The weekend before last, myself, Tom, Ben, and Jeff planned a relaxing day hike/bath soak in the nearby town of Papallacta, known for its excellent hot springs.
Buuuut, due to a bus station mix-up, it took us until early afternoon to actually get there - not exactly our 10am start time. We hopped off the bus to a light drizzle, and kind of stood there for a minute. It become eminently clear that no one actually knew where to go to even start hiking. Two of the guys had forgotten rain gear. I'm not sure who said it first (*cough* Jeff), but it wasn't long until...
"So guys.... hot springs?!"
Sounds good to me! So we hopped in a cab, okay, the back of a pickup truck, whose driver said it'd only be a dollar. It was only after we got in we had forgotten to ask where we were actually going... oh well! (No wonder it took us like 4 and a half hours to make the two hour trip...)
Thankfully, after about 10 minutes the truck dropped us off further up into the hills, in front of a very promising looking hot spring resort. Especially promising, we thought, when we saw this sign:
"Admission is restricted to people who have consumed alcohol"
That's when you know you're in the right place... Misleading translation aside, we paid our $7 admission and were soon admitted to paradise.
The entire complex was beautiful, just a series of pools channeling naturally heated water (full of healing properties?) to tired tourists and quite a few locals as well. I can see why this is a popular destination spot. I just have to say - gentlemen, if we ladies aren't supposed to wear miniskirts after 35, PLEASE no speedos after 50. Thank you.
Even the natural streams that ran alongside the resort were mildly warm. No wonder the vegetation was so lush.
Jeff was particularly enthralled.
Instead of cabbing it back down to the bus stop, we chose instead to do the walk ourselves, passing through some of the most beautiful rural countryside I've seen here.
Let's pick on Jeff some more.
My lunch, before...
...and after. (It was delicious.)
We'll have to go back sometime to do some real hiking. Every weekend here is a mini-vacation. Someone told me the other day we only have eight left - it's incredible how quickly this semester is going. This weekend I'm staying in Quito to catch up on work and do some exploring. I'm off to Old Town to scope out the coolest sights for Mom and Dad's visit. Some of the girls are joining me in the afternoon, but right now it's just me and Thomas' guidebook. I'm looking forward to it :) Until next time!