I just rested in the room until lunch and then Dylan and I found a great little vegetarian restaurant called Restaurante Vegetariano Ari. We had a very filling lunch for $2.50 each! It included a delicious potato soup, a cup of fresh juice, a slice of watermelon, an overflowing plate of fried sweet potato, a cauliflower and bean dish, rice with gravy, and a coleslaw type salad.
When we got back to the hotel our taxi to Banos was waiting. Unfortunately, we had to travel to the very north of Quito to pick up the others for the ride, which added about 2 hours extra to our drive. But I guess that is the price you pay if you want cheap taxis. We used Executive taxi door to door service $20/pp (taxi would have been $95) and our driver was really wonderful. Our drive from the airport to Quito was crazy and erratic and this guy by contrast was cool and relaxed. I felt very safe with him driving and would definitely recommend this company.
We shared the ride with an Ecuadorian med student and her mother that were heading back to their hometown of Ambato. The student seemed to enjoy chatting with us so she could practice her English. She told us about the popular foods in each town along the way. Overall, it was a pretty enjoyable trip.
Our hotel in Banos was a lovely little place near a very high waterfall and hot spring. We stayed at Posada de Arte and had a room on the second floor Canela 2 that had two Juliet balconies facing the waterfall.
I should note that by the time we reached Banos my altitude sickness was nearly all gone and would disappear entirely by the next morning.
We wandered around town for a bit and then it was time for dinner, so we headed back to the hotel as the meals there were recommended in the Lonely planet guide book. I had a quinoa soup and Dylan had two yummy appetizers and a nice salad.