Sunday, March 30, 2008

Hasta Pronto

Ok, one more day to go then 18 some hours of travel time and we're back in Vancouver. Left you last in Banos where we took a tour of the waterfalls around Banos (very very scenic) and Shelley got to go bungee jumping, Jan went on a cable car over a waterfall and we travelled through the tunnels (approximately 8) around Banos. Banos is famous for its hot springs which we didn't attempt as we'd just got over our second Ecuadorian cold and didn't want to chance another one. Next time...right?

We also paid a taxi driver to drive us around the back side of Banos so we got a good view of the Tungurahua volcano and Jan and Brian even got to talk to a volcano early warning guy. There are half a dozen of them stationed in various places around the volcano with instruments that measure the heat, tremors in the earth and the like. They are all connected by radio and the fellow we visited spent a good hour explaining how the whole system works in great detail. They live a solitary life and don't get many visitors so he was overjoyed to explain everything even though he was talking to English speakers. Meanwhile, Shelley wandered around the mountain side yelling "Bri-an!" wondering where the boys went. Lost in Ecuador!

Then off on the bus (3 hours) to Quito where we managed to find a better hotel than the one we started off in at the beginning of our vacation. Yesterday we took a (2 hour) day trip to Otavalo where everything we'd purchased in Ecuador throughout our vacation was half price! The market was huge, selling everything from toothpaste to Ecuadorian tapestries to bra's. Otavalo has been the site of a barter market for hundreds of years and people come from all over Northern Ecuador and Colombia to sell their wares. There is also an animal market and a good food market so the boys enjoyed their last roast pig feed.

Today we ventured to old town Quito and were awed by the stunning architecture and visited the huge cathedral that we missed on our first trip. Brian and Jan actually saw a Cardinal conducting mass!

Looking forward to seeing you all. Hope you enjoyed our missives.

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