When we got back to Quito after the jungle we were met by our tour leader Brent, plus two trainees, Juan and Jorge, who will be with us until Arequipa in Peru... Has been pretty nice having now three people to look after us and sort everything out!! Both Peruvian, so its good that they can help us with learning spanish!
Spent the next two nights, and full day after the jungle in BaÃ±os, a small town famous for its hot springs (Hence the name; means baths!). Went to the hot springs the first night we arrived, really nice to be there at night and look up at the stars... Altho what I was actually looking at were lights in small houses up on the mountains, DOH!
The town had a really nice feeling and felt safer than when in Quito, but not alot to do, so the full day was a day dedicated to doing activities as its a good place to do it. A couple of the group set off early to start the day with canyoning (jumping off the edge of waterfalls with a just a rope!! I didnt fancy that!!) Some of the rest of us met at 12 to do a bike ride... I felt I was being brave enough just doing this seeing as I've never really ridden a bike!! Had to start off in the town and headed out onto the Pan-American highway!! I was literally sh*tting myself... and at the beginning could barely get going (i think brent our leader was a little shocked at how CRAP I was!! haha!) I've never sweated so much, head my heart in my mouth so much, or gripped handle bars so tightly as i did during the first few kms of that ride!! I slowly got into it tho and when we got onto some cycle tracks away from crazy ecuadorian drivers I could enjoy it more!! Had mark and brent beside or behind me most of the way tho too which was reassuring as cars would have to hit them first, not me!! Stopped off for a cable car trip across the river in the picture, and also stopped at the bungy bridge swing... which none of us fancied, but some others in the group tried later!! When we got the bottom of the 17km (!!!!) ride my ass was SO sore but was proud of actaully achieving it without any wipeouts, and only one crash into a parked truck!!
Then some went back to the town and six of us carried on with two guides to Rio Patate to do white water rafting! Got in our wetsuits and had a 10 min lesson on safety and paddle commands, then basically straight out onto the water! Had one guide at the back of our boat and one in a single kayak going ahead to point out danger and big rapids! Within the first five minutes we hit a massive wave, I was paddling, looked up, then was in the water!! Literally in less than a second five of us fell out! I was quite shocked, but heaved back in the boat pretty quickly, Mark was the only one except the guide who didnt fall out!!! From that point on i wedged my feet in and used my muscles to keep me in... no-one fell out after that!! Was an amazing experience to feel the river and see the scenery from yet another perspective... after 1.5hrs on the water we got out and I was aching for a few days after!!! Mark absolutely loved it and was glad for the exercise! Altho i did feel guilty for holding him back in the biking!!
Everything with the group going well, one girl still really shy, but others now getting along well...
Another update soon, and hopefully I'll catch up to where we actaully are!! ;)