The morning after the bike ride to the jungle in Puyo, Harry and I rented the atvs’ for three hours at $20 each. We got a map (not that the map made any difference for me), and Harry listened to the directions while I dozed off. There is no way I would be able to find my way, even with a map. We headed off a few minutes later, only to head back again because my quad was slightly broken.
With a new ATV, we rode through the city streets of Banos for a few minutes until we reached the road that would take us uphill near the volcano. It was a lot of fun going fast on the dirt roads, and I almost flipped a few times going around the corners. The roads were covered in fog and stunning views of the huge, green rolling hills. If we rode any further to the right, we would have plummeted to our deaths because we rode next to cliffs that dropped thousands of feet.
We continued onto a level part where we rode through deep mud. This part of the ride is like something every little kid dreams of, riding completely off-road at high speeds with mud flinging all about.
We made it to roads paved with rocks which made it easy to go full speed. At this point, my thumb was getting extremely tired of pushing the gas (its controlled by continually pushing a button with your thumb) and it ended up cutting into my skin. During the ride, we rode through some small villages and a few small towns. The largest town had a typical plaza where we rested and I filled up my gas tank.
We finished by riding mostly downhill until we made it to the highway which was a fast and easy ride back, although scary. The cars and buses passed us nearly half a foot away. Without side view mirrors, we were not able to tell until they were in the middle of passing us.
We finally reached Banos, covered in mud and dust, after a fun three hours. I went to the hot springs for a few hours to relax and rest my aching body. We ate dinner and relaxed in the plaza, discussing our views on traveling and Ecuadorians.
We caught us a bus back to Quito in the morning and stopped every 10 minutes in all of the little towns, picking up and dropping off many passengers. I shared my seat with at least 10 different Ecuadorians. Unfortunately, one of them smelled awful and was left a trail of her grey hair on me and in her seat when she left. We made it back to Quito about four hours later and got some lunch nearby our hostel, Crossroads.