October 11 – 15, 2012 – The kids had a day and a half off school – we decided that was a good opportunity to explore Ecuador! So, we headed to Banos de Ambato to visit with our good friends from Asheville, the Wagners.
Three buses and about 10 hours later, we arrived to the beautiful little town of Banos, which sits below the majestic towering active volcano, Tungurahua. The town fills with mostly Ecuadorian tourists on weekends and holidays to enjoy it’s beauty, thermal baths, and many types of adventure tourism (hiking, mountain biking, ATV’s, canyoning, bungee jumping).
We did not opt for the adrenaline rush activities, but had a great time with Bob, Carrie, Adam, and Benjamin. One of the first things we did was to hike up to the closest hot springs and enjoyed the mineral rich waters. Later, we walked to the zoo, and enjoyed the view of the river. The next day we hiked along the ridge surrounding Banos and enjoyed ice cream overlooking the town. Our last day we took a bus to a local indigenous market. Our kids had a blast with Benjamin and Adam, who are older and more mature, but who kindly played with and entertained them. The grown-ups were able to enjoy a nice dinner together in town.
It was fun to spend some time with the Wagners and get to see how they live firsthand. We have known them for some time, but it has been especially meaningful to share this overseas journey with them. We enjoyed comparing notes and swapping stories about our Ecuadorian experiences as well as talk with them of the future and dream about life’s possibilities. They are folks who live with integrity and faith, pursue their dreams and inspire us every time we see them!