Arriving in Ecuador we carried on going straight from the border, to Machala to Cuenca.
It had a bit of a bad run with us, as we ended up only being there in the evening and in the pouring rain. Our first day we travelled to the nearby towns famed for their markets as it was a Sunday. Honestly we went because I wanted to go to the place based on the name, Sigsig, it’s glorious. The other two were Gualaceo and Chordeleg. All three were different and we pretty much wandered around the centres, visited the markets and tried even more food.
Baños was the place I think I was most looking forward to in Ecuador. Famed for its natural springs it is a bit of a destination for relaxation and basking. So we did. We both treated ourselves to embarrassingly cheap glorious massages, and I went a steal further and got a manicure and pedicure too, just because. We also did a hell of a steep hike up the surrounding mountains and then around the town, before finally ending in the baths.
In the baths there were three main pools and some plunge pools so we followed the crowd when we arrived and tried to go in the most crowded one. This was a mistake! The water was so hot it felt like climbing into a kettle, I think we managed ankles and no more. So we removed ourselves with dignity to the cooler pool, which was still pretty piping. When we were so hot we couldn’t bear it we chucked ourselves in the freezing showers. Feeling brave we faced the hot pool again and this time, a bit more acclimatised to the heat, we were successful. It was so hot that after a few minutes we moved to the plunge pool and just sat there. SAT, in the plunge pool. Even braver and still really hot we went for a swim in the cold pool. Finally, having experienced everything we left the baths and left Baños.