A couple months ago, I visited South America for the first time…Ecuador, to be exact.

While there, I was able to visit the city of Baños with my cousins.  It’s a small city nestled in the Andean highlands and is home to some awesome views of Tungurahua, one of South America’s most active volcanos.  Okay, this going to sound extremely naive and stupid, but I was hoping for a bit of smoke and lava to spew forth from the crater while I was there.  Actually, I was assuming I was going to be able to see some action.  Oh, the naivety of a northern city girl, where all I have to worry about is an occasional tornado in a nearby county.  I burn with shame.  …I digress…


The day we left Baños, the sky was clear and the view of the volcano was perfect

Anyhow, a couple weeks after I returned home, Tungurahua started showing some activity.  And, yes, when I heard the news, I was quite disappointed that I missed it.  It truly would have been the visits of firsts.  First time in South America.  First time bungee jumping.  First time experiencing an earthquake (from the eighth floor of an apartment building).

There are about a million different tourist companies in Baños (intended exaggeration here…if you go there or you’ve been there before, you’ll know what I’m talking about).  So, my cousins and I saw a advertisement, which in essence was showcasing a place where we could see the volcano better.  We went up this mountain side.  On the top, there was a makeshift treehouse with a swing, and an older looking house with a few fenced in chickens.  The cloud cover was thick, but the swing was great entertainment.  Seriously, you swing over the side of the mountain.  Nice thrill, at least for the first few swoops over the hundreds of feet below.  I admit it, I screamed my first swoosh out.

The treehouse and the swing...and, yeah, those impenetrable clouds

The treehouse and the swing...and, yeah, those impenetrable clouds

Thank God, during our time up there, the clouds broke over the top of the volcano, so we could snap a couple of shots.  And then it was gone…

The top of Tungurahua

Tungurahua was visible only for a few moments

Oh, and I must say, our taxi driver was amazing.  He stuck around the entire time, in fact, I think he kind of enjoyed watching us and hanging around.  He was very pleasant and friendly.  Kudos to him for making our time up there even better!

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