I decided to stop in Baños because it was about halfway between Lago Agrio and Cuenca. People had told me it was nice, and I found an opportunity to write a review for a hostel in exchange for accommodation. But I really didn’t care much for the town.
When I arrived via the night bus from Lago Agrio, I was really surprised to find an Ecuadorian-Danish café right in the center of town! I knew I had to head there for breakfast. Plus, the day before I got an email from the Danish tax office saying my 2011 statement was ready. The Dane inside could help me understand what the statement said.
Baños is famous for its nature. There are waterfalls nearby, a volcano, thermal baths, hiking and rappelling opportunities, and more. I wasn’t terribly interested in the nature options. They are usually expensive and up until now I think I’ve experienced all of these things in one way or another.
I planned to relax in Baños but it was kind of forced upon me. My first day there I relaxed because I was tired after two consecutive nights of night buses. The next day I explored and enjoyed the day, but I could tell my stomach wasn’t very happy. The third day, which was supposed to be my final, I spent hours in the bathroom.
I was visited by an old parasite friend, one I met in Honduras, called Giardia, probably via a contaminated cook’s hands preparaing my food. It was horrible. I was supposed to leave the fourth day, but I ended up staying a day longer because I couldn’t ride a bus for 8 hours down to Cuenca in such a condition.
Below are some pictures of Baños.
For whatever reason, I gravitate toward Mexican food when I get sick – especially nachos. Maybe it’s because it’s a simple food that’s salty, but below are the nachos and amazing fruit pancakes I ate in Baños.
While in Baños I finally saw a doctor about a problem that had been festering for a couple weeks. I had some kind of growth under my big toe that hurt when direct pressure was applied. I could walk fine 99% of the time and I thought it would go away naturally.
But it didn’t. So he gave me some anesthesia, took out a razor blade, and chopped it off! Nice! He said it was a splinter or some foreign object. He showed me what he cut off and I didn’t see or feel anything other than skin. Oh well. Problem solved nevertheless.
I just thought I would point out that Baños means baths or bathrooms. I suppose it refers to the thermal baths heated by the volcano, but I’ll always remember Baños for the hours of agony I spent in the bathroom there.