Machay is in view and turns out to be a good place to stop. At M'Fanny's restaurant, I place an order which will be ready when I return from my hike. I say goodbye to another single green back and the friendly restaurant manager accompanies me down a well graded clean path flanked by guava trees, lush vegetation and trickling streams.
A set of well maintained steel steps with posted health and safety signs descends us steeply to the jungle floor. I am dreading the return trip as the first glimpse of Machay waterfalls comes into view at a welcomed platform stop.
Far removed from the highway, my world is filled with only the sights and sounds of the jungle. Birds soaring on the local winds, rich blue skies, isolated white clouds and the surrounding jungle landscape delight my senses.
A failed test of my “Slippery Rock” footwork and I am glad that I have a little extra cushion. A little embarrassed but with a nice memory scratch on my camera we continue the tour/hike to an outdoor rock jacuzzi.
Built along the river, it takes capping of pipes and adding filtered water to get the jacuzzi going.
The moment I dread has come as I begin my thousand plus step climb back to M'Fanny's. I am doing a jungle stair master routine that could earn me millions if I can capture it on DVD. But wait you also get ….. Just $19.95!
“Esta aqui”, I hear as I approach the restaurant. I grab a jugo de fresa from a beverage cooler and at last I am not disappointed with a restaurant meal.
The “Trucha Frita” is excellent along with the views from the outdoor patio. I am shocked and question the accuracy of “La cuenta” when it arrives .... drinks including a few for the road and lunch for less than $9 … Wow!
An inadvertent left instead of a right turn towards the nearest bus stop and I am freely rolling back towards Banos. I know this won't last long as I have been “Down” this road before.
I ride to the next bus stop where I engage in a conversation with a local. A bus approaches and stops momentarily before the driver realizes I have a bicycle and continues on leaving a non-bicycle passenger behind.
About fifteen minutes later another bus comes along steps off to help me load my bike. Finding no room, he hurries back on-board. This time just me and my bike remains. Not too much longer another bus comes along, my bike is loaded on the roof and I am headed back to Banos for $2.