Party of Six

Banos Travel Blog

 › entry 16 of 74 › view all entries

The next morning I was up early once again, for it was the day I had to say goodbye to Secret Garden and move south to Banos.  For some reason, all morning I felt strangely exuberant and positive, I guess as I was excited to do my 1st real “backpacking” move, as opposed to staying in my Secret Garden safety bubble.  As I had seen the bus station a few times now I was fairly confident I could manage on my own, so I packed up, paid, and caught a cab to the terminal terreste.

                Catching the bus was fairly simple, I asked about 10 buses if they were my bus though as I was so nervous to miss it.  The ticket vendor told me 11:30 which was just simply wrong, it was actually 11:45, which did nothing to help my fears.  I eventually boarded successfully however and was on my way to Banos.  The ride there was spectacular, with rolling mountains on all sides in quite the same manner as Ireland has rolling hills.  The different yards were marked by varying shades of green in the same way as well, making me homesick yet excited to see new places at the same time.

                I had to face the flip side of this bus anxiety at the other end of the ride as I was scared to miss my stop,  Banos was very clearly signposted however, being rather touristy.  I had planned to hail a cab to the hostel section of town, however as I walked around looking for the cabs I was absorbed into a group of 5 other backpackers, who by some coincidence were searching out the same place I was aiming for.  The 6 of us therefore booked 2 rooms together, 3 in each, and I had my travelling pack for the next few days sorted.

                The group turned out to be 2 mini groups, one brother sister pair, and the other 3 a set of brothers plus one friend.  All were American, from LA in fact, all a shade younger than me.  After booking in we went for a meal, and immediately after I experienced my 1st South American sickness.  I don’t know if it was this meal, one previously, or just the lack of sleep catching up, but after eating I got extremely tired to the point of dizzy, with my vision blurring and balance slightly off.  My stomach started in next, rolling and gurgling in a threatening fashion, and even speaking became a chore.  I tried to fake it tho as I explored the tiny town with the others, but after an hours walk we headed back to the hostel to chill before dinner, so I took advantage and slept for about 2 hours.  I was terrified I had malaria and my head was full of nasty uncomfortable scenarios with foreign hospitals.  After napping and ever since however I´ve felt better, so here´s hoping it was just a health fluke.  After dinner we headed out to a local bar and had a great night:  These guys seemed to have a great chemistry and were full of games to play, mostly based on song lyrics.  They were funny to listen to, as I forgot how reliant us Americans can be on slang, and this group definitely had a set west coast way about them with an overabundance of unique grammar and words, some of them nonsensical.  We had a lot of laughs and a great night, and I was very happy to have met such a nice group of people!

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photo by: timbo