Playing Americans in Trujillo, Peru

Big cities are never quite our things.

We’ve been on the road for 4 months and the number of big cities we can safely say we’ve explored is very few. There were those 3 days we spent in Medellin. The 1 day spent in Quito.

So safe to say that for the 4 months we’ve been traveling in South America we never had the opportunity to enjoy big city stuff. Things such as concerts, museums, and the hustle bustle of a city life.

Things such as shopping malls. Western style shopping malls.

Things We Did in Baños That Didn't Kill Us

Baños is known as Ecuador’s center of extreme adventure activities. You can do anything here as long as it involves climbing up stuff and falling down stuff.

And if it involves water and volcanoes, it’s even better.

We felt right at home there.

Here are some of the things we did that we’ve survived:

Where Have All the Hippies Gone?

Handsome Vilcabamba main square and church

Apparently they all ended up here in Vilcabamba.

I’ve never seen so many old people and tie dye-clad people – sometimes they’re the ones and the same – since… Well, never, actually.

Vilcabamba is experiencing some sort of gringo boom, it seems like. It’s especially popular with the retired folks. We came to Vilcabamba on our way to Peru from Baños. We didn’t really know what to expect – but surely we didn’t expect a town overrun with expats and tourists.

The Best of Baños

Having stayed in Baños for almost 2 months, both Jack and I have discovered some places that quickly became our favorites. We’d love to share them with you.

Taking A Break From Hostel Living – Come See Our $7 Apartment

We stumbled across this apartment when we were trying to help our friends, Miin and Neil, to find an apartment here in Baños.

The guy quoted us $25 per person per week to this 3 br apartment right in the center of the city.

(You should’ve seen the face of the wife when she found out – she knew she could’ve charged us more.)

It comes with cable TV, free WiFi, and hot water. And we even have hot water in the kitchen – the first we’ve ever had in South America.

Ingapirca, Not Quite Blown Away

Ingapirca ruin, Ecuador

In case you’re curious, we’re still in Baños, Ecuador at the moment. We’ve been here for 5 weeks. Don’t worry, the end of this week we’re really, this time for real, going to move on.

A couple of weeks ago, I left Jack behind in Baños while a girlfriend and I made a weekend trip to Cuenca.

On the agenda: girls-only time and visiting Ingapirca.

Unfortunately, for my first Inca ruin ever, Ingapirca turned out to be only mildly entertaining.

Postcard from Galapagos

postcard from Galapagos

We had a plan to send postcards to our families back home from the places we’ve visited during our around the world trip. But not until Galapagos did we finally get a chance.

It was interestingly hard to come up with something to write about knowing there’s no ‘Ctrl-Z’ button to save us if we make a mistake. We couldn’t remember the last time either of us has written so much using pen and paper.

The Quirky Museum in Baños: The Dead and the Decaying

Museum in Baños

We’re on our last week here in Baños. It’s hard to believe that we’ve been here a month. It’s sad to think that soon we’ll be leaving our newfound friends behind and once again we’ll be facing the unknowns and the unexpected that our travel will bring.

We’ve spent our month here in Baños wisely, we think. We’ve volunteered our time working with the kids of Baños (more on this later) and both Jack and I have improved our Spanish by taking private lessons. We now know how to express our confusions in words other than mute blank stares (boo yah!).

Our 7 Links and A Small Personal Update

Valle de Cocora

We were recently nominated by the couple behind 1000Fights and Philinthe_ to pass on the torch of this 7 Links Project: a chain-letter-between-bloggers sort of game.

What is this 7 Links?
The nominated blogger gets to pick 7 of their old posts that fit within a given category such as ‘The Most Beautiful Post’, ‘The Most Popular’ etc – you’ll see.

The idea is bring to light some of the old and buried posts. The nominated blogger then gets to nominate 5 other bloggers. Simple enough, right?