Friday, April 15: Puyo, Baños, and Patate

Our room at La Casa del Suizo
By Friday morning the torrential downpour had stopped although the lodge was still having to use its diesel generators as a source of electricity. After a buffet breakfast we headed down to the landing to catch a canoe ride back to where our bus was parked.

Breakfast buffet
Breakfast buffet
Heading down to the canoes
Heading down to the canoes.

Our bus ride to Puyo was delayed for about 15 minutes because of a herd of cows being driven down the road. We eventually reached Puyo and were taken to a workshop where they make balsa wood figures. The main shop had many items for sale including some rather crudely carved pieces of vegetable ivory.

Cows on the road
Cows on the road
Balsa workshop
Balsa workshop
Basement workshop
Basement workshop
Colorful balsa birds
Colorful balsa birds
Carved flowers
Carved flowers
Vegetable ivory
Vegetable ivory

We then drove through a rather prosperous valley with well stocked fruit stands. This is an area where there is a large hydro-electric dam.

Prosperous river valley
Prosperous river valley
Well stocked fruit stand
Well stocked fruit stand
Hydro-electric installation
Hydro-electric installation

This is El Pailon del Diablo or “The Devil’s Cauldron”, one of Ecuador’s most beautiful waterfalls and the gorge through which the stream flows.

El Pailon del Diablo
El Pailon del Diablo
The river's gorge
The river’s gorge

Making wooden crates
Many of the people in this area cut wood and fashion it into small wooden crates that are used to pack the citrus crops that are grown in this area.

Our next stop was in the town of Baños. Baños is noted for its thermal hot springs and spas – but we didn’t see them. We were taken to a very touristy area downtown. The only real items of interest were the taffy pullers and the church. The interior of the church was unique in that it contained numerous painting on the walls of accidents that had happened in which people’s lives were miraculously saved.

A taffy puller
A taffy puller
Outside of the church
Outside of the church
Carved church doors
Carved church doors
The sanctuary
The sanctuary
A falling accident
A falling accident
Rope over chasm breaking
Rope over chasm breaking
Saved from volcanic eruption
Saved from volcanic eruption
The pulpit
The pulpit
The main altar
The main altar

Two elderly natives walking the streets.

Elderly gentleman
Elderly gentleman
Elderly woman
Elderly woman

As we wandered the streets we saw guinea pigs roasting in front of a restaurant, some interesting pottery in a display window and some vendors selling fresh sugar cane juice.

Roast guinea pigs
Roast guinea pigs
Interesting pottery
Interesting pottery
Fresh sugar cane juice
Fresh sugar cane juice

Unloading concrete blocks
I just had to include this photo of a group of workers unloading a truckload of concrete blocks. The first man on the truck piches a block up to another man in the second floor window. He in turn piches it to a man inside who stacks the blocks inside the building.


We stayed at a converted hacienda outside of Patate. The hacienda once belonged to the Jesuits but has been owned by one family for the past hundred or so years. The greenhouses in the valley are used for growing tomatos and peppers.

The main entrance
The main entrance
Our room
Our room
View across the valley
View across the valley