Saturday.........an unexpectedly excellent trip to Banos!
Ambato Travel Blog› entry 74 of 129 › view all entries
I set the alarm for just before 7 as the F1 qualifying session for Hockenheim is on cable. Mark Webber is 8th
on the grid. Then I go back to sleep for a while as I’m really tired. I get down to breakfast at around ¼ to 10 and then ask the receptionist to get a taxi for me. They get a radio taxi which is the most secure, although I’ve often taken other taxis for short trips.
I tell the taxi driver that I’m going to the bus terminal. He asks where I’m going and I say Banos.
However, before we leave Ambato I want to get a bus ticket to Quito for tomorrow, so we go to the Pan American office to buy the ticket. No, they don’t have buses from Ambato to Quito. They recommend Santo bus company so we go to there office. No, you can’t book a ticket but the buses go every 10 minutes to Quito. I find this hard to believe; it’s a 3 hour drive and they have 6 buses an hour? I double check that I’m understanding this information.
So now we’re off to Banos. Paul is learning English, but the conversation is nearly all in Spanish, as my Spanish is considerably better than his English. Occasionally during the day he wants to practise his English and we also have strange conversations in both Spanish and English. Paul points out items of interest, including a major subsidence during the earthquake in 1959 and the town of Pelileo where many factories make jeans and main street is lined with shops selling mainly jeans.
When we reach Banos we wander around the shops, looking at tourist type things, earrings, clothing, food stalls. I ask if he would rather go off and do something else, but he’s happy to walk with me.
He wants to take me to the main church, so we go there. Mass is taking place and there are many people, so I don’t take photos, but look at the interior, particularly the windows and ceiling and old paintings of the local area. It’s a beautiful church. Afterwards we go to see one of the thermal baths. He stays outside as I have to pay USD1.60 to go in, although I’m only wanting to take photos. The thermal water is yellow and supposed to have healing powers; some people swear on it’s effectiveness. There’s also a cold pool.
After that we go and have lunch.
We return to Ambato. On the way I ask him if he’s working tomorrow and when he says yes, I suggest that he might like to take me for a one hour trip around Ambato and then drop me off at the bus terminal. He suggests that after he shows me Ambato, he can drive me to Quito for USD30 and I agree. Have dinner in the restaurant again and use the wifi.