Quick side blog today to cover the amazingness of the waterfalls we visited today;

If you want to follow our whole journey through Equador, click here!

We left our hotel and headed out along the “Ruta des Cascades” (route of waterfalls), with the plan of visiting the famous Pailon del Diablo (Devils Cauldron). It quickly became clear that it was going to take longer than anticipated due to the many stops we had to make along the way for the others falls we were passing!
Not more than 10 minutes down the road and we were pulling in to take photos of these beautiful falls.


It also was extraordinarily hot; don’t get me wrong, after freezing my butt off yesterday (blog post here!), I was happy to be hot! Realizing that we were going to be hopping on and off frequently we went against our usual rule of wearing jackets, pants and boots and rode free; helmets were kept on of course!

The road was full of tunnels, a pet hate of mine. I will never understand why it rains in tunnels. Surely tunnels should be dry?!?! If water gets through doesn’t that weaken the structure. I know Iain keeps explaining it to me, but I just don’t get it! Anyway, I had to suck it up if I was to see the falls I wanted to 😉

Having passed it by the first time, we had to make a u-turn and try to find it again! We have discovered that things are not really well sign posted in Ecuador! Thats how we missed the first falls I’d planned to visit on Day 2. But here we were. One of my most anticipated days of the trip, along with our visit to the Laguna Azul a few days ago. It was happening!
Can I just note that attractions in Ecuador have been surprisingly cheap and commercialized. We paid $1 to park and only $1.50 each to see the falls! There were a few gift shops and beverage/ice cream places, but nothing on par with the hyped up western tourist attractions.

Although, you did have to pay 50c to use this rather salubrious washroom!

Expecting a hike of an hour, we headed off……down, down and down (trying not to think of the way back up again!)

After just 25 mins, we got our first glimpse of the water…

A little further on and we saw it in all it’s glory! The power of the water was astounding.

There were stone steps that you could take to get a better angle and see on down the valley. A little precarious, but worth it; we got drenched!

Also, the pics, you can see that there is a rope bridge further up the valley; I can only imagine the fantastic view that could be seen from there BUT it wasn’t for me. To reach it you would first have to crawl through this small space for a while 🙁

I did conquer another great fear of mine though. It was turning out to be a brave day of fear confrontation for me!
This rope bridge spanned the valley and gave us a chance to look all the way down the valley, get some good pics of us together and enjoy some photo bombers!

  

  

After spending a good while just taking in the wonder of these falls, we began the looooong, steep hike back up again, feeling thoroughly exhilarated.

 

 

 

 

But hang on……if you thought that hike was steep, lets see what the next falls had to bring; Cascades de Machay.
Again we missed the entrance the first time! Very understated sign and really, just a cafe at the side of the road, with steps that head off down the side! STEEP steps that headed off down the side…

Just as we were beginning to wonder if the going back up again part was going to be worth it, we turned a corner to see this sight……….

…..and another dang rope bridge!
Dang, this day was testing my boundaries 🙂

Once again, I pulled up my big girl pants and made it over the bridge where we soaked in the energy of the falls and gathered strength for the long walk back up!

These Teva sandals have been amazing; very comfortable for hiking and climbing all those steps. They’re durable and light for packing too!

At the top, we rewarded ourselves with a good cold beer and rested a while before heading back in to town 🙂

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