on public transportation.  The bus didn't leave until early afternoon, so we got out for a very steep hike on the trail behind town. Our destination was a place called Mirador Bellavista. 

The trail was steep and slippery in places.  We met few people, mostly what appeared to be subsistence farmers who tried to farm this very steep hillside.

This half finished shell of a house, perched precariously along the trail, was for sale.  There was no road to it. The new owner will get in good shape commuting to and from work!

The mountain was shrouded in clouds but an occasional break allowed us to see to the valley below. 

Baños from the trail to Bellavista
Our destination turned out to be a bit anticlimactic.  There was some sort of look out or church-y thing.  The clouds prevented too much of a view.

the destination of Mirador Bellavista
 We returned the way we came, packed up our bags, drug them across town to the bus station, dealt with the necessary confusion of what bus to board, then waited for a long time for a late bus.

Once on the bus we rode in relative confidence that we would end up in Quito. We did, caught a cab to our hotel near the airport, and chilled out.  The hotel was a house with some additional buildings out back. Our last meal was at the tiny hotel on tables set up in the living room because the nearest restaurant was a 40 minute walk through an industrial park.  Ecuador!

I'm always a little sad to be going back to regular life after vacation.  Even doughnuts don't always chase the blues away.
So that was our exploration of Ecuador.  It was a great vacation. We improved our Spanish mucho. We loved Quito with all the old buildings and busy friendly city life. We saw animals on the Galapagos Islands that I never thought I would get to see.  Living on a small boat in choppy seas was a huge experience that I'm glad I did but probably will avoid from here on out. Staying near active Cotopaxi volcano in a hippie lodge was our favorite part, partly because the mountains feel like home and partly because the hippies made it not feel like home.  Baños was a fun excursion in big hydrology, especially for desert dwellers like us.  The town itself was a bit touristy, but at least that made for multiple pastry shops and good restaurants.  All in all, a good variety for an 18-day vacation!

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