On our third and last day in Baños, we sought out one last adrenaline-filled-why-am-i-doing-this activity; Bungee Jumping. Before diving into this activity, we took a taxi up to the one place we were dying to see the most in Baños; Casa Del Arbol aka the Swing at the End of the World.
While there are several transportation options and guided tours to get to Casa Del Arbol, the quickest option is a taxi. The bus costs $2 RT, group tours are relatively cheap ranging from $5-10, and taxis are $10 each way. Sticking to our taxi-ing tendency, we hailed a cab first thing in the morning. Plus taking a taxi had its benefits; flexibility to come and go as we pleased, and avoiding a large group of people.
To our surprise, we were the first ones on site. And to our disappointment, it was extremely cloudy with no hope of the Sun coming out anytime soon, and we were greeted with a construction site of a new restaurant. While I understand the growing popularity creating business opportunities for locals, it took away the charm of the old tree-house. Nonetheless, we climbed up on the tree-house and took our time with the swing (and taking photos, of course).
Half an hour later, a bus full of teenagers started making their way to the swing. That was our cue to head out and move on to our last activity in Baños. It took us a while to hail down a taxi to go back into town. To our luck, one showed up around the same time as the bus. Higgs communicated with our taxi driver about a place to go Bungee Jump, and he knew just the place. By the time we made it down the valley, the rain had picked up.
The driver pulled off the road somewhere outside of Baños. We were expecting to jump off from the main Baños Bridge, but our taxi driver took us to another spot. We had a bus to catch so we took a chance on it. Once we settled on the price ($20), it was go time. There was a walk-way bridge that gave us the perfect view of the jumps; Higgs and I found a spot to see Corine take off. The river below was roaring, and that scared the bejesus out of me.
After Corine‘s jump, it was Higgs’s turn. The rain continued to downpour. The river continued to rage. And I, at that moment, chickened out of bungee jumping. I know, I know – but for someone who can’t swim, I simply couldn’t justify launching off the bridge, looking at the monstrous river.
See what I meant? And yes, you’re probably right – even if you are the best swimmer, that river would have most likely swallowed anyone. Oh well. I shall save my jump for a higher bridge, somewhere in New Zealand perhaps.
On our way back to Baños, we had our first experience with flooding and minor landslides. I was not exaggerating about the rain Baños had for the entirety of our stay.
We made our way back to the hostel to pick up our luggage and put on dry clothes. Along the way, we snagged as many treats as possible – bread, candy, sugar cane sticks, plantain chips…I mean anything Baños had to offer one last time.
It was time to catch our return bus to Quito. I enjoyed every second in Baños, and it will forever have a piece of my heart.