|Get your picture with a gringo -- one dollar|
(Go here for more general first-time impressions of Baños, but read on for more of Teddy and Nana Bear's adventures this time around.)
Of course the word baño just means bath, not bathroom, so it's not as odd as Mom's expression makes it seem when we tell her we're visiting a town called Bathroom. An Australian guy there did tell us, though, that they don't treat sewage, in favor of sending it straight into the river and downstream. I don't really believe that, but it was bottled water for all of us, just in case.
Anyway, onto our adventures in Baños.
Mom had hip surgery a few years back and she hasn't hiked since. She used to take us on camping trips into the high Rockies, next to cold, isolated lakes while eating trail snacks of dried fruit and carob (which is "chocolate" made from Chapstick and pencil lead shavings). Now she is a Nana Bear with a stick and a vengeance. I guess what's weird is the cuddly part. She's a mother, so she's always had (in my lifetime) the ability to swat your butt with a glance. But it's weird to see it on her new persona of sweet, coot, wuvable NanaBear.
This was all precipitated by the innocent little suggestion that we hike up to the cross on the hill. I mean, it's right there; you can see it from town. Someone among us, were that someone a surveyor or otherwise skilled at the physical maths, might have been able to deduce without sticks and mirrors and slide rulers that the angle of the arm pointing up to the cross, the apparent distance to the cross, and the makeup of the group (three generations) that this was an aggressive pitch to tackle. That someone was either not with us or was keeping quiet about it.
Fortunately for all of us, every summit in Ecuador has a tienda that sells ice cream and beer (in wine glasses!).
|Look reaaaally close between the tops of the two waterfalls|
Teddy, on the other hand, is 22 and so found this nature hike not quite as good as money can buy. Baños is a resort town, so there are countless ways to divorce yourself from your money, but most still cheap by American standards. This ride in a bucket across this great chasm is just $2. But there's still something so pansy about having something between your feet and a smashing death over jagged rocks in the river below.
And after that it's just all anticlimactic, so we just settled into a nice, steaming plate of hot bats.
And here are some other random shots from Baños before we chucked mom on another most-of-a-day bus ride to Otovalo. Stay tuned.
|Team storytelling - "and then I pushed him off the cliff with my stick"|
|Mmmmmm -- giant bag of fried pig skin|
|Just can't get enough of terror on a stick|