December 30, 2011
I had the free breakfast downstairs and then relaxed in hotel room for awhile.
It was around lunchtime when I went out for walk with the idea that today will be a day off to do nothing and relax here in town and then figure out how to get to Banos tomorrow.
This part of town is filled with restaurants and auto parts stores. While passing by one I noticed rags for sale, I need a new rag to clean my chain. I also noticed a Ducati motorcycle model in the window too. I bought the rag and the man could speak English, he also likes Ducati motorcycles. I told him next time I may get a Ducati touring bike to do a trip like this with! He was very interested to hear about my bicycle trip and after walking away I had a renewed enthusiasm in me and decided not to take a day off and I will go to Banos today. For some reason I just felt like I really needed to go there today and this brief encounter altered my path for the day.
One thing I have noticed is that I see "America" and "Americano" everywhere here. What an interesting concept to think they are Americans here. In the United Stated we hear "Be American, Buy American". Does that include all Americans?
After eating lunch I went back to the hotel and explained that I wanted to go to Banos. I was directed to the proper corner to wait on and found my way there. There was a young man who could speak a little English which was helpful. We waited for the correct bus to come by and after almost an hour one of the Banos buses goes by and was already full, no more room. We waited another 30 minutes and it started to rain so he said "we get taxi". He waved down a taxi and both of us got a ride to the terminal for $1.50 each. The bus is only $1.00 but it was worth it to get to the terminal where it will be easier to catch a bus. We arrived and there was a Banos Express bus waiting. I was very appreciative of the young man that helped me navigate my way through the system and find my way to Banos.
When I arrived I checked into a hotel, checked my messages and found a message from Inga, she is in Baños with Furio, what a coincidence. She gave me the name of the hostal and said it was in the center of town. There are only about 3 hostals per block in this town so it was not all that easy to find it. This is very much a tourist town and walking around I immediately felt culture shock. There were way too many foreigners and too much blonde hair everywhere! It seemed like the foreigners out on the street were outnumbering locals. I felt a bit out of place even though I'm a foreigner here myself.
I found the hostal and Furio was there and Inga had gone out for awhile. We sat had a cup of coffee and then I switched hostals to this one.
In the evening I was thrust into an international community, French, German and Italian all around me. I was able to communicate very easily since everyone knew English.
Furio cooked spaghetti for the three of and he made sure I had a lot to eat!
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