I went white water rafting towards the jungle today! Class 3-4 for those of you in the know. We left at 9am and I got to know a group of people...2 Swedes, 2 Texans, 2 Canadians, and a fellow St. Louisian. It was amazing and so fun. The water was freezing and we all wore wetsuits to prevent any issues. At times, I heard loud noises and then realized that it was the rocks moving under the water from the strong force of the water. We never flipped over but there were a few times that I thought that we would...it was crazy!
I am enjoying my time away from the city and if....no when I return, I want to come to visit and stay in Baños for a while. The hostal that I am staying in is clean, cheap ($7 per night) and safe. This whole town feels safe and secure. A nice change from the events of this past week. Baños is a great hub for activities: hiking, mountaineering, cascade viewing, rafting, jungle tours, repelling down a canyon (tomorrow´s activity for me), biking, and hot natural pools of water. The city is at the base of a huge volcano, active and unable to be appreciated from the base. BUT there are tours to the opposing mountain for views of the eruptions at night. Yes...it is safe.
I return tomorrow to Quito if I survive the canyoning experience. My time here has become short and I wish that I could have done more stuff the first weeks here. The people you meet from within and outside of this country here are nice and interesting. I have met SO many people here volunteering as medical missionaries or on medical projects. It is actually QUITE incredible. It has been a fun and interesting adventure.