Saturday, March 18, 2006


Hot Springs in Guacimal

I have been hearing about the hot springs in Guacimal for a couple of years now. Last summer Jim and I looked for them on our way to Tamarindo, and didn't find them. Jim is back in Winter Park for the week, and I wanted something to do so I asked my new friend Margarita and her daughter Janisse (who is in class with Catie) if she knew where the hot springs are, and if she wanted to come with us. We left this morning around 10, and came home around 4. Guacimal is only about 16 miles from Santa Elena where we live, but it's down a rather tortuous mountain road and my maximum speed was about 25 mph max. It's hard to concentrate on driving because the views are so incredible, but the thought of falling off the narrow road kept my mind on the road. I did stop to take one photo of the view.

The hot springs were a bit of a disappointment. There were a four concrete pools, 2 big ones and 2 small ones, painted blue with water tubes leading into them from the river below. There are supposed to be 2 hot pools and 2 cool pools (in theory so that you can soak in the hot pool and then cool off in the cool water), but a truck had driven over the cold water tubes earlier in the week, so there was only hot water coming from the spring below. It is pretty hot in Guacimal, so we didn't stay in the hot pool for very long. The pools also weren't very clean, and in fact there were some shrimps (cooked a bright pink) by the hot water in the big pool. The man in charge explained that the shrimp come in the with the spring water. We all agreed that it was worth the trip though, as we had been curious to see the hot springs, even though we hadn't expected them to be encased in blue cement.

After the hot springs, we visited a friend of Margarita who has the most incredible collection of plants around his house, some of which were for sale. He also had hundreds of fruit trees, and gave us bags of mangoes and star apples and another fruit I had never seen before. It's bright red when ripe, very sweet, with a cashew shaped handle on top. The kids tried to catch some baby chicks running around the outside kitchen. I'll try to post a picture of that; it reminded me of the outside kitchens on Saipan.

We all decided that it had been a most satisfactory day. We had left Jumper at home guarding the house, and she seemed a bit put out when we got home. Jumper loves to go riding in the car, and I suspect she knew we had gone on an adventure.

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