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Showing posts from February, 2018

On the hunt for hot springs and waterfalls: Baños

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Partially defrosted from my Cotopaxi adventure, I woke up early with a plan to further recover in a town called Baños. Baños is known for being an adventure haven surrounded by waterfalls, and thermal hot springs heated by the enormous Tungurahua volcano. The grandmother working at the family run hostel I was staying at, Hostel Central in Latacunga, offered me a cup of coffee and an artisanal bracelet before leaving. The coffee was on par with most South American coffee, not that great, but we had a nice conversation and she offered advice on a place to stay in Baños: Princesa María. Baños is about two hours southeast of Latacunga, and two busses later I was pulling into the small town. Surrounded on all sides by mountains, the town was very picturesque. Taking the woman’s recommendation at Central Hostal, I booked a room at Princesa Maria and walked through town. Coffee shop after coffee shop, the town was obviously a tourist destination and immediately identifiable.
I had a five bed…

Walking closer to the moon: a few weeks in Ecuador

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Where to begin on my first few weeks in Ecuador? How about where I left off on the bus ride in from the Colombian border. I opened my eyes at the same time a cold dry wind blew across my lips, and a round figure crashed into the seat next to me. My first morning in Ecuador was spent waking up in a familiar place: on a bus with my valuables tied around my leg in my day pack. Right outside the window enormous glaciated volcanoes and mountains were towering over small towns and the twisting highway. I immediately took out my phone, opened Maps.ME, and started dropping pins on peaks and craters as a reminder to return for a visit to the top.

Standing in customs all night and three hours of bus sleep, resulted in a dry throat and heavy eyes. We, the three Americans I met in line and I, pulled into the North Quito bus station before 10:00AM. I followed my standard new country routine: new phone SIM card, cash out of the ATM, and most importantly breakfast. With wobbly bus legs, we walked t…