"Don't go chasing waterfalls
Please stick to the rivers and the lakes that you're used to"
I am not sure where the above quote stems from, but I definitely have a fascination with waterfalls! I have always loved being in and around water. There is just something about water gushing from rocks at a constant rate that keeps me wondering about God's work of nature.
I definitely did not listen to TLC's advice during my time in Ecuador. I actually lost count of how many waterfalls I saw during this tour. Some were up close, while others from a distance. Let's see how well I recount where I saw these various #waterfalls.
1. Peguche Waterfall
On our way to Otavalo, we stopped to take in this lovely waterfall, formed by the #Peguche river, stemming from Lake San Pablo. This waterfall was relatively easy to access, particularly contrasting the other waterfalls that we saw.
The waterfall is considered a sacred place for Otavalians because of their relationship with the natural environment, especially the mountains, water, and trees.
It took us about 10 minutes to walk (along uneven terrains without hills) from our bus to the waterfall. However, once you attempt to get up close and personal with the waterfall, it is quite slippery. Other people were brave enough to climb rocks in order to get that perfect photo. I was not about to do that, but my photo came out pretty well, don't you think? :)
2. Waterfall Name Unknown
This photograph was taken as we were driving from #Puyo to #Baños. We kept seeing waterfall after waterfall after waterfall on the hills. That makes sense considering that the city’s name (Baños) is referring to the fact that there are many "water baths." Too bad that I do not recall the name of this set of waterfalls!
3. El Pailon del Diablo or "The Devil's Cauldron":
This waterfall was absolutely no joke! There is a reason why when you first enter the entrance to the hike, you are greeted by this sign:
I felt deceived when people told me that it only takes 10-15 minutes to hike down the waterfall. It was more like 20-25 minutes! You would think - considering its complete downhill direction - that it would be easy. However, considering that the road is made up of lots of cobble-like paths that keep winding as it gets steeper, your goal during the hike is to maintain your balance. It definitely has its impact on the knees and calves! It is not until you get to the lowest part that you are asked to pay the entrance fee or show your wristband from the tour. As you then begin to approach the waterfall, you notice how soaked people are. You might be thinking to yourself “this can’t be so bad”. However, the waterfall is called the "devil's cauldron" for a reason. Instead of me trying to describe why that is the case, watch this video clip:
When you go down the first level of steps to see the #ElPailondelDiablo waterfall up close, it is not so bad. You feel as if you are getting sprayed with something slightly heavier than mist. Clearly by that leftmost photo, I was good! Being fascinated with rainbows, seeing two of them amidst waterfalls made my day. However, once you climb down another level or two, you are officially soaked! Having said that, there is no point to wear a waterproof jacket because it was clearly not protecting me from anything (evidence from photo on the right).
You also have the option to see the #DevilCauldronwaterfall from a different perspective further away on a suspension bridge.
Do NOT even get me started about the hike back! Although I was concerned about going down, I had to eventually climb back up! Little did I know that that climb was going to be the steepest hike I had done. I left myself a half hour to make it back to my bus at 12:30 and literally made it just in time! If you want to get a multitude of workouts simultaneously, hike back from this! You will most certainly get your cardio, your squats, your stretches. I HATE hills, so this was my worst nightmare, especially as I have a bad knee!
At a certain point, I could care less about the fact that people who doubled my age or little children were zooming past me. I tried to find ways for time to pass faster such as taking a break after each song that played on my iPhone. I could barely make it through an entire song without huffing and puffing! As I listened to each song, which lasted about 4-5 minutes, I figured that about 6-7 would allow me to complete the hike! That idea went out the window immediately as I began to think about how I was going to need an ambulance to come to me and bring me up in a stretcher. It would be impossible for them to lift someone with weight up this hike! "What would happen if an emergency were to occur? Why is my heart beating so fast?" These were all legit questions racing through my head.
What pushed me through was when an older Ecuadorian woman sitting next to me waves at me and goes, "vamos, vamos." Like damn, what a way to be called out! I was the last to get to the bus, but I got there! Clearly since I am writing this post today, I still alive! Visiting once is good enough for me.
4. Waterfall Name Unknown
I wish I knew the name of this but it looked awesome!