Baños is a somewhat overly touristy place at the foot of Tungurahua, ideal for relaxing for a few hours in the hot thermal waters from the hikes, but all the quad rentals and tour operators are a bit too much for me. On a bicycle I roll down the perfectly paved “road of the waterfalls” towards the Amazon basin, I remember it as a bumpy unpaved road and ten years ago there were not yet three cable cars (powered by truck engines) at every waterfall to take tourists to the other side of the gorge…
I am all the more pleased about the active volcano Tungurahua. For the best view, I spend a night in Patate: A grey ash plume hangs over the volcanic cone, every few minutes a small ash cloud rises from the crater and is displaced by the wind, meeting the preceding little clouds to form a long ash cloud. In the evening, I see the erupting volcano from a different angle, even with blue sky! I was really lucky then, because a day later it was cloudy again and only a cloud of steam hung over the cone (cf. my book The Formation of Mountains).
Travelogue Andes 2010
The Formation of Mountains
Quito in the rain, caldera lakes and market in Otavalo
Trekking at Chimborazo