“Buggys in Ba” Theblakes’s photos around Banos, Ecuador (taffy making in banos ecuador)

Preview of Theblakes's blog at TravelPod. Read the full blog here: http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entries/theblakes/1/1254878548/tpod.html This blog preview was made by TravelPod using the TripAdvisor™ TripWow slideshow creator. Entry from: Banos, Ecuador Entry Title: "Buggys in Ba" Entry: "After doing a backpack sort out and clothing cull in Cuenca (throwing out all the winter things we no longer need and the summer stuff that we wore to pieces up until now) it was time to head north again. With inter-city bus ride times now in the single digits there is far less time for toilet humor and other interesting things to happen...the only thing worth photographing on our trip into Baños was the fact that they oversold the tickets so we had to sit on plastic garden chairs in the isle! Baños is our kinda town...big enough to have all the conveniences you need and small enough to be able to walk everywhere. Having decided to stay a good few days we unpack the bags and settle into a very very nice hostel with wood fires in the social area every night. The name of the game for 5 days was to try and out sleep each other every morning. Nearing the end of our time here in South America we have opted to take it really easy for the last few weeks and have a holiday from the holiday so to speak! We do still have some things we want to see but its mostly chilling from here on out. Alas, the sleeping game was destroyed by the bike hire shop opening up next door in the mornings. Not bicycles. Quad bikes, motor bikes and buggys...you know the kind: the NOISY kind! Oh well, most days we lazed around the hostel until about 10 or 11 and then headed out, either to wander around the markets, hire bikes or go walking in the hills surrounding the valley in which Baños lies. Another marvellous thing about Baños is that you can do everything on your own (ie: without a guide and not on an over priced tour!). First on our hit list was quad biking! Our efforts were short lived though as it started bucketing with rain about 15 minutes into our journey to some waterfalls. Not just rain, but 'coming-from-every-direction-including- from-the-ground-up-forest-gump-type-of- rain'! Drenched, we returned for a hot shower and to find fellow gringos at the hostel a bit shaken: amidst the rain there had been an earth tremor while we were gone! Scary stuff considering the town is in the shadow of an active volcano which last errupted in 2006! On a sunnier day we took another attempt at the waterfall trip this time in a buggy for 2 which was awesome fun! Various stops along the route let you see many waterfalls, bungy jumps and little cable car rides across the valley. The final water fall was a steamy and humid walk through the forest and a climb/crawl through some caves to get to and had a pretty impressive volume of water pumping down! Map in hand and powered by a sugar high from taffy, another awesome day out was wandering around the mountain side to various view points over Baños. 'Taffy' by the way is a little treat for which Baños is apparently famous. Its toffee sticks made and mixed by hand by slinging it over a hook on the door frame and stretching it out and folding it over again and again. Very cool to watch the process and walk up and down the taffy street taste the different flavours being made by different shop owners :) All in all a very cool stop and highly recommended for some time out and/fun activities. Its a festive little place and everyone seems so calm and relaxed, even the garbage removal truck plays a merry little tune as it drives around town doing its thing! We also had some time to look into what there was to see in Quito and in doing so stumbled across a really great bargain deal for a little luxury lodge at the foot of Cotapaxi Mountain (volcano!) the second highest peak in Ecuador. We will spend 1 day in Quito first but our next official stop will be Cotapaxi..." Read and see more at: http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entries/theblakes/1/1254878548/tpod.html Photos from this trip: 1. "Out with the old..." 2. "Spot the travellers nearing the end of their money" 3. "Is there space on the bus? Yes, plenty..." 4. "Making taffy!" 5. "Action Barbie with 2009's accessory!" 6. "Our buggy" 7. "Beautiful valley near Banos" 8. "Devils waterfall" 9. "Us in front of the Devils waterfall" 10. "Climbing through narrow passageways" 11. "Ang in one of the narrow cracks" 12. "Daisy and Buttercup catching up on some goss." 13. "Banos from above" 14. "King of my castle!" 15. "The cathedral at night" 16. "Banos by night" See this TripWow and more at http://tripwow.tripadvisor.com/tripwow/ta-00bb-9c86-59f8?ytv4=1