Sunday, 21 October 2012

Extreme sports in Baños

Banos was a wonderful small town catered for gringos wanting to get some adrenaline in their systems. Ecuador's extreme sports capital offered a wide variety of sports; we decided to try canyoning and bridge jumping!

Even if extreme sports isn't your thing, Banos was perfect as just a small town to explore. From the high altitude sickness of Quilotoa  we found Banos a great place to stay for 5 days.

The view from our bedroom balcony
We stayed in Princesa Maria which was a lovely, family run hostel mainly catered for couples which we highly appreciated after staying in some party hostels. The staff were so friendly and the hostel was really clean! Always a bonus for me! Highly recommend!

 On our second day, we tried canyoning with MTS Adventure Tours. The canyoning itself was about 2h but the whole session was from 8.30am-1.30pm and cost $25pp. This company also included a CD for free with video clips and photos of our descends.
Our canyoning crew
We had a small practise session at 8.30am on a climbing wall, just to get used to lowering ourselves with the rope. We then drove for about 20mins into the hills and then hiked up a fairly steep slope (in our wetsuits!) for 15 mins before we got to the waterfalls.

Nobody had any experience but it was fairly easy to lower down the falls with the rope, although I did slip on one fall and get caught underneath the pounding water...not so easy to get out of that! Harry made it look easy as he decided to walk down the falls face FIRST! I think I was more terrified than he was! He did this whilst also battling with a parasite.
I didn´t quite get the concept of avoiding the falls
That was actually quite painful!
The last BIG fall!

Harry was brave enough to walk down
Sadly Harry was ill for the rest of the time we spent in Banos with the parasite and a cold. So after 2 days in the hostel, I was getting cabin fever and what better way to get over cabin fever than to do a bridge jump?! Hey, if everyone jumped off a bridge, would you?? The answer was yes! It was amazing! ($15 plus $5 for a video).

I honestly have no memory of the fall, just being told to jump, the instructor then grabbing my ankles to flip me upside down (which freaked me out! I mean he could have mentioned it!). The jump was 40m although it felt MUCH higher over the railing! Scary to jump but totally worth it! Although I had whip lash for 3 days afterwards, I would still do it again!

After an adrenaline packed morning, we went to go visit a highly recommended site called Pailon del Diablo, which was an extremely powerful waterfall cascading into a plunge pool. To get there, we took a bus from the station heading for Puyo and told the driver we wanted off at Rio Verde ($0.50 bus, $1.50 entry to the falls).

At this site you can get really close to the fall, I mean you can literally stand behind it! You do get soaked so bring a rain jacket! To get behinf the falls you have to crawl under a cave to get to the other side. Harry perferted the Spiderman walk.

very little head room even for me!

The amazing Pailon del Diablo falls
Standing behind the get soaked!
STanding behind the

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