El Trapiche Hosteria
Km 1, via al Puyo, Banos, Ecuador
More about Baños
Cascada Pailon del Diablo
Street vendors selling cane and cane juice
The tarabita, big enough for 4 or 5
volcano smoke ?
i am thinking of spending some time in banos, or possibly patate - so i would like to know if there is smoke there - from the volcano. and if so, how much and how often? have people complained of it hurting their eyes, or causing a chronic cough?
when i lived on the big island of hawaii, i got very sick from the volcano smoke on the kona side. it looked like the smog in los angeles, and everyone called it vog.
thank you - i appreciate your help.
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Re: volcano smoke ?
My experience in Banos in Feb of 2006 and 2007 was that there was no noticeable problem from the volcano (Tungurahua) ash. The smoke can be seen from a distance but isn't irritating to the eyes at all. Of course, if the volcano actively erupts again as it did in Aug. 2006, well that would be a different story...
Travel Tips for Baños
Avenue of The Volcanos
The bus ride from Quito to Banos takes you through the "Avenue of The Volcanos".
This is a must do bus ride. For photographers it is definitely a must .
There are over 40 volcanoes in Ecuador of which 8 are active.
These are big volcanoes most rising to over 5000 m . To match their size they have big names : Cotopaxi , Tungurahus , Chimborazo
If you get your hands on a book entitled
"Ecuador - Island of the Andes " by Kevin Kling you will see photos that are captivating to say the least .
The book can be sourced on Amazon.com but they list it as " Limited Availabilty ".
Fried guinea pigs - Les cochons d'inde grilles
I have already told you about this ecuatorian and peruvian custom : eating the cuys, sort of guinea pigs could be considered as gross... if it was not that awful to eat !
Je vous ai deja parle de cette coutume equatorienne et peruvienne : manger des cuys, sorte de cochon d'inde, pourrait etre considere comme purement degueulasse.. si c'etait pas si mauvais a manger !
Some friends - Des amis
They live in Banos, they love doing nothing (maybe because they have no opportunity to to something for real) and they are so nice !!
Ils vivent a Banos, ils adorent ne rien faire (peut-etre aussi parce qu'ils n'ont pas d'autre choix) et ils sont si sympas !!
Close to Baños: Agoyan
One of the first sights you encounter after leaving Baños on the way to Puyo is the handsome Agoyan hydroelectric plant. Shortly after the dam, a bridge crosses the Pastaza river, and you will ride the rest of the way on the left side of the river.
You may read, here and there, that this excursion is dangerous, mostly because you have to share dark tunnels with trucks. In actuality, there is only one tunnel that has to be shared. It is the first one going downhill, and it is short. From the entrance to the tunnel, you can see the other end. I waited until there was no traffic in sight before going in. The road inside the tunnel is very bumpy, and water drips from the stones above.
It is eerie, but I would not call it dangerous. Truckers are aware they have to share this particular tunnel, and they drive slowly, with their lights on. Bicycle traffic avoids all the subsequent tunnels (see sign in one of the pictures).
One of the photos is a painting in the Cuenca Central Bank Museum, showing the Agoyan dam site before the plant was built.
While you are at Banos you might be approached to go in the evening to Bellavista. You will take the Chivas, or the buses with loud music and loud colors up the mountain to where the cross is. Up there you will be given canelazos which is a hot tea with puntas (moonshine) in it. They say "all you can drink" but it runs out before you get all you can drink. On the top of the mountain at the big cross there will be a bonfire and entertainment. The entertainment is fire dancers, music, food, dancing. There are also great views of the city of Banos and of the volcano Tungurahua. You might even see smoke or fire coming from the volcano. This is also a great place to take pictures.
On the down side, it might rain here and you might be miserable and cold. You still have to wait till everyone on the chivas are back on before you can go back down.
So you are taking your chances. One time we went the weather was great and the views were wonderful. The second time we went it started to rain as we were going up the mountain. It was so cold and the bonfire couldnt even get started. We waited for what seemed an eternity for everyone to get back on the bus to go back to town. Also there are so many buses and so many people going to the same place.
It cost about $3 for this little excursion. It was fun but when the weather is good.
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