In this general vein, we set off to celebrate one of our friends' birthday with a bicycle trip to Banos.(The near one, not the one that's five hours away by car, or the other one, that's somewhere in Ecuador, but I'm not really sure where - yes there are three with additional names that keep them straight.) Apparently it's only an hour and a half bike ride, which sounds fairly pleasant and when one arrives in Banos, one can partake of the various thermal pools for which the town is named. (Banos = baths.)
The ride, for the most part was pleasant. (If you exclude the monster hill we had to go over to reach the town.) We mostly got to ride through bucolic country side with fairly little traffic and we even got to wave to our furniture as we passed near where it's being stored.
I've never been to Banos, at least until this little jaunt of ours with a group that I christened the Fellowship (a la Lord of the Rings). So once we cleared the HILL we cruised down the other side in to a pretty little town with a blue church and many thermal pools. Some of us decided to go to soak immediately, while others wanted nourishment. (A quick stop at an empanada vendor apparently did not fill the bill.) So Ron and I and a few friends (including the birthday girl), went in search of food.
We took a much quicker return trip, by returning via the main road, which might sound scary, but it was actually pretty good as it was mostly down hill and because it was Sunday the traffic was light. We followed all this up with a birthday party (and a rousing knock out tournament of table tennis aka ping pong) and a good time was had by all. Until next time!