Walking around Baños

There are still many things to do in Baños.

Mainly people go to the hot water springs, the famous one being “Las Piscinas de la Virgen”.

Also you can take a look around the peaceful park, climb the love bridge, tour the markets and get like 16 bananas for a dollar!

Everything is really convenient here for backpacking because many hostels offer kitchens and the market sells fresh fruits and vegetables for really cheap so you can make food if you don’t want to eat out.

Also there is a big supermarket for other things like pasta and such.

There are pizza and hamburger places everywhere!!! When you feel like pizza that you couldn’t get in Quito or in other cities because it was so expensive, here, personal pizzas are around 2.75 cents. So I feasted on pizza for the four days I was here…Pizza hog haha

One thing I have realized while traveling is that it’s a little difficult to live on budget when cities don’t have markets where people sell fresh fruits and vegetables for affordable prices. Usually supermarkets are little bit more expensive and in little villages, only little stores sell fruits and vegetables, but of course it’s not as fresh or cheap.

So let’s get moving on with the visuals!

This is in the park, love bridge…at the end of it, the right side, you can jump off and hopefully your spouse/boyfriend/partner can catch you…My one ran away
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This is the Catholic church. The church has many paintings describing many incidents where the Virgin Mary helped the village from the nearby volcano.

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It’s a valley so all four sides are covered by green lush mountains. This is on the way to the hot springs.

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The waterfall right next to the hot springs.

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Closer shot…trying to see what my camera can do

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Woohoo…go camera!! Sometimes you can see people taking a shower under it and washing their feet. It’s really cold.

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This is the view of the hot springs from the staircase next to the waterfall. We went during the night so I didn’t take any pictures.

But there are three swimming pools in the place. 1 is nice hot, the 2nd one is the same but bigger and the 3rd is scalding hot. Like soooo hot that you can’t be in there for more than a few seconds. But many older people seem to be immune to it!!! I just put my feet in later and still couldn’t handle it for more than 10 minutes.

So usually you see more people in the 1st and 2nd pool. The scalding hot pool is on the first floor. The others are on the top as you can see. It’s $2 during the day to get in but $3 during the night. Maybe it’s better to go during the night because it’s a little cooler so your poor head can be a little colder than your frying body 🙂

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On our way back, there were many stores on the street selling sugar cane.

I’ve never tasted sugar cane in my life and I was so excited to try sugar cane.

I used to hear stories from my parents when they were young and always used to sneak into sugar cane farms and suck on sugar canes as snacks. Those days when we didn’t have such a wide variety of chips, sweets, and drinks.

These are the sugar cane rods.

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Sweets made from sugar cane. Taffy! You can also see people making it. They use a hook on the wall to hang the sticky sugar cane sweet and lengthen it, hook it, lengthen it, hook it until it gets chewier? Actually we also have this in Korea. It’s called Yeot (엿). My favourite in Korea is the pumpkin yeot. They also usually put bean powder over it in Korea to make it a bit more savory. Another favourite snack for the older generation in Korea.

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This is Jugo de Cana. Cane sugar juice. It’s really really SUPER SWEET and tastes a little like grass. For those of you wondering, in fact I have tasted grass when I was in elementary school. Now that I think about it we used to open the grass blade and a little white root was in it so we used to eat that…I have no idea why. Just the fact that we heard we could eat it. So every time we had assembly on the grass field we used to pick grass and eat the little part…

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That in my mouth is a sugar cane piece. I really just wanted to try one but they were selling it in plastic bags with more than 20 pieces in them. So I pleaded if I can just have a piece and yey! I got one! It was so much better than the drink. Every time you bite into it sweet liquid oozes out and you chew it until there’s no more. It’s really fun to eat. Like chewing tobacco…or hopefully the feel of it since I haven’t tried chewing tobacco.

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So there is a nearby volcano that is active. Tungurahua. You can usually see the smoke coming out of it on a clear day. Or you can see it properly if you climb up nearby mountains. You can’t go on to the volcano itself because it’s too dangerous.

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Closer shot

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P.S.

Some random shots of random stuff.

Guinea pig meat!! It’s called Gui here and is considered a delicacy. I have yet to try it. It’s more expensive than other meat. It’s around $5 or more.

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Arequipe! I was like what is this…and just bought it. It’s a little tub for 40 cents and comes with a spoon…It’s caramel. Really sweet milk caramel that you can scoop and eat. I might get diabetes after this.

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Next…we’re moving on to the next city in Ecuador! Keep tuned! Please keep the comments coming. I’m always delighted to answer comments and hearing from you!

Baños: Paílón del Diablo!

Paílón del Diablo is one of the famous waterfalls to see in Baños. Baños in Ecuador is considered to be a place for people who enjoy extreme sports.

You can enjoy various activities here such as rafting, zip-lining, kayaking, bungee jumping and more.

Although it’s pretty cheap to do those activities here, I decided I just wanted to rent a bicycle and go to  Paílón del Diablo. It means the pan of the devil (or pot of the devil?).

It is $5 to borrow a bicycle for the whole day. There are many shops that rent bicycles and give you good offers for extreme sports.

It was really cool taking the bike, but I didn’t know it would take so long, and it’s downhill all the way. Like ALL THE WAY. What’s more is that more than half the track is just a road for cars and trucks, so it’s a little terrifying every time a huge truck passes by and whips past your ears.

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Sometimes whenever there is a tunnel for trucks or cars, there is another way right next to the tunnel for cars and bicycles to take so you can avoid getting hit in the dark tunnel by trucks.

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But one good thing about taking the bicycle is that you can stop any time any where to enjoy the beautiful scenery.

There are so many natural waterfalls small and big near and far. As you cycle along, you see water dripping from little waterfalls on the roads, like natural showers. It’s FREEZING.

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Ahhh….Too cold….

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I think I’m the better photographer lol

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More waterfalls along the way.

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Wow you butt starts hurting after cycling for like 2 hours to  Paílón del Diablo. I never knew I had to be so prepared to come to Baños. haha it sounds like I’m complaining all the time about climbing mountains and exercising despite the fact that I’m always excited the day before to start moving my body. So when I complain to Kosuke, he’s always saying…but you said let’s go…and yeh I can’t say anything to that noooooooo

Anyways you have to know I haven’t exercised this intensely for a long time so cycling for 2 hours, hiking for 6 hours is just….crazy for me.

We saw a lot of extreme sports’ stands along the way advertising 15 dollars for zip-line and such.

I was like donkeys!!! Let’s take pictures!! and found out they were horses. bahhhh

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Once we hit the town, the entrance to  Paílón del Diablo,  we went into a little store to get drinks to eat with breads we bought in the morning. We asked which way leads to  Paílón del Diablo and apparently there are two entrances. There is a new one and a old one. The woman at the counter said the new one had a better view…so that’s where we went.

We paid $2 for entrance.

On our way in.

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Along the trail leading to the famous waterfall!

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There’s this hanging bridge leading to  Paílón del Diablo. Amazing view right?

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There was no one so I decided to get as many pictures I can…The photographer was not helpful at all.

Title of this work is supposed to be: Trying to climb the Himalayas

but the photo came out as if the bridge was just straight and not tilted sharply downwards at all

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Title of this work is: Hola!

But here again the bridge does not look steep at all…and I look like a gorilla hanging on a rope…or I am one 😉

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And now the moment you have all been waiting for….

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Paílón del Diablo!

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It looks like some scene from a movie or animation!! So cool!!

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The waterfall is sooooooo fast and powerful! Can’t imagine what’s going to happen if you get whipped by it…

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We were so tired to go back by bike all the way to Baños so we took a truck taking bikers back for $2 each. There were a lot of other bikers like us who were too tired and couldn’t face the steep uphill all the way back to town. Note I said it was downhill to the waterfall ALL the way 🙂

Something you can do those of you who are on budget!