The next morning we discovered that our host had left fresh bread out for us on our porch. We enjoyed a great breakfast with a wonderful view. Over breakfast we discussed what we wanted to do for the day and how we wanted to get back to Quito. We decided that we needed to see the Treehouse swing at the ‘end of the world’ and wanted to do a zip-line. Traveling back to Quito on the bus was tempting due to the cheap price. However, we would still need to take a 45 minute taxi ride from the bus station and risk having our bags swiped the whole journey. In the end, we decided to spend a bit extra and have Roberto take us for the 3.5 hour trip.
We called Roberto to pick us up for the day and negotiated to have him drive us to all 3 destinations for $110. The first stop was the swing at the end of the earth. The road leading to this spot was long, steep, and rough. This was the best view we had of the city of Baños. The swing was a breathtaking experience. While the view was dramatic, the pictures of swinging makes it look even more so. The best part about the swing was that it only cost $1 per person! Baños had the lower prices that we expected to be the standard in Ecuador.
Roberto then took us to the next spot. A zip-line that shot us down through a canyon over the Rio Pastaza to the bottom where they would drive us back up. The women working the zip-line spoke very little English. She asked if we knew Spanish and we shook our heads. Un poquito de Espanol. (A bit of Spanish) one of my few explanatory phrases for the trip. She proceeded to give us the safety briefing in Spanish as we cluelessly nodded our heads in agreement. We stepped into harnesses and put on helmets during the brief. The mood turned from excited to fearful as we climbed the platform and kicked up our legs into a sling to lay parallel with the line in a Superman position. She counted down and we pushed ourselves off, shooting down through the canyon, screaming the whole way.
At the bottom of the canyon we hopped into the back of a pickup truck where two men drove us back to the top. We got back into the car with Roberto and started our long trip to Quito. We enjoyed our time with Roberto because he encouraged us to test our Spanish skills and expand our knowledge. He knew just enough English to keep the conversation moving along. We made our way out of Baños driving north on the Pan-American through Ambato towards Qutio. We talked with Roberto for most of the trip, learning more about the area. Roberto dropped us off at our hotel near the Quito airport. We compensated and thanked him, then he was on his way. The Wyndham Hotel we stayed at was a very new construction. We cherished the comforts of modern amenities while settling in for the night.