The trip to Banos over Thanksgiving was great! Thursday night before we left we had Thanksgiving dinner at Meghan's house which was really good. There´s some pictures of it on the link. We had everything we would at home and it was all homemade and really good.. I ate a lot. We got to Banos at about 2pm and it was a 3.5 hour ride on the bus. One thing I won´t miss is traveling everywhere on buses and taxis! Banos is a relatively small town but bigger than Mindo where we went on the last trip. It´s in a valley and at the base of an active volcano, Tungurahua. Actually its so active that after we left Banos on Sunday it had a small eruption... we missed it by a few hours. It would have been cool to see but they shut the roads down around Banos so we would have been stuck which would have not been good. And today it had another larger eruption and their evacuating more people now. While we were in Banos, there was a small earthquake in Quito on Friday night so we missed that to unfortunately.. it was small but it would have been cool to experience. Also in Quito on Saturday it hailed apparently so bad that the whole city was white and people were making snowmen out of the sleet and hail. Weird weather.. yesterday it was like 75 and perfect. Anyway when we got to Banos we rented small dune bugeys and a motorcycle. I got the motorcycle and the other four were in two dune bugeys. My bike was a 1990 something Suzuki DR 350 four stroke enduro. It sounded cool but it was a piece of junk.. the handlebars were bent, the back brakes didnt really work, the tachometer didn't work, and the front wheel had a slight wobble. We drove them along the road to different waterfalls and some small towns. The ride was awesome though, the whole time you follow a river so your in a canyon with mountains on either side. There were four tunnels we had to go through and the road winds back and forth around the mountain. We went off-roading once up a trail but there were people at the top so we went back down quickly.
Saturday we went white water rafting. It was really cool and crazy! We had a really funny guide so it made it a lot of fun. The river is a tributary of the Amazon and the stretch we took was a class 3. Some parts were pretty crazy and the guide usually aimed for rocks or the wildest rapids. Peter and Maggy fell off once but we never flipped. At some points he would let us get out and just float on our backs.. one time we went through some big rapids. The guide had a camera and we bought a CD of the pictures for 5 dollars.. some of the pictures are of the other group that went with us but they show more of the background. We started the trip by jumping off a 30 ft bridge into the river.. it felt like you were falling forever. Sunday we left at about noon and stopped at one town on the way home where they make everything out of leather and sell it. It made the trip home a lot longer so it was good to finally be back.
This week we have school all five days but this weekend is another long weekend because we get next week Monday and Tuesday off for Quito days. Quito Day is actually next week Tuesday but they start celebrating it this week. All this week there are bullfights and we are going tomorrow night. This is the first year that they can't kill the bull in front of everyone when their done so some people are upset about it. This weekend we might go to Meghan´s host dad´s farm 4 hours away. He has a chocolate farm there..he just sells the nuts and.. some other fruits.. but the farmhouse is only about an hour from the beach so we might go there to.. not really sure yet.
Link to Pictures.. there are some more of the soccer game and some videos: