Day 7 – March 18: Banos-Quito
Quito Travel Blog› entry 9 of 26 › view all entries
We were supposed to spend a third night in Banos, but the weather was bad enough that we decided to head back to Quito a day early. If we had stayed a little longer, we probably would have skipped the bungee jumping and white water rafting, but the hikes in the area looks very interesting as did the zoo.
My husband had some sore muscles, so he went over the hot springs bright and early. After breakfast at the hotel, we walked to the Church of the Virgin of the Holy Water to see the inside. It is very large and beautiful. The paintings around the walls tell stories about the “water saint” that saves people from drowning. The church has a small museum, but it cost money (50 cents), and we don’t read Spanish, so we didn’t go in.
BUS TO QUITO:
We decided to take the bus back to Quito. My husband went to Café Good to get some ham and cheese sandwiches for the bus ride while my son and I went to the playground to burn off some energy. It is an excellent playground!
The bus to Quito is $3.50/person and took us 3 ½ hours. They depart from the bus terminal in Banos ($1.50 for the taxi ride) every 20 minutes or so. When we arrived at the bus terminal, we just said “Quito”, and the people working there took our luggage to the bus, and showed us where to buy the tickets.
They gave us an assigned seat, but they also pick up and drop off people along the way, some of whom just stand on the bus. One woman that got on the bus outside town was quite elderly, so my husband gave up his seat. Luckily, she got off in a town not far away, so he got his seat back.
Various people came on the bus at several stops selling food (I think the sandwiches are safer for tourists). Quite an industry – get on the bus in one town selling things, get off at the next town, then do the same thing going back.
The bus was quite comfortable – especially considering the price! It made many, many stops along the way, but they were all very short.
There were no bathrooms stops!
Near Quito, there was a hail storm, and we could see a layer of hail on the ground that looked like snow. Right on the equator!
Once we got to the bus terminal, which is in south Quito, we took a taxi to our hotel. We hit very bad rush hour traffic. The taxi cost $8 – almost the same as the bus ride….
For dinner, we walked to Plaza Foch and just picked a restaurant that looked good – Azuca Beach, which is upstairs from the regular Azuca Restaurant. It had great views and a lively, cozy atmosphere.
There were many stores along the way with DVD’s and
thought it would be good to rent a movie.
In the end, the DVD’s are bootleg copies for sale for $1 each.
For the bus ride, I had long pants and long sleeve shirt. I never needed my jacket on the bus, but I did in the evening in Quito.
The sandwiches from the Café Good were fine, but nothing spectacular.
Azuca Beach had 2-for-1 drinks until 8:00pm. We had a couple of “2-3 person” dishes, which had a combination of fish, chicken, and beef. It was tasty but a little overcooked. And maybe a little overpriced for what we got -- $57.32 for the 3 of us.