Wednesday, May 21, 2014

A Change of Pace, A Change of Temperature

After several weeks in Quito it was nice to have a break and leave the city. Our trip to Baños has definitely been a highlight of the trip so far. We spent the day on Saturday biking around, saw a dog with a giant croissant in its mouth, got doused by el pilon del diablo waterfall and had an overall nice day.

Saturday night we went to the Baños' namesake- the natural thermal baths scattered throughout the town. Our supposedly relaxing adventure included several trips up and down the stairs to figure out where to change, where to put our belongings, where to get shower caps (that's right we all donned some pretty awesome shower caps), where to take our pre-thermal bath entry shower and finally, where this hot pool was. Up and down, up and down.. at long last we stuck our toes in the water- I think mine burned off. The water was so hot that it may have been boiling at one point. In the smaller pool behind us the water was so cold that  you'd think you were there for a polar dip in Lake Winnipeg in January!  I think there may have been ice you had to break through to get into the water.

That said, Ali and I decided, after a dip in the boiling cauldron, to attempt the frozen ice water. We plunged in and I'm pretty sure my heart skipped a beat. I have to say we did very well- we managed to stay there for at least 2 minutes! The little pool was packed with people braving the ice cold. We dunked our heads under the water just to complete the process. One more minute until our bodies were numb and we ran back to the hot pool to warm up again. The water from both pools in the hot springs come from the nearby volcano- the hot water is heated from the steam near the magma and the cold is glacial melt from atop the crater. This was the perfect relaxing way to end the day- with a relaxing thermal bath!  Thanks everyone for braving the hot and cold waters!!!

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