I biked 45 kilometers.
And I didn´t die.
SO....yesterday (which was day 10....couldn´t blog about it yesterday cause there was no electricity in Banos) I woke up, did yoga, had breakfast with Lou, Pat, Bar, Kathryn & Duncan. Bar met the Australian couple while traveling earlier in the month, and they met up with us. Duncan has mountain climbing fever, so he departed after breakfast to summit the tallest mountain in Ecuador. Anyways, breakfast at the same fabulous place as the day before, and then we were off to pick up our bikes. The night before when we were at the baths, we fell into a conversation with a local Ecuadorian guy. He owns a place in town that organizes tours, canyoning, climbing etc., He told us that the bikes were 6 bucks...Bar refused, bargained and then just said ´Well, I am paying 5 dollars, and so are my friends. So have 5 bikes ready tomorrow for 5 dollars apiece¨ and that was the end of the conversation. You must understand my friend Bar, she picks a price that she´ll pay and she refuses to pay a dollar more...even if it means bargaining for hours!! hahaha. The next morning after breakfast we headed to Paulo´s place and there were 5 bikes sitting out front. We handed him 25 bucks, put on our helmets and we were off. He offered to ride part of the way with us, which was very nice...after all, I haven´t been on a mountain bike in a very, very, very long time....I only tried to STOP the bike about 10 times by peddaling BACKWARDS like I do on my grandma-bike at home! The beauty of the 60 km bike to Puyo is that a good majority of it is downhill, BUT there is also some not-so-inviting uphill inclines that are just unfriendly. I would be cussing up a storm, sweating to death, moving about an inch a minute, and then after 3 minutes of agony, I would coast for about 6minutes. We stopped once and climbed down to an epic waterfall, and several other short stops to just take a breather. Once or twice we had to get off and walk our bike, and once we had to peddle through a very dark, very scary tunnel. Bar´s bike broke half way through so she hitched a ride home, Lou´s chain popped off about three quarters of the way there, so we coasted a bit further and then called it quits. Afterall, we had been biking for 6 hours. We walked to the opposite side of the road and waited for a bus. Buses here will take anything...you will see live sheep standing on top of a bus...somehow tied down. Big cotton candy machines are loaded atop, and they certainly take bikes. We were picked up by a pickup truck though, and for about 30 minutes the 4 of us (kathryn, lou, pat and i) and our 4 bikes were crammed into the bed of the truck. Bar and I had decided earlier in the ride that we were going to make a big dinner that night...so when we got back she had already gone to the market. We set the table beautifully and made homemade salsa and guacamole, I roasted garlic in olive oil for dipping our delicious bread in, Bar made a huge huge delicious salad and I made some dressing...and of course, we made sangria. We also found some delicious whole wheat bread with walnuts which we ate with some dutch cheese and gouda. LIFE IS GOOD. Ben, a frenchman who was lucky enough to be placed in our dorm, was invited to dinner as our guest....and he couldn´t believe his eyes!! hahaha. We put some music on and their was a ton of candlelight (no electricity!) and we sat by our fire to enjoy our delightful meal. Afterwards, sore and full and exhausted, we all stumbled down to the hot baths to soak our sores away. Bah. I love it. I could spend hours at the hot baths just going from hot, to cold, to hot hot to hot to cold. hahaha. Now, at 6:30am, I am being bad and skipping yoga...trying to catch up on some internet time before Pat and I take our 10 hour journey to MONTANITA. I do NOT want to leave Banos, but I think that we have to...otherwise our 10 hour journey would be for one day at the beach, which seems quite ridiculous...and in another 4 days we will be flying to the GALAPAGOS. I´m pretty bummed to be leaving Bar...we´ve become incredibly close this past week, but shes one of those that I will remain friends with for years to come. Onward and upward to the BEACH!