We arrived in Ecuador and were abit cautious as we had been warned about people trying to scam you, and just our luck the first people we met tried it on. We told the taxi driver the name of our hostel and he said it would cost $10 to get there, double the price the hostel advised, great! Well, after abit of dithering and speaking to other people we managed to get it for $6.
We arrived at our hostel and were told that there weren't any dorm rooms left only private, which obviously were more money. Because it was dark and had started to rain we decided that it was worth paying the extra $2 to save us wandering around, but later found out that there were plenty of dorm rooms available, and you had to walk through an empty one to get to our room, typical!
But the hostel was nice, basic but nice. There was lots of information about what to do in Quito and around Ecuador which was helpful. There was a lounge area where everyone hung out so we met a fair few people. We ended up resorting back to Rum as it was the cheapest drink and spent the night chatting and playing games.
The next day we went for a look round Quito. We got on a wrong bus so got to see areas we hadn't planned on, then went to the Old Town to visit the famous markets. Although they were good, it was the same thing at each place. That night everyone just chilled with a few drinks and watched films in the hostel.
After running through the bus terminal (with our bags on!) we just made it to the bus. We had heard a lot of horror stories from people in the hostel about luggage, how people had their bags cut open and things took out from under their seat without even realising, so we decided that we would keep all our belongings with us. A good idea to begin, but as the bus got crowded we ended up very squashed, especially when a local lady practically sat on Sam! The bus journey was interesting though, people hopping on and off trying to sell all sorts of unusual foods.
We arrived in Baños and were on our way to a hostel when we got talking to a Dutch couple who were on our bus. They seemed to know what they were doing a lot more than us so we asked of we could tag along. The hostel they planned on going to was really expensive so as we were wandering around looking for ours a lady stopped us and said she had a place for $3 each a night, bargain! It wasn't the most lively place, and despite Sam´s bed looking like a whale had slept in it, it wasn't bad.
The next few days we hung out with the Dutchies, Joeb and Tayma. We visited the waterfalls, volcano, hot baths and generally just explored, one day on quads and the other in buggies, it was awesome! We decided to experience the nightlife of Baños which was a lot better than we expected considering it was a Tuesday. We went to a local bar where Sam and Tayma had a horrible shot called a Jamacian which was 5 layers of alcohol set on fire and drank through a straw, they could still feel the burning in the morning!
Sam´s Spanish is improving but still not really any use, she can ask questions but doesn't understand the answer, so her and Joeb decided to go to Spanish school. They only went for 2 hours and whilst Joeb found it really good as he already had a basic understanding, Sam didnt really learn much. She did try but the teacher focused on grammar rather than speaking and when they did speak Joeb spent a lot of the time laughing at Sam´s pronunciation.
Joeb and Tayma were heading over to Puerto Lopez, our next destination, so we decided we´d all travel together. So we got up at 5.15AM(!!) with the aim of getting the 6am bus to Guyaquil, however the bus didn't turn up, hmmm. We´d been told not to expect too much from the Ecuadorian bus service but after waiting for an hour decided it wasn't going to come so jumped on a different bus… The fun never ends!