A Great Vacation: Part 1- Ambato and Baños

Baños, Ecuador

Baños, Ecuador

If you read our blog entitled “Lessons and Rewards” you would know that Elena and I have been hoping for a break, and that our visa will be running out in April, so we will be heading back to the states. We have enjoyed our time here, and know that when we return to the US we will be looking for the next opportunity to expand our service, but we are not really sure what that will entail. With that in mind, we decided to take a little time, and explore this great country we live in, as we are not sure if, or when we will return to Ecuador.

Chimborazo- the tallest mountain in Ecuador at 20,564 feet- as seen from Ambato

Chimborazo – the tallest mountain in Ecuador at 20,564 feet – as seen from Ambato

DSCN0145Our first stop was the city on Ambato. We know a couple of pioneer sisters that live there, the had moved out of our congregation here in Loja right after we moved in. They had asked us to come visit several times, so we decided to take them up on it. After our meeting Friday night, we took the overnight bus to Ambato. Saturday morning we enjoyed service with the sign congregation there, and explored the city a bit. Our friend Andrea took us to a nice garden that overlooked downtown, and the neighbouring mountains.

Elena with Karen and Andrea

Elena with Karen and Andrea

The next day we enjoyed the meeting with the local congregation. Like most of the friends here, the congregation was extremely warm, and welcoming. That evening Andrea, and Karen had planned a congregation get-together at their house. This party was a lot of fun with many planned skits and games, and plenty of dancing!

The real fun began Monday morning. We made the girls an American breakfast of “French toast”. It was a big hit to say the least! After that we got on a bus and headed to Baños. Baños is a small touristy town that sits at the foot of an active volcano, on a river that runs toward the amazon. There is all sorts of things to do there, from rafting to hiking the many waterfalls, from starting a journey into the amazon, to enjoying the thermal baths, and many even choose to climb the afore-mentioned

The February 1st Eruption of Tungurahua as seen from Karen and Andrea's house in Ambato

The February 1st Eruption of Tungurahua as seen from Karen and Andrea’s house in Ambato

volcano, Tungurahua, arguably Ecuador’s most active volcano. We actually were afraid we might not be able to go to Baños because about two weeks before our visit the volcano had a small eruption. Mostly smoke and ash, but a small amount of lava came out, and they closed down the road to the town.

But thankfully when we arrived in town a few weeks later, the volcano had been quite, so we were able to head into town. When we noticed the dried lava flow on the side of the mountain, we knew we had arrived!

This is the only picture we were able to get of Tungurahua while we were in Baños

This is the only picture we were able to get of Tungurahua while we were in Baños

After walking through town we grabbed a bus to a waterfall the girls knew about. It took another half hour or so, and we passed some waterfalls we could see from the road, and I wondered why we didn’t stop. We finally got off the bus, and headed on a path into the jungle. A half hour later we came upon one of the most amazing waterfalls we had ever seen.

Pailon del Diablo

Pailon del Diablo

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“Pailon del Diablo” is an amazing spot that we knew nothing about. We were so thankful that the girls picked this spot for our day.DSCN0290

After enjoying the waterfall we went back to town for a late lunch, then decided to head over to the thermal baths. We weren’t able to get in till near sundown, then we tried the baths on the lower level. The water was near a burning temperature! We tried several times to get in, but it was just too hot! One of the beat faced regulars told us that the water was 113 degrees. We left for the bath upstairs, far more crowded, but far more tolerable.

The thermal baths

The thermal baths

Sharing a bath with 30 strangers is a unique experience, not to mention the waterfall behind us, the beautiful mountains, the small town below, and the sunset. But soon we remembered just how dangerous this tranquil place could be. Although we couldn’t see Tungurahua (a smaller peak blocked our view from that perspective) we were soon reminded that she was there, as she let out a poof of smoke!

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What a day! But believe it our not, our vacation was going to get even better!….DSCN0289 DSCN0279 DSCN0264

We had to crawl up this tunnel to get to the waterfall

We had to crawl up this tunnel to get to the waterfall

The whirlpool at the bottom of the tunnel
The whirlpool at the bottom of the waterfall

Elena and Karen in the tunnel

Elena and Karen in the tunnel

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4 thoughts on “A Great Vacation: Part 1- Ambato and Baños

  1. Oh how I wish we were there with you. How amazing is Jehovah’s creation. I look forward to the day when we will be in perfect health to visit every part of this marvelous earth. So glad you can see and appreciate the beautiful things Jehovah put here for us to enjoy. What an artist he is!!!

  2. Thank you for sharing all your wonderful adventures over these past months. And for introducing us to friends we have not yet met in person. Safe trip home. See you soon. 🙂 Marilyn

  3. What a great experience you have been blessed with and although you don’t know yet where Jehovah will lead you know that He has and will continue to use you in the advancement of true worship!

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