I’m enjoying my few days in Baños, particularly the famous hot springs and baths. I expect my fellow hostellers are pleased about it, too. But today I struck out into the countryside for a spin on a hire bike. For $7 I got a surprise – an MTB that was actually big enough for me. Even more surprisingly, the mudguards were secure, the tyres had tread, the brakes worked and the wheels rotated. That’s not always the case for South American hire machines.
The standard route everyone does is east out of Baños, along the main road, for two very good reasons. One, there are signs advising cars to ‘Share the Road’ (pic), along with a picture of an unnecessarily detailed full-suspension MTB…
To get back to Baños, along the 25km of uphill, there’s an easy way out (pic): lots of vans that take you and bike there for $2. I took the easy way out. The van ride is fast and bumpy, which is why everyone is blurred. It’s not because the effort of cycling made my camera hand tremble.
Add to all that a lovely breakfast in the local market, two lots of custard apple smoothies from same, and an twilight dip in the thermal baths by the waterfall, and it was a rather nice day.