Day 141: Banos, Ecuador
We decided instead of heading back to crime-ridden Quito we were going to return to Banos for a few days and take an afternoon bus before my mother and sister flew back to Canada.
None of us are very familiar with horseback riding.
My sister had never been on anything larger than a pony, my mother hadn’t been on a horse for ten years and I’ve only been on two horses, one of which was pregnant and moved very slowly.
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We returned to the tour agency from the jungle tour and asked if it was possible to get horses for beginners.
For only $15 there was a two-hour trek up a volcano so we signed up for the next morning.
The next morning we were greeted by our guide, who was very charming but did not speak any English, so once again I became the interpreter.
We also discovered that we were again on a private tour, which was great because we have discovered that we’re slow and it’s annoying for other people.
Oddly enough our horses seemed to be suited to our own group dynamic. My horse was the lead horse and was always in front.
My mother’s horse understood this hierarchy and always walked just slightly behind.
And somehow my sister had the youngest horse that was brash and tried to wiggle his way to the front, until my horse bared his teeth and tried to bite his face off.
And so it made for an interesting walk as we all tried to keep our horses under control.
Our guide, wanting to provide the full experience wanted to know if we wanted to go faster than the snail pace we were currently in but I assured him that we definitely did not want to trot and galloping was out of the question.
After 90 minutes we reached a resting spot and climbed down to a river formed by volcanic lava.
Our guide pointed out the volcanic rock and we had yet another face mask treatment, which is supposed to be great for your skin.
We took a quick break and some photos but our guide didn’t rush us even though we were at least 30 minutes behind schedule.
The way back was a wonderful view, the kind you wish you could capture but photos never do it justice.
So we just enjoyed the ride back and hoped that we would remember how spectacular it really was.
“The way back was a wonderful view, the kind you wish you could capture but photos never do it justice.”
oohhhhhh and looky here, about a week ago you were telling me how much landscape photography bores you! ;P
Looks like a fun experience. Banos was a great place. In retrospect I should/could have spent alot more time there to explore the surrounding areas.
I’m not real big on horseback riding, but I have to admit that looks like a lot of fun.
@Marc I stand by my original comment, it still bores me and it never pays off.
@David I’m not fussed about horseback riding either but it was a nice combination with the tour.
Every time I check out your site, you seem to be getting another facial. I think I’ll stay in the northern hemisphere, not much of a facial type of guy. Especially when there are horses near by.
Your blog didn’t capture the trill of coming down a mountain on horseback or manoeuvring down the centre of the street through traffic. I believe that Ryan said this was scarier than ziplining!
Sounds and looks like fun!! I rode a lot as a kid, but after a terrible experience in the Blue Mountains in Australia, have been a little wary of horses ever since. I better get over it since I’ll be going out to the Mongolian countryside soon!
OMG, what a fun experience! Hope your tush didn’t hurt too much afterwards? Did that help your skin btw?
Looking forward to seeing your Mongolian posts as I hope to squeeze it in.
My skin has been glowing for weeks after all the Banos treatments.
I think I would be like you and prefer to go slow and steady… how cool that you can find beauty treatments in nature like that.. what was that you used?
By the way, I could relate to your bio about going to France and getting the travel bug. I did the same at 16, living with a family in Southwest France. What an eye-opener to a lifestyle of cocktail hour every night, dinners that last like 4 hours, and in the case of my host family, topless sunbathing.
This time the mask was from the mud in the river that was formed by the volcano flow – so lava mud? It was a mustard colour and actually really difficult to scrub off but Banos was such a nice beauty break, after 5 months my skin was really starting to show signs of neglect.
Sounds like such a fun experience!
Horses and I don’t go along to well though, last year a horse kicked me right in my left breast – it was blue and purple for weeks 🙁
This was the scariest part of the trip! My horse was a brat 🙂 I really only wanted to go for a 10 minute horseback ride and not a 2 hour one!
could you maybe tell me the name of the Ranch or how you found the tour?
I’d love to gift my friend a tour like this, maybe even longer.
Most of the tours like this in Banos aren’t organized online, a number of travel agents in town offer a variety of tours and you simply walk in and book a tour. I’m sorry this doesn’t help more but you could also check out Urban Adventures by Intrepid as they offer a number of shorter tours like this.
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