26.10.2012 - 27.10.2012 21 °C
Left early next day to make the next leg of the trip to Rio Verda (15km from Banos) and were greeted in Coca with the sight of the truck which no one thought we would see again. After leaving the truck in the middle of the road the guides managed to drive the truck with no clutch back to the nearest town and had a new gearbox put in and some new electrics (due to the burning and melting), it appears the bolt in the clutch sump had sheered off causing the fluid to leak over everything hence the catch fire. Fun times.
Arrived after a very long drive of 13hrs to a little camp ground outside Rio Verda, put our tents up at 1am and crashed. We originally had 3 nights here but due to loosing one night to mechanical issues we have lost a night here to get back on schedule.
We decided on a trip to Banos was in order and the options to get there were local bus for 50cents or just jump in some random dudes car, so we jumped in some random dudes car, well ute, and drove into Banos. It is pretty fun to sit in the tray of a ute driving through tunnels dug into the hillside whilst observing the scenery. We decided to pay the driver our 50cents saved from the bus fare since it was worth it.
Banos is an interesting little town with a couple old churches dominating the town and is located at the base of an active volcano. We did inquire about hiking up it but it turns out to be a 2 day trek and the Refugio at the top was destroyed in the eruption in 2006 and locals say we cant go there anyway as its too dangerous. So we ended up hiking up a hill (part of the Volcano) to a lookout named Bellavista with views over the town only to find not only a lookout but a shop serving beer and icecream. No coke though, the shop owner has some sort of protest against coke which disappointed me no end.
Walked around Banos for a bit bought some Taffy (like rock candy/toffee) which the town is famous for, enjoyed all the marching bands playing throughout the place which we think was some festival for the Virgin Mary of Holy Water (or similar). Also watched one of the girls jump of a bridge and do a bridge swing which was pretty game of her considering the high winds and dodgy looking setup. That's about all we had time for and some much needed laundry.