Leaving Baños and Riobamba

Riobamba Travel Blog

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A view of pleasant Riobamba

Having confidently predicted that the one-day strike in Baños wouldn´t affect me because it was only one-day (and not the day I wanted to leave), I learnt a little about strikes here.  Namely that they are not always as short as hoped for!

Leaving Baños thus became a bit of a nightmare as the roads were shut on both ways out of the town, and it turned out that my plan of ´walk a little bit beyond the blockade and catch a bus from there` wasn´t my best ever as there was a further blockade 8km up the road and it was only possible to catch buses after that.  And this wasn´t just any road - it was through some really rough terain very close to the volcano with big signs warning you of the danger of falling rocks and ash.  And carrying a large backpack, and being on the first really hot day since I´d arrived, this was not looking like much fun.

Still pleasant..
  Fortunately a 4x4 suddenly pulled up and ordered me to get in the back - it turned out I was being given a lift by a very kind English guy who ran a hostel in Baños and needed also to get out.  What a life saver, thank you so much!!  He explained that the strike was because of the lack of tourism following the recent volcano erruptions, and the Government´s faillure to deliver on the promises it had made last time around for compensation payments.  The strike affected all council-run services which explained why all the famous baths had been shut during my stay!  It´s really interesting to see this side of Ecuador, but I´m not sure I´d be saying this if I had to walk the whole 8km!

Anyway, the reason to leave Baños was to go to Riobamba to catch the famous train south.  Riobamba itself was small given it was meant to be the provincial capital, with little to do, and although nice enough for an afternoon I wouldn´t have wanted to stay much longer!

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A view of pleasant Riobamba
A view of pleasant Riobamba
Still pleasant..
Still pleasant..
Riobamba
photo by: Adrian_Liston