Friday, 11 December 2009
Thursday 10th December
Started with a 4 hour trek along the other side of the canyon to the route we took by bike yesterday. Were a little concerned that maybe it would be too similar, but it turned out to be really interesting, following the "Sendara de los Contrabandistos"; the route taken by alcohol smugglers during the 18th & 19th centuries. Lots of flora and fauna to see, Caroline was stopping every few minutes to look at another orchid or butterfly, which sort of scuppered Miguel's plan to walk our little socks off following yesterday's bicycle outing. Up until lunchtime when we had to double time it down a path to see the last waterfall of the morning in order not to be late for lunch.
Lunch itself was fantastic - definitely the freshest trout ever, given that we had to catch it immediately before it was cooked. Very tasty.
Back to Baños and to a spa recommended by Ricardo. Rather a bizarre experience which started with a barefoot walk during which we had to divest ourselves of our problems and stresses. Not too easy when you're trying to walk across a volcanic stone gravel path. ("Ouch....Ouch....!*$£*.....!!!" etc) Having screamed your frustration and exchanged forgiveness, you then had to walk all the way back again, and through an ankle deep trough of water. I would love to have been in the management brainstorm that came up with that idea. The self-regulated steam chambers were enjoyable; a small girl with high pressure cold hose in attendance - think she's got a touch of the dark side in her. And finally a massage with hot volcanic stones. We were both rather sleepy afterwards.
Dinner was another local special, in a small restaurant filled with smoke from the open grill that dominated the room. Quarter of a chicken each later we were definitely ready for bed!