|Helam bungee jumping|
|Waiting in the shade for Helam. Oh I was soooo sunburned.|
|At the Machay waterfall|
|The skinny steep stairs leading to Machay|
|This bridge was made of thin sheets of metal that were loosely nailed together.|
|Helam back flopped, smacked the water good.|
|Waiting for the trucks, we made friends with a diseased kitten.|
We had no idea what we were getting into when we decided to take a bike tour through Baños! We rented bikes for a day which is 5 bucks. I'm not sure exactly how long the ride is, but everything Google is telling me is that it's 60km which is about 37 miles. I'm not sure if that's one way or both, but it was definitely longer than we expected! was we got a few miles out of the city, we realized we all forgot our water bottles! Hema says he didn't bring money, I say I only have a dollar with me after I paid for the bikes, and Helam says- don't worry, I have money. So I bought us some water on the side of the road with my dollar. We go a few more miles and we come across a bridge and they have bungee jumping for only 15 bucks! Helam jumped at the opportunity and we watched since we had no money. I figured he had some more money since entrance fees into some of the waterfalls is a dollar each, and the trucks to take you back to town at the end of the tour are about 2 bucks each. But once we got to the first waterfall with an entrance fee, Helam informs us he spent all his money on bungee jumping. Oh crap. We had already been riding for about 2 hours and we didn't have any water left and we wanted to go swimming! We were already in our swim suits! Hema and I didn't think we could make the trip back to town and then back to the waterfalls. So Helam volunteered to ride all the way back to town! Hema and I waited at a little restaurant and explored a little. Helam comes back about 2 hours later in a taxi with his bike shoved in the back. Our hero! So we continued our journey to the last waterfall. We hiked down the mountain on some very steep winding stairs. The waterfall was so beautiful and we had so much fun climbing around and swimming! By this time we're worried about getting to the airport in time for our flight which was just after midnight. So we hiked back up the mountain and waited for the trucks to come pick us up. They were supposed to be there in 10 min, but weren't there for 45! While driving back to town we hit a traffic jam because a tree had fallen on the road. Then we returned our bikes, ran to our hostal and packed and checked out and ran to the bus station. We had just missed the bus to Quito by about 2 minutes. The next bus wasn't for an hour and a half! BAH! It's a 3 hour bus ride and we'd be lucky to make it to Quito by 10:30, our flight was at 12:30. We made it there at 11! We ran out of the terminal to a taxi and asked how fast he could get us to the airport. He said 30 minutes, so we took it! Our driver ran lots of lights and swerved and honked and got us there in 30 minutes! We ran to the counter and the lady said if we'd been 2 minutes later we would've been S.O.L. PHEW! we finally caught a break. They printed our tickets and led us through customs (we were the ONLY people there) and by the time we got to our gate they were already boarding! We made it!
So our trip that was supposed to be 7 days in Ecuador filled with zip lining, repelling waterfalls, canopy rides, and more, turned into 4 days of something totally different. But it was worth it!