There’s a place that I long to be, away from here and all this misery. I am talking about a small gem, a town hidden high up in the Andes, in Ecuador. The weather is always perfect in there, it has the climate of eternal spring, meaning the temperatures in Banos never go below twenty degrees and rarely rise over thirty two degrees. I know because I lived there for half an year. Oh boy, how delightful were those six months spent in there.
It felt like being in a fairytale, as if time stood still and there was no reason to rush for anything. I guess that it was for the first time in my life when I did not feel stressed. Usually I am too busy, having a lot of projects going on, taking me all over the province, that I barely have time for my family. On a regular week I would spend about three days within the city and the rest on the way.
It’s funny that when I first arrived in Banos, all I wanted to do was to go around fast, discover what were the main attractions, go everywhere, see whatever was there to see. I did not expect to fall in love with this place. I went there for two weeks and ended up staying six months. Luckily my job allowed me to work remotely, otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to do it.
It was by mistake that I stumbled upon this lovely mountain town where life had a totally different pace.
When I got to Quito I went to a local car rental agency, and rented a car for the three weeks that I was going to be within the country. I always do that. I like discovering a country, a city, a new destination all by my self. I feel like driving allows you to see the real life of locals. Besides the convenience of stopping wherever and whenever, it also enables you to discover new hidden gems that are off the touristic map.
Most of the times, when I travel somewhere I have a look online at the places to see around my destination, but I rely more on what the locals would suggest me. They know better what is really worth being seen, what is pricy or a total waste of time. It’s surprising what one can do with a translation app on his phone.