One day in Banos, Ecuador Carrie and I got all pumped up on coffee and eggs for breakfast and then walked downtown to Geotours where we had a deposit down on a “canyoning”, a.k.a. waterfall rappelling adventure. For $30 each we got a half day on the ropes in the mountains southeast of town. They supplied us with all the gear we needed; helmet, wetsuit with jacket, and these dorky cheap shoes. (Why we didn’t just wear our Chacos, I will never know.) Our guide Jose spoke very clearly in Spanish and perfect English as well, but we try to always speak Spanish when we can. So we loaded all the stuff into a friendly town rent-a-truck and headed down the road toward Puyo. We went through two tunnels then made a quick left up a gravel road. There was some kind of a community road repair function going on that we seemed to break up only long enough for our truck to sneak through. We drove up the hill and over an old bridge then stopped at a shack along the ever -diminishing road. There was our changing room, a.k.a. some woman’s house whom we interrupted cooking rice over a fire she had built up against a large boulder. She had a perfect little kitchen set up on that rock, complete with machete.
We changed into our gear then walked up a trail that started across the street. It was kind of steep and awkward, sweating in wetsuits and slipping on the wet rocks in our dorky shoes. After about 20 minutes we could hear the water and made our way to the top of a beautiful series of cascadas. We watched closely as Jose tied up the rope system, hoping someday to mimic it ourselves. After practicing once we put our weight on the ropes and kicked and fell (a controlled fall) down the the first falls. We swung into the falls and held on as the water crashed into our faces. What a thrill! The highest waterfall was over 100 feet and we were able to try some tricks and bounce off the walls a little bit.
A short little clip taken with the waterproof camera:
The entire waterfall rappelling adventure lasted from around 9:30am until after 1pm. It inclueded lunch for some reason, so when we were dropped off in town Jose walked us to a sandwhich shop and we said goodbye to our personal guide. We had so much fun that now we really want to buy some ropes and go do it ourselves! We love Banos, Ecuador!
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