It's been a long series of buses to get to where I sit, looking out on the mountains, in Banos, Ecuador. We traveled by bus from Northern Peru, that lovely city of Huanchaco that we fell in love with. Well, it was an 7 hour bus from Huanchaco to Piura. 9 hours the next day from Piura to Loja, Ecuador. Then another 8 hours from Loja to Cuenca. AND THEN 7 hours from Cuenca to Ambato and another hour to Banos. Tired yet of thinking of us on buses? Then you know how we feel! Entirely too much sitting!
Ecuador so far has felt like our Central American days colliding with our South American travels. The buses here aren't quite chicken buses but they aren't the luxury Cruz del Sur buses we were accustomed to traveling in Peru. No more nicely checked bags, they now sit at our feet. And going directly? Forget it. I lost count at the 20+ stops we made yesterday, picking up people off the side of the road and dropping them off some hours later at another seemingly random spot. Where are the cities these people are coming and going from? The Spanish we have been working so hard on fails us at times when the taxi is in the road blocking traffic and the driver can't understand "estacion de autobus" and instead only knows it as "terminal de autobus". Glad we got to block traffic for 5 minutes while we figured that out! The other puzzling development is now we are using USD. No more fancy math as we try to figure out what this would cost at home. Now we know. But no matter the currency, we are still getting ripped off. Tourist prices exist no matter the currency.
We enjoyed a few days in Cuenca, definitely a city we could have enjoyed for a lot longer. We stayed in a fantastic AirBnB that was our own loft. Our favorite part was the kitty that would jump all over and beg for us to bring us with her.
We can't wait to explore Banos for the 5 whole days we are here. Today we are off to hike and more photos will be up when we get back. Otherwise here are the photos we have taken this far!