After our ride on the Devil’s Nose train, we’d decided to make the journey straight to Baños on the same day since there was nothing else to see in Alausi. We’d also eaten at the only restaurant with any hope of vegetarian food, so our only option for dinner was being the only people at the no. 1 restaurant (of 4) on TripAdvisor yet again. After the train we headed straight back to our hotel, collected our bags and jumped onto the first bus to Riobamba, the nearest city to Baños along the Pan-American highway. We were headed for the small town of Baños, an hour further east of the main highway, but Riobamba was as far as we could get on a direct bus from Alausi.
The bus wound its way north and soon enough we were arriving in the Riobamba bus terminal. The bus next to ours was heading to Baños, but we needed to buy tickets before boarding so we headed into the terminal to buy them. The counter was easy enough to find so we queued up an ask for two tickets. The response from the woman behind the counter was “no hay boletos” (there are no tickets). Since it was late in the afternoon this was a little worrying so we had a quick look around for other bus companies going to Baños (there were none) and looked at other options including taking a bus up to Ambato and then a more frequent bus to Baños. Luckily someone who was behind us in the queue had noticed our confusion and came over to tell us that there was actually a bus at 5pm to Baños so just to double check we queued up again and asked for tickets to Baños. This time same lady that we’d spoken to not five minutes before asked for $4 and gave us two tickets. We could only assume that since the previous bus had now left she was allowed to sell tickets for the later bus, and had neglected to explain this to us the first time around! Mostly just relieved to have tickets we sat down to wait.