The Oriente

An interesting adventure trip down into the Oriente of Ecuador.

Crossing a glacier near Switzerland's Matterhorn

One main road snakes its way down into Ecuador’s Oriente, or Amazon Basin, from the highlands, and that’s how our bus went. We left the mountain town of Banos in the late afternoon and immediately began descending. A massive cliff loomed just outside the bus windows. The sight of it only added fuel to the worry-fire that had ignited when we saw the murals in the Banos church depicting angels rescuing vehicles falling off cliffs. Soon after the bus began moving, we noted how the local passengers kept leaning into the hillside at regular intervals and wondered what that was all about. Then, one of our group looked out of their window and saw little except hundreds of feet of thin air separating our bus from the river far below. At that point, we understood that everyone was leaning into the hillside to help the bus stay on the road.

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