I got to Nick’s on Friday morning, and left Tuesday morning and had a blast in between. That included visiting the nearby beautiful town of Baños, at about 1900m, an incredibly touristic city where you can do all sorts of outdoor activiites from rafting, to jumping off bridges, to ‘the swing at the end of the world’ which I’d seen pictures of from when Nick arrived went about a year earlier.
Since Nick’s visit, it has changed drastically. A lot of the charm (and danger) has now gone, as it’s been made much safer and touristified. Thankfully, with Nick being a local, he knew an even more ridiculous one. It was near his place in Puyo, and so after visiting a beautiful waterfall called Hola Vida (Hello Life), we hitched a lift to the nearby swing. It’s at the top of a cliff, and after swinging on it it has to be hooked up, because in it’s natural position it’s about 10m away from the edge and then it needs to be hooked with a branch to use it. That means, that if you swing on it, you have to jump off on the first swing back, or you end up dangling over nothingness with a rather big drop down a cliff to come.
Being an expert, Nick went on first, showing me just how easy it was. It wasn’t. It looked petrifying, so he went on it again. I reluctantly got on it, with much persuasion from Nick, and telling me to make sure to get off when it came back. I swung out, and it was as scary as it looked. By the time I swung back, Nick was there to grab me, but my legs wouldn’t move, and so started swinging back with Nick holding on and me shouting to let me go so he didn’t fall off the edge. The next time, I swung back in and was just about within reach, but still refused to get off, much to Nick’s frustration. A few swings later, I was dangling in the middle. 10 metres away from the edge. If Nick hadn’t been there, I’d have been kinda buggered. Thankfully, with his help, I eventually managed to get back to the side an dismount, with absolutely no desire to do it again.
Our stay in Baños was a much more relaxed one, going out to walk around the town, and then going with the people frmo our dorm room for a fine night out drinking the local alcohol of Canelazo. It’s got a hot cinammon base, and then topped up with the local vodka-like drink, making for a delightfully sweet drink where you don’t notice the alcohol, until after a few you’re falling flat on your face.