Day 146 – Banos, EC

Day 146 – Banos, EC     01/14/11     Mileage: Local miles

The Llanovientos is not much to look at from the outside, but it’s a very nice place to stay and the view from my room is great!

The garden patio…very nice….    😉

The view from my room…not to bad!

I took a walk around town before breakfast went and over to the waterfall and bath house at the east end of town.

The famous baths in Banos. The water is a brownish color because of the high dissolved mineral content…or so they say…  😉

Breakfast was at the Blah Blah Cafe, where I had a REAL coffee, not hot milk with Nescafe, which I now know from my visit to Cafe Ruiz in Panama is No-es-cafe. I got the “Americano” breakfast, eggs, toast and juice. I often order the “tipico” local dish, but always feel like an ass as an American ordering an Americano coffee, Americano breakfast, or even a hamburger…it feels like I’m falling into a stereotype trap, and maybe I am. Do Italians feel weird ordering an espresso in Ecuador instead of that steamed hot milk shit? I should have asked those Italians back at the Equator. Anyway, after breakfast and a wee bit of internet, I fired up the KLR to have a look around the area, specifically the road east of town towards Puyo.

The first stop was to the cross perched on an overlook above the town. Actually, the very fist stop was a police checkpoint, but all he want was a look at my license.

View of town from the overlook…

And the truth in advertising awards goes to…..Secret’s…

In spots where they had built new tunnels through the mountains, you had the option to take the “old road” which was only a single lane wide and sometimes cut right into a cliff face! It’s no wonder why they built the tunnels….there’s no way two trucks would be able to pass each other. Oh, and the views from the old road were spectacular!

I stopped off at a cable car that took you across the river gorge above two waterfalls. It was a great ride, but definitely not for those afraid of heights! The view of the river canyon and waterfalls was amazing from the dangling perch high above the gorge…and it only cost $1. Back on the bike, I followed the road along the gorge which had great views of the river and surrounding mountains.

You can see the cable car gangling above the gorge in front of the right waterfall. Got to do that!

The cable car was powered by an old truck engine….I guess it’s better than pulling by hand!

That was a great ride for sure! Back on the bike I enjoyed more of the great road…

Damn, I hope that ain’t a train coming!

Further down the road I pulled off to tour the Pailón Del Diablo (the Devil’s Cauldron) which was very cool. The river crashes down into an upper pool that is almost like a cave, then thunders down the last big drop into the gorge below….wow!

You had to walk across this rickety plank to get to one of the overlooks…and the view was great!

Back on the bike I headed back towards Banos, but made one more stop to watch a couple jump off a bridge.

 

Another great day on the bike complete…

After more pictures of the road back to Banos, I parked the bike at the hotel and went into town for a bite, which I found at a cool little joint called Ayahuaska. I’m definitely a sucker for tapas, so I had to give it a whirl….the hummus specifically….with a Pilesner chaser. They even gave me an iced coffee frap on the house to top off my snack…very nice!

So, when in Banos, check it out! After that, no surprise, I worked on the blog at an internet joint….and chased that with several more Pilesner’s before stumbling back to the room…

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9 Responses to Day 146 – Banos, EC

  1. carla friedman says:

    Amazing pictures….. love the views from your room….love seeing the moutains. You are missing the cold, ice and snow (finally melting because of the rain) here. Love seeing the sunny days through you.

  2. Lynn Hilliard says:

    Hi – looks like another amazing day. Who paves roads like that, for heaven’s sake? Must have cost a fortune to set all those stones. Just beautiful. You are one very lucky man. God bless!

    • Lenny says:

      I am one lucky bastard for sure! 🙂 That road with the paver stones I’m quite sure was not like that when it was the only road. They essentially turned it into “tourist roads” after the tunnels were built, so I’m sure they paved it with the stones to look nice for the tourists!

  3. Andria LaFitme says:

    The “old road” looks more like the “old sidewalk”, I wonder how they ever got anything wider then a bike through there! Don’t recommend Pilsners and driving there.

    • Lenny says:

      Hi Andi! Yeah, there ain’t much of a shoulder and it’s a loooooooong way down for sure! lol Now, roaring through Coal Creek Canyon in a Beemer wagon in search of more beer, perfectly harmless… 😉

  4. Andria LaForme says:

    oops, spelled my own name wrong, I see!

  5. Arlene says:

    Good talking to you this morning and it looks like you might be lucky. Hopefully by tomorrow, I think you should have the package if you didn’t get it today. I didn’t talk to anyone after we spoke this morning.

    Drop us a line if you get it. We will check our e-mails from Lisa’s. We are going to be up there tomorrow.

    Hugs, Mom

  6. Aaron says:

    Sorry I missed you Lenny. I was headed south to Peru to sell my KLR. Enjoy!

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