Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wednesday, February 18th, Garden of Eden


We’re sleeping at 8,000 feet above sea level. It doesn’t seem like it, because the landscape is flat with huge mountains off in the distance. Breathing isn’t difficult, but not a piece of cake either. When you drive up to 10,000, hiking up and down canyons can be a bit slower.

That’s what we did this morning. The thermal pools, which are called “Termas de Puritama”, are a stretch of a river which flows into another river which has its source in some hot springs. It creates about ten small pools along 300 yards of canyon which vary from 95 degrees to 80 degrees, and are surrounded by pampas grass and boulders. Many have waterfalls, and the locals have built a web of wooden walking bridges which lead you down to platforms from which to enter the pools. Nearby are changing rooms and eating areas.

It really is quite like being in the Garden of Eden without the apple tree and the snake.

It’s 3pm now. We’ve had lunch at small restaurant close to the hotel (goat cheese, tomato, and avocado sandwiches and fruit juices), and we’re resting in our room. A weird rain just hit, and the smell of it caught Pat’s attention before we saw it out the window. We have no tour for this afternoon, and will probably just hang out. Left for the remainder of our time are the flamingos at the salt flat, and an early morning-all day trip to another hot springs on Friday. Saturday, we fly to Santiago, visit the Archeological Museum all day killing time until the 11:30pm flight to Dallas and then SF. We arrive in SF on Sunday morning at 10am, and catch an bus back home. Next bed is our own.

To look at the photos for the day, click on: Thermal Hot Springs at 10,000 feet

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