baños, brain dump and beach time

although i haven’t been blogging as much as i had hoped, i promise i have a ton to share- what i am realizing about the whole travel blogging thing is the following:

a) difficult to find decent internet (ie. fast enough to add photos without me pulling out my hair)

b) hard to reconcile an hour away from beach/forest/hammock in exchange for sitting in front of my computer

c) tough to keep track of time! i feel like i JUST wrote a post about the amazon, and then i realize that the amazon trip was almost 2 weeks ago!

so now that I’m done whining about my tough life on the road, heres a little of the last week or so:

baños! nestled in a cozy green bowl of mountains, baños is arguably one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been, and it doesn’t hurt that part of the draw of the town is a wide array of adventure sports.. rafting, climbing, canyoning (basically long zip lines across canyons), hiking, biking.. you name it.

coming over the bridge towards the Pailon del Diablo hike down to the waterfall

coming over the bridge towards the Pailon del Diablo hike down to the waterfall

unfortunately, my 5 days in baños coincided with my first stomach flu in years! i sucked it up for the most part and still managed to hike, check out the thermal baths, cycle to Pailon del Diablo and swing on the famous Casa del Arbol swing!

IMG_3797

baños view from Luna Runtun hotel (halfway down from the Casa del Arbol swing)

if you ever travel to ecuador, definitely do not miss out on baños. its definitely a touristy little town, but totally worth it.. i think i walked around with my jaw dropped the entire time.. some of the most amazing cloud formations, gorgeous montains and waterfalls i have ever seen!

on the bike ride

on the bike ride

pailon del diablo waterfall

pailon del diablo waterfall

chillin with la virgen

chillin with la virgen

(follow me on instagram @gbennett for more photos!).

and then what?

early saturday morning i hopped on a 6 am bus to Guayaquil (largest city in Ecuador) with the intention of heading to the coast! almost entire month after i began this trip, i was finally on my way to the ocean. i promise ill do a full beach post, but in the meantime heres a little brain dump of some discoveries, observations and realizations from the last 4 weeks..

-although ecuador produces quite a bit of coffee, it has been close to impossible to find a decent cup of coffee. I’m slowly sipping on a passable one as we speak, but most low end restaurants (I’m backpacking, remember.. no fancy meals for this girl) will hand you a mug of hot water and a jar of instant coffee.

-i have felt pretty safe this whole time, but ecuadorians and colombians have spent a lot of time telling me how dangerous many places across the two countries still are. apparently the male half of a newlywed asian couple was just murdered in manta (coastal city) a few weeks ago, and i was strongly urged to not stay in guayaquil due to safety issues. even cali, colombia- where i felt SO safe for a week- has one of the highest crime rates in the country!

-you can do pretty much anything with plantains.

-recommendations have become a way of life. most of the travelers in colombia and ecuador so far have been either heading south to peru or north to colombia, and many evening have been spent recommending this hostel or that trek. I’ve created a loose rule of thumb- if 2 or more people recommend the same hostel/trip/sight.. I’m probably headed straight there. so far its served me pretty well!

-rice. so much of it.

there is SO much more i want to share, but i think its time for me to head to a hammock for a nap.. questions? recommendations? concerns? email me! bitesizepiece@gmail.com

 

 

 

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