Our final night in Quito was the first time I have had decent pizza outside the US. The most rewarding part was what I did not receive from it: the shits – as has been the usual outcome of the formula: (me) + (pizza in other countries).
The next day I was on my own seeing a final sight in Quito with Sarah still down. Most beautiful church in the country something, something, 60 kilos of gold leaf, fire, earth quake… Churches are OK I guess. Really, It was pretty beautiful. But I am disappointed that all the famous paintings were re-pops.
Finally, we descend from the high altitudes with a stop over in Baños on the way to the rainforest in Puyo. Sarah’s malaise turned out to be altitude sickness. I had no idea it could be so bad. My experience with it in Peru was merely extreme sluggishness.
Baños is named after hot springs heated by a nearby volcano, although there are supposedly better ones in other parts of the country. A number of waterfalls drain out into the massive valley in which the town and it’s supported roads are nestled. We had one right outside our hotel room. ¡Qué tranqillo! (This photo is not that one).
Unlike the Japanese hot spring town we visited last year, this seems to be one big amusement park. One can rent horses, mountain bikes, and go-karts to ride around anywhere you can take them. There is also river rafting, 600m high zip lines, and bungee jumping (from static ropes with no bounce between two automobile bridges – seems perfectly legit). There is not much else in the area. But the town had some great graffiti, likely due to the hordes of nasty hippie back-backers that usually litter the place.