From Cotopaxi to Baños we have to organize a pickup and driver. I’m still sick and can not ride my bike. So we make it to Baños in just two hours instead of two days. During the drive it goes up and down and I feel worse and worse. Marius looks out of the back window, but the bikes are so wedged in the back of the truck that they do not move at all. In Baños we rented ourselves in a hostel, where I immediately drop onto the bed. Marius gets something to eat.
Casa del Arbol
Later, we set off to visit some sights in the nearby mountains. Baños has more to offer than Quito. On top of a mountain is the Casa del Arbol, a tree house high above the valley, with a swing. As we arrive, the clouds hang between the mountains and you can not see the neighboring mountains or the valley, but within two minutes it clears up. It’s very crowded up here, and not without reason: the experience is spectacular.
It gets dark at 18:30, at the equator there are almost exactly 12 hours of daylight. We still have about 45 minutes and tell a taxi driver to just drive us where he likes it. It pays off, he drives us to an even larger swing, where you can fall about 10 meters into a precipice and then commute over the city. As we drive up there and I see the current victims sitting up there, strapped down with belts, my first thought is: Oh no, never! Marius looks at me with disappointed eyes and starts his best arguments: “Now we are here … Something like that will never happen again …” etc. So I overcome myself and put on belt and helmet. As I climb up the ladder, I wonder again what the hell I’m doing here. We are strapped on, the platform under our feet is driven away, we hang above the abyss. A jerk, and we’re in freefall, I scream. I feel as if all the atoms of my body are separated and reassembled, weightless and at the same time crushed by my own body from the inside out. We reach the highest point of our commute, I see the city hundreds of meters below and the sky right in front of me. It was probably not even a hundred meters, but my whole perception is distorted by adrenaline. It is terrible. It is awesome. As we commute back and forward again, I calm down and enjoy it.
When we arrive back on the platform, the taxi driver grins at us, knowing that he has given us a special experience. The full video is on Instagram.
Something always is wrong
In the night I wake up. Marius runs across the room. Now he is sick: He has bought a juice on a market in the afternoon and now has stomache issues. The South American food, and that starts with water, is not suitable for European stomachs. So we can not get on the bikes on Saturday.