Thursday, September 17, 2009


Got up and headed to the bus station, which maps showed convenetaly located a few bocks away from our hotel in the Old Town.  When we got there, there was a problem - no buses.  The policeman told us to take the trolley (bus rapid transit system) to some place we never heard of.  Went to the trolley, and the person told us to take it to that stop, but there did not appear to be that stop on the map.  Confused, we gave up and grabbed a taxi.  Turns out the new bus station is about a 20 minute drive outside of Quito.  It has to be the most amazing bus station I have ever seen  -gleeming steel and glass.

We grabbed a bus to Banos, a tourist destination for both locals and foreginers about 4 hours outside of Quito.  The ride was nice - we went through the highlands, with peaks of the volcanic peaks every now and then (it is kind of cloudy here).

Banos is quite nice - in a subtrpical valley about half way between the highlands and the Amazon basin.  It is famous for it´s "baths" - mineral baths that you pay a buck for.  We found an awesome motel room with wrap-around windows facing  the steep peaks and the hotel garden.  After dinner, I went for a quick dip in the baths.  It was quite nice - about hot tub temp, but there were also cold pools that you could dip in.  Lots of Ecuadorians milling about with their families.

Had a nice peaceful sleep for the first time in days....

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