Equator Gringos

September 11, 2007

Having a good soak

Filed under: Ecuador — lstollin @ 10:33 pm

This past Friday we bummed yet another ride with Keith, Andrea, and Emilia, leaving straight from school to the hot springs in Papallacta. Every single person we mentioned this to (except Joy’s Mom) said “Te va a encantar” which transliterates, “It will enchant you.” Quito is around 9,000 feet above sea level, but this place is even higher, about an hour and half away. Clouds were sliding down from high green peaks as the sun’s rays still lit the highest ridges. The vistas were majestic, mountain valleys dotted with agriculture and shaded by steep hills, reminding me of West Virginia but on an Andean scale that boggles the mind.

It was freezing up there, the kind of freezing that isn’t actually literally freezing, but cold enough that the stone path sucked the heat from our bare feet on the short walk from the changing room to the first steaming pool, making my soles ache and lose feeling. Needless to say the hot pool felt marvelous. The pools themselves were beautiful, ringed by stones set in masonry, the bottom a combination of tiny blue tiles with occasional real rocks jutting up, providing places to lean against. We sat around admiring the peaks soaring over us and the clouds gaining courage, moving in for a closer look as night fell.

As the heat built up, I thought seriously about dipping in the obligatory cold pool. Finally, Keith and I did this, but the water was so cold that not only did it feel like I might be having a heart attack, my feet and ankles (first in the water and last out) were in real pain. A few other places too. As I’d been warned, returning to the hot pool felt like a scald on the now freezing skin, but I ignored it, trusting that it was only an illusion and I wasn’t really getting burned.

This place is a must for visitors.

papallactaeveryone-resized.jpg

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1 Comment »

  1. so what did I say – :-)?
    looks like you guys had a great time –
    can’t wait to go there with you guys!
    mom

    Comment by Bettye Halperin — September 17, 2007 @ 4:15 pm


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