Banos and Other Animals

Ecuador Travel Blog

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I hate Baños. It is worse than Southwold.

Friday afternoon, Andreas asked me and Kelly if we wanted to go. Knowing Jack and his wildlife pals were going to be there and having already had overseas ´encouragement´from Kate, I said yes why not? Although even at this stage I was not convinced would be favourite place.

However, we were assured that the journey didn´t take long. Apparently in Ecuador ´not long´means four hours on a ´coach´. Fundamental to these celestial bus rides it seems, is at least one mental old woman. Ours refused to pay for her ticket, insisted on sitting in one of our three seats, and then fell asleep on Andreas´shoulder. Extremely amusing.

Not that we knew it at time, but our token mad lady was quite tame. Jack´s had a chicken in her handbag.

Upon arrival in Banos, we decided to get a hostel to leave our bags in, and then go out, hopefully bumping into Jack as his phone (obviously) was flat. Also, had a look at the activities on offer. To my mounting horror, they were all, without exception, ´nature girl´ activities, necessitating things like waterproof clothing and wellies that, needless to say, I had no desire at all to take part in. For example, did I want to pay 50 dollars to hike up a mountain and look at waterfalls in the rain? Or indeed, skydive off mountain? No, I did not.

Inexplicably, people keep trying to make me take part in these things. Thursday morning had a lost in translation moment with Spanish teacher. I said something like, ¨I´m extremely hungover, woe is me¨. She said, "OK, will you be alright in those shoes?¨ I had no idea why she was asking but said yeah, and so we walked up a mountain, to a national park, to see the nature and majestic views. I mean really.

Anyway, Baños.

At this stage was night time so we went to bar that did cocktails. Hurrah. They were horrible but nevertheless, they were there. At next bar- (where better to have a leprechaun bar than Ecuador?) heard wondrous sound of not only English, but Hertfordshire accent! Admittedly, she was from Hemel, but still! Started chatting (obviously) and discovered that she was there volunteering, at wildlife sanctuary, and was in fact one of Jack´s cronies.

Right on cue, the wunderkid himself arrives. Drunk obviously, with similarly drunk pretty blonde girl, who stole my jumper. Admittedly, it was totally not on purpose, but everyone made such a fuss, that I ended up saying she could wear it anyway because poor girl looked so mortified. And I wasnt cold anyway. Yet.

Some time later, as obvious conclusion to evening, we went to a karaoke bar. Me and Sheila, (Australian girl called Sheila by everyone, despite the fact her name is Laura) sang ´Total Eclipse of the Heart´ and needless to say brought house down. Not.

At kebab shop, very drunk girl fell off her chair. It reminded me of home. Cue for national anthem, Jerusalem, or similar.

Wildlife and Quito contingent set off back to respective hostels. We all got very lost, although not together, and it rained a huge amount. Damn pretty blonde girl who was still wearing my jumper. Bah. Went to different hostel and resolved to find our own in the morning.

Did, and had breakfast. I had had quite enough of the countryside by this point, and made mad dash for bus back to Quito, quick as flash. Flash in question, being utterly bloody lightning. To add insult to injury, hair had gone curly inb previous night´s rain. Huh. Inexplicably, Kelly and Andreas still wanted to see waterfalls. Whatever.

Was sitting on bus next to overly friendly Ecuadorian, who called me ´Princesa Gringita´ (little white princess). This was in fact a lie as did not look like princess, but hungover student, or graduate if you wish to be pedantic. However, each to their own. Spent next hour elbowing him in the ribs to encourage him back onto own side of seat. Did not work until he got off, and was replaced by child with icecream who had been staring at us avidly throughout journey. Typical.

Got back to Quito, and watched ´Gossip Girl´with Sylvia. Is fabulous programme, actually cannot understand why never watched it before.

Oh yes, am ill and sunburn on back is peeling.

Don´t you just love the country?


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