We’ve had a few days of awesome adventures here in Banos. After managing finally to pull our hungover-selves out of bed a few days back we headed out in the afternoon for some canyoning, which was fun, amazing and freaking FREEZING. We started out by driving about 15 or so minutes out of town and then hiking for half an hour up a mountain (not so much fun wearing full length wetsuits, jackets, harnesses and helmets).
After reaching our starting spot in the middle of the forest, we had a 5 minute safety introduction (lean back, don’t panic) and abseiled our way down our first waterfall, about 10 meters down in the middle of the falling water. We abseiled down about 5 or 6 waterfalls in an amazing setting, the tallest of which was about 20 meters. We were surrounded by rock walls covered in green moss with waterfalls pouring down everywhere. Our guide was amazing – fun, friendly, and great at his job. He followed us down after we’d each made it down safely and on one wall he literally ran face first down the rock face. He gave us the team name “Los Chuchaki’s” (The Hungovers) and would shout out LOS CHUCKAKI’S!!! after each waterfall. Such a fun afternoon.
Yesterday morning we went white water rafting. We headed about half an hours drive outside of Banos and set ourselves up next to a very brown, very fast-running river. After our safety instructions (don’t lose your $40 paddle) and waiting an hour for our other guide to show up (legend with very valid excuse), we jumped into our rafts and set off down the river. Within about 50 meters we saw something floating down the river right next to our raft… turns out it was a dead dog – apparently the rivers are really high at the moment and sweep away anything in their path. At one point as we went over a rapid the dog was at risk of getting thrown into the raft… if that had of happened I can guarantee that I would have thrown myself out of the raft. The river was running so fast that the rafting only lasted about 45 minutes and we managed to make it down with only two people falling overboard – not Pete, Nem or I, I’m proud to say.
Still filled with energy, after rafting we decided to head to another zip lining place just outside of town. This place, Puntzan, has 6 ziplines that go through the tree canopy, over rivers and past waterfalls. The shortest zipline is 150 meters and the longest is 550 meters and about 70 meters up in the air. If that wasn’t enough, they encourage you to do the ziplines upside down, superman style or butterfly (upside down and arms out) – you really put a lot of faith in the harnesses. The setting was absolutely beautiful- the sun had come out and you could see the mountains covered in cloud in the background on each zipline.
Today we’re off for another day of adventures- hiring little ATV buggies to head up the mountains and check out the waterfalls, eating guinea pig for lunch – a local delicacy – and then heading off to bungee jump 100 meters off a bridge (and hoping that we don’t see the guinea pig again in the process).
I don’t have any photos of any of our latest adventures as we don’t have a waterproof camera. So here’s some pictures of other people doing them – you’ll have to use your imagination. You can also see a video of the zip lining here.