14 marzo 2007

Los Baños de Agua Santa

After my parents and I left the jungle, we headed back West to my favorite little town: Baños. Now those of you who know a bit of Spanish know that “el baño” is “bathroom” but just so you’re not confused, in this context the word means “baths”. This tiny jem is nestled between the magnificent mountain region and the lush green jungle which creates an amazing view from any angle. That’s the great part of going to this place—it is breathtakingly gorgeous. The bad part of going is / was getting there. Since we were coming from the less-developed Eastern part of the country, the roads that we had to take were muddy and full of deep ruts. There was lots of rain on our bus journey so there was of course the fear of landslides. Thankfully we didn’t get buried, but we did get stopped by a landslide that had covered the road. We were stuck for an hour or so, but eventually cars from the other direction started to move across and finally we were on our way again. My parents were increasingly “impressed” with the driving and road situations here. This little girl was toting her younger sister in a sling as many young Ecuadorian children have to do for a number of reasons that involve the parents not being able to take care of their children.Once we got to Baños we checked into our lovely hotel, “La Posada del Arte” which is run by a couple from Chicago. A number of businesses in the town are owned by American Ex-pats. Our first night there we took a tour of the town and then visited the natural hot baths which give the place its name. The baths are heated by the currently active (and lava spewing) volcano, Tunguragua.

The next day after a huge breakfast at the hotel we all got massages. My mom and I also got pedicures. The massages were great (but not as good as my mom) and super cheap—only $20 for an hour!
That afternoon we took a ride on the famous “Chivas” of Ecuador. They are open air busses. Our tour was the “Route of the Waterfalls” that carried us passed four impressive falls and a handful of smaller but still beautiful ones. Here is my favorite waterfall on the tour called the “Manto de la Novia”, the “Bride’s Veil”. It was another great couple of relaxing and fun days we had together. I can’t wait for another reunion with my parents in a few months!


Anonymous mama and papa said...

We, too, are counting the days for you to return. We also miss the warmer days around the equator - currently (April 4) it is 31 degrees in St. Louis! Remember when we picked up the little girls on the bus - their mama (and about 15 others) boarded the bus weilding machetes! They were road workers who used the machetes to clear the growth along the roads. We love reminiscing with you.

10:27 p. m.  
Blogger bradfordlstevens said...

Your photos are breathtaking! Are there seatbelts on top of that bus?

8:19 p. m.  

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