We had a thoroughly lovely time in Baños, which is a very picturesque town surrounded by volcanoes, lush green countryside and filled with hot srpings and Swiss expats.

Really. It’s funny how the Swiss love to move to other places that are kind of the same as their country side, but where lax smoking laws allow them to light up in restaurants and bars ;-) We even saw a Swiss registered camper-van, presumably on some sort of ambitious drive-around-the-world trip.


One thing that we must admit about Baños is that it’s a “touristy” sort of place. That word has many connotations, and in our eyes mostly negative, but in this case is was a very welcome thing. Because it allowed us to spend a week sitting in jacuzzis and hot springs several times a day, eating great food in many and varied restaurants. All for prices that were, somehow, lower than the capital Quito.


As our voyage across Latin America has progressed, we’ve really come to appreciate good tourist infrastructure, even that if results in a place becoming a bit “touristy”. It’s not Europe, though, believe me.


A funny quirk was the prevalence of public toilets dotted around the (small) town. They were all labeled “S.S.H.H”, a name whose meaning is not easily imagined. Most toilets in Spanish-speaking countries are labeled “Baños”, and so of course we realized that the locals are a bit touchy about about so many toilets sharing the name of their town. For the record, SSHH stands for “servicios higienicios”.

Public toilets scattered all over town? Now that is tourist infrastructure!



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