I honestly don’t remember why I decided to go from Quito to Baños de Agua Santa; I think it was just because it seemed like a vaguely interesting place to break up the long trip to Cuenca. Plus probably the eponymous thermal baths for my sick ass.
Acquiring this adorable shirt for my very very soon to be nephew(!) was worth it in and of itself, but it was actually a really neat place. Hella touristy, but like, (a) I am a tourist, and (b) I grew up in Daytona Beach.
And I went to the Casa de Arbol / Swing at the End of the World. Not to be confused with the Train at the End of the World, which I also went to in Tierra del Fuego, but that’s neither here nor there.
(Man, do I wish I had figured out what Dino Park actually entailed.)
So, the fucking funniest thing about the Casa de Arbol visit was that everybody got off the public bus, and the first few people saw these ropes going up the hill to the entrance and so just started climbing up, and literally like 75% of the bus just kind of shrugged and were like I guess this is how you get there:
So we got to the top, mostly at least partially mud-caked and out of breath, especially me, when someone, like … glanced slightly to the left and saw, y’know, the normal person path to walk up. Good job, team of strangers.
The second funniest thing about the Casa de Arbol is like when I was looking up info about it beforehand, how many people bitched and moaned about the cost of it. The entrance fee was … $1 USD. The bus was $2 round trip. C’mon.
Unfortunately it was very misty so I could not see Tungurahua, but even in the mist it was a pretty spine-tingly view. And because of the weather, there was basically only the one busload of people there, so instead of the hour-long wait for thirty seconds on the swing, we could all pretty much just go indefinitely.
My fear of heights raised some objections, but it was really cool. 🙂
(I realize that’s like fifteen nearly identical pictures in a row, but hey, it was neat.)
And the place itself was also cool, with some really pretty gardens, a random ziplines, and a restaurant in which I did not eat.
And, of course, a doggo.
Aaaand then me figuring out how to walk into a pharmacy and be like “uhhhh estoy enfermidad, uh, tu vendes … [gesturing vaguely at face] … masks?” prior to the 6-odd hour bus ride to Cuenca so at least people might be slightly sympathetic when I accidentally coughed at them.