Banos Travel Blog› entry 18 of 74 › view all entries
After such a physical day with the bikes we decided that the next day we definitely deserved to be motorized, so the 6 of us rented ATVs for a few hours to explore the local volcano. The cuadernos were simple and slow, with no gear switching possible, but were certainly fun to maneuver around. Our guide rode on ahead on motorcycle and we followed, up and off paved roads on to lumpy gravelly walks. The scenery going up was once again hugh green mountains rising in all directions, turning blue and smoky in the distance. Below us we could peer down the steep drop offs into valleys of fields and trees, dotted by the occasional house built at such an incline as to give the impression of sliding right off the mountain. We stopped eventually (right after I managed to drive right through a big pile of cow shit, covering my jeans in crap) and climbed up a nearly 90 degree angled hill to a lookout where we could view the volcano. Everyone was a tad disappointed by how far away we still were, especially since the summit was obstructed by clouds. There was a swing overhanging the drop and a tree house perched precariously on the edge to play with however, and we took some time to have a picnic lunch with the provisions we purchased earlier that morning.
The way back took much longer as one of the ATVs died about every 30 seconds, so we all had to stop and wait for the guide to coax it back to life. We had an accident as well, Etaid rear ended me and it threw him off his ATV. Fair play to him he got up, chased it down, and jumped back on it as it attempted to run away rider less. When we returned the crowd wanted to play Ecua-volleyball, I however despising sports sat and watched. I didn’t mind tho as it was hilarious to watch them bruising all their wrists and arms with the extra hard “volleyball” which was more like a soccer ball. They had a blast as well, and even invited 2 locals to join them, truly authenticating the game. We went for dinner after and each ordered a special happy hour cocktail, expecting half price, we received instead 2 drinks each (a big surprise to Zach who had ordered 2, and got 4!)
The drinks went quickly and so did the sobriety, we popped to the liquor store after for some super cheap vodka and headed to our hostel terrace for a few drinks and games. We originally planned to go out after but ended up chilling in one of our rooms. The conversations flowed freely and we all had a laugh, even Sachin, who seemed to become wasted and ill with even the minutest amount of alcohol. Zach as well headed to the hospital at around 5 am as he couldn´t stop getting sick, but it was most likely food poisoning rather than alcohol that brought that on. The hospital trip eventually included everyone bar me as they all wanted to go. I hated to look like an uncaring asshole, but it was 5 am, 5 people were already down there, and I was sure they´d give him meds and send him on his way, which is exactly what happened, so the 2nd party arrived there after he was back and all, creating much confusion.