Baños, Ecuador

Baños from the Bellavista Viewpoint

View of Baños from the Bellavista Viewpoint

We’ve been in here for 2 weeks now. The longest we’ve ever stayed in a place. And the crazier part? We now have a routine. We have English classes to teach and children to supervise. We have Spanish classes to go to. We’ve been busy.

It has been nice having a little structure in our day. And Baños is such a cool little town.

Touristy? Absolutely. On weekends local and foreign tourists come in droves to party and to do a few of the 1000 things the area has to offer.

It’s the kind of town where you can go canyoning in the morning, go rafting in the afternoon, and end the day with a vegan Thai curry with extra seitan for dinner complete with a an alfalfa smoothie before partying all night long.

It’s the kind of town where I feel safe walking by myself at night – except from the danger of stepping on the numerous dog poop piles on the sidewalk.

It’s nice to finally feel like you have a social group again – the constantly changing faces of a backpackers’ life can be draining. Now we actually have the time to remember who is who, as opposed to referring to someone as ‘the tall German from the room by the kitchen’.

And we finally got ourselves a cheap phone with local number.

Oh yeah, we’re one of the cool boys now.

We love it so much we might extend our stay here even after our volunteering stint is over. For how much longer, this is where Jack and I differ. While he’s content leaving our bags unpacked for a little bit longer, I’m already feeling the telltale sign of an itchy feet (usually in the form of ‘accidentally’ spending the whole afternoon reading about a place far, far away – how does Romania sound?).

So, we don’t know what we’re going to do or where we’re going next. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there. For now, things are easy and life is good. There are classes to teach and classes to go to. There are canyons to explore and mountains to climb. The people are friendly, lunch is $2, there’s real coffee, and the sceneries (when it’s not raining) are awesome.