At the moment, we are staying in a beautiful little town called Baños. It is situated between the rough mountain range that separates the coast from the Amazon jungle. Baños itself is made up of cobbled streets lined with many small and interesting businesses and eateries.
We decided to do some biking to some of the nearby waterfalls. We were told this is a lot of fun for the whole family, and after a whole day on a bus, we needed something active to do.
A small agency provided us with clearly well used bikes and so eagerly we started our adventure. Most of the way was downhill! We biked along a road which we shared with the trucks, buses and other vehicles. Many small villages are scattered along the way with small side road stalls selling a variety of fruit, drink and other things. It certainly was a lot of fun!
A steel and concrete structure announced the call for some adrenaline. After watching some other people dive off the platform and sail across the river, clinging onto their harnesses, we decided to go zip-lining. At first I was strictly and strongly against this idea. I am petrified of heights! Also, I do not like rides or activities where I am not in control. I want to know that I can stop or speed-up whenever I feel like it. So as you might be able to picture, this was definitely not my sort of fun!
As dad was handing in the money to pay for the others, except me, I suddenly got the urge to put up my hand and do it. I was very surprised with my decision, very scared and nervous too! As the staff were strapping us into the harnesses, I got a shiver of regret down my spine. I was very scared!
I was in the front with mum while Ruzow took up the rear. This, I think only made my fear worse, and as they opened the gate to push us out, I started screaming! As our speed rapidly increased, I shut my eyes in terror, but kept my mouth fully open, yelling as hard as I possibly could. Thinking about it afterwards, though, the screaming didn’t slow us down, stop the ride or even make me feel better.
We stopped abruptly. I was so happy the second I could free myself from the tight, uncomfortable harness. I was shaking all over while watching dad and the younger two sail through mid air. I really didn’t like it! Though, I was very proud of myself, as I had made a very wise decision. If I had just stayed in the little structure, and watched the others, I would have missed out. Not only on a big memory, and something I’ll never forget, but to be able to say, ‘Yes! I did it!’.
We carried on biking until coming to the entrance of a local attraction. It was a 15 minute walk to get to the large waterfall. To be honest, I was blown away! Not only literally, from the strong, crashing water that fell from the high ledge, but from the astounding beauty of it all. At one stage, beside the waterfall, we had to crawl on hands and knees, under a natural ledge, at a hight of 80cm! Also, it was very wet, and at certain places, the water would spray all over us.
By the time we were back on our bikes, most of us were soaked from head to toe. There was another waterfall that had a pool we could swim in. We were going to go there, but as it was already nearing the late afternoon, and we (the children) were dying to play soccer with the local kids, we headed back home.
Us, along with our many bikes were loaded onto the back of a small truck, which would take us back to Baños. It was quite a rough ride, and the two benches we were seated on were not fastened to the floor. But it is better than having to cycle uphill all the way back!
As I mentioned before, we were anxious to play soccer, or football as they call it here, with the local children. Just near our hostel there is a large sheltered communal area, with two big soccer fields, and here every afternoon we meet a group of local children to start the game. The games are filled with fun, laughter and confusion, as we cannot understand each other. Slowly others decide to join, and are quickly assigned to a team. This was one of the best ways we’ve connected with the local community so far. And it was so much fun, for both groups.
Until next time,