The weather isn’t as bad as predicted as we leave Riobamba with its Chimborazo and head east into the mountains. On a small track we drive through a narrow valley with high walls next to us along the Rio Pastaza at the foot of the Tunguhuara volcano. There are so many volcanoes in Ecuador that you always have one in your immediate vicinity.
Most of these volcanoes are also still very active. The Sangay last erupted in 2020.
Day 5 Without a Breakdown
We leave the Panamericana and are on our way down the mountains. However, we will turn back. The detour will take us to Baños and a fantastic valley full of waterfalls. First we reach completely different unique waterfalls, not created by nature but by man: the Cascadas las Caras Pelileo.
Water that is particularly rich in minerals leaves the mountain here and splashes into the stream of the gorge. The inhabitants of this patch of earth have built a small park at this point and equipped it with a lot of imagination.
The water flows down the mountain in small stairways carved by the hands of the people with the mud of the minerals. In the end, large heads were formed, from whose eyes and mouths the water flows into the creek.
Everywhere I notice faces in the walls and on the floor. I also notice petrified tubes under the forest floor that look like roots of the plants above. It’s a remarkable place.
Unfortunately, there are heavy fires in the area again. What looks like low clouds from another valley from a distance are dense clouds of smoke when viewed up close. A whole slope is on fire.
We see a police car with two officers who look at the whole thing. But nothing is done.
In the next valley we reach Baños, which is as touristy as it is beautiful, with its archaic gods.