On Monday morning we had to get ready to take the bus to Baños. We all woke up to breakfast served at the table and spent the time we had left with Andrea and Isabella. Marthita said her goodbyes the night before because she would leave before we would wake.
Once everyone was packed, we all crammed into Angelito’s car one last time and went on our way to the bus. Angelito apologized about the weather and the things we didn’t get to do but most of us will remember the things we were able to do and all the things we got to see because of him and his family. We were all still in the car when we saw the bus about to depart. Angelito honked the horn and we waved them down and the bus waited. We hopped out and began to unload our stuff out of the car and into the bus as quickly as we could. We said our goodbyes but Kjetil and I would return to Quito at some point towards the end of this trip.
The bus ride to Baños wasn’t too long, I was in and out of sleep on our way there so there was little I remember. I made some sketches of sights I saw on the way There is something very beautiful about looking at clothes drying on a clothesline.
When we arrived to Baños we checked into our Hostel Athene Moon. The couples each had their private rooms and Kjetil and I shared a room with one of the employees of the hostel from Israel and an older woman from South Korea. We unpacked our stuff and started walking around town to grab a bite. We walked into a restaurant that I was sold on because of entrees that cost around $5 but Niki and Franky found a spot where you had to take off your shoes and sit on the floor to eat. Luckily for me, the place they found didn’t open until 5 in the afternoon.
I would regret this later
Kjetil and I walked around town to explore. We went to Basilica Nuestra Señora del Rosario and sat down during a service. The choir was beautifully jarring.
Back in New York Kjetil mentioned how he wanted to get a haircut and we happened to pass by a barber shop. The guy that was working and cut our hair was Venezuelan and the shop was his brothers. He also taught us how to dance salsa choke. He taught us the basic step but he was really talented and could do more than we could keep up with.
In the evening we went to the restaurant Niki and Franky wanted to go to and the environment was cool but we were so close to the fireplace I was sweating throughout dinner. A couple Amanda met at our hostel joined us. Lauren was from the UK and her boyfriend Inti was from Mexico. Lauren works as a freelance writer and Inti used to work as a designer for video games.
Entering this trip knowing I would be here for three weeks I imagined there is a slight possibility a few of us get sick. What I didn’t predict was that it would happen five days into the trip. Kjetil was sick the first few days but this started before we left New York and he recovered pretty quickly.
On Tuesday morning I woke up in sweat. I felt nauseous and light headed and I had chills. I tried ignoring it for a bit while Kjetil and I went to find the rest of the group for breakfast. At the restaurant the chills began to feel worse and the trembling spread from my hands to the rest of my body. Franky, Amanda, Tony and Niki finished breakfast and went to go get ready because our original plan was to do the extreme sports (something this town is known for) before heading to our cousin’s farm. Kjetil and I were sitting at the restaurant and I asked a waitress for help. I explained to her my symptoms and she said she believed it was food poisoning and walked me to the ER. I waited under an hour and received a check up where the doctor determined it was food poisoning from the pork I ate at the restaurant I chose the day before. He gave me a prescription and when I asked how much everything would cost I was surprised that both the checkup and the medication were free. I told the group I would sit out from the sports but they decided it would be easier for all of us to go to our cousin’s farm earlier.