Bye Bye Banos

Riobamba Travel Blog

 › entry 19 of 74 › view all entries

In the morning we had tentatively planned to go either to the Zoo or to the banos for which the town was named, we ended up doing neither however and just headed to the bus station to part ways.  I ended up on the same bus as 3 of the guys as they were going to Guayaquil and me Riobamba, so for 2 hours I had some company, but after my 30 min layover in Riobamba I had 6 hours of lone bus travel.  I had a seat in the front row on the aisle side, meaning everyone boarding or departing the bus either smacked my face with their bag, hit my elbow or stepped on my foot.  The numerous vendors generally did all 3.  At around 9:30 I finally arrived, so headed to my hostel I had booked over the phone from the bus station in Banos.

                This hostel rubbed me the wrong way from the very 1st moment.  The main gate was locked at night, yet no one was answering my repeated bell rings, despite the fact I had told them specifically I would arrive at 10ish.  This meant I had to stand there on a dark street with all my bags in the middle of the night, in a strange new place, for around 10 minutes, feeling very white and female.  When someone finally did buzz me in, the next issue was 6 flights of stairs to the reception, followed by a basic and uncreative room with only 1 other person in a room for 6.  The hostel had no breakfast and no internet which I can live with, but no life is a deal breaker!  The doorman as well seemed to be missing a few screws; I asked him at one point where the terrace was.  First he showed me the kitchen, then a different bedroom, then finally the terrace (note: it’s the same word in Spanish so it wasn´t a translation issue!)  He also spoke extremely fast and blurred all his words in to one long unintelligible Spanish mess, so I couldn´t understand a word.  I told him it was too fast for me but he didn´t skip a beat and went off into another rant of God only knows what.  The guy in my room was nice enough but was an ex peace corps looking to move to Cuenca and buy a house, so not someone willing to hang out in the travelers scene.  He also snored, something he warned me about before it even hit.

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photo by: Adrian_Liston