Today I had the pleasure of riding an Ecuador Bus between Quito and Baños. I was actually dreading the experience because after spending so much time in Asia, I was expecting the same Asian minibus experience with 21 people packed into a van designed for 12… I found out however, that this was not the case in South America, and riding in an Ecuador bus, is not actually a horrible experience.
After arriving from my amazing time in the Amazon to Quito, I took a taxi from the International Airport to the Quitumbe bus station. It took about an hour and as it is in south Quito, it was $35. Once I got to the station, I had to find the booths that were selling tickets to Baños:
My guide at the lodge told me to take the Baños Express buses because they had the best buses and as it was 1:10 in the afternoon and the next bus left at 1:30, it worked out perfectly.
Quitumbe station has food and beverage venders in the lower level so I ran down there to get a snack and get some water and then I was off to find my bus. It was a bit confusing because the ticket said Bus No 6, so I went to row 6 at the Bus Station, but it was actually in row 28, apparently I missed that part in translation 😉
Luckily the ticket person put me in Seat #4 which is right behind the driver, which is actually reserved for handicap and pregnant women, so there was a lot of room in front of me which worked out well because I could hold bag with my expensive items between my feet and not worry about someone stealing my things from under the seat as I have read horror stories about.
On the bus they were showing a movie in Spanish… well it may have been an American film voiced over but I’m a little behind in pop culture so couldn’t Identify it.
I slept for at least half the ride, as I was exhausted from being up since 5am to get out of the Amazon on time, but a few times I woke up and realized that along the way the bus driver would stop and different food/snack vendors would jump on.
I could see coming closer so knew I was getting close to Baños…
Finally at about 5pm, I arrived:
Baños is in a valley surrounded by mountains and the volcano. It actually really reminds me of my beloved Hood River. I’m super excited to check it out tomorrow and do a lot of the outdoor activities that it has to offer… mountain biking, canyoning, whitewater rafting, etc.
After I checked into my accommodation, I walked around the town to get a vibe for it. It’s all decorated for Christmas:
Also had dinner at the Swiss Bistro in Baños:
Tomorrow is a major town festival, so they are getting ready to celebrate that:
All in all, great experience today riding in the Ecuador bus. I’m not even dreading my return trip to Quito when I have to take another.