Sunday, January 24, 2010
A day in the mountains!
On Thursday Jen and Richard took us on a day trip to El Valle, a lush valley surrounded by mountains (about 7,000 feet high), most of them covered with jungle all the way to the top. After a scenic car ride on a winding road (not cool when your window does not roll down...), we first stopped at the local hot springs (38°C). This facility is set very simply among gigantic trees, at the foot of one of the peaks. For $1 we were each treated to a mud facial, a rinsing shower and a 45-min long hop in the warm pool. For an additional $2, the ladies got their little cup of extra brown mud to apply on the entire body and let dry...
After this relaxing treatment and a welcome lunch, we wandered around the zoo, set in a very scenic park at the foot of one of the mountains on the other side of the valley. Among ponds, jungle, or pine trees we discovered a variety of local fauna, in particular frogs, tapirs, monkeys, birds and leopards, and even a non-native emu. The walk in this park was truly enchanting, and we were a bit saddened by how some animals were treated (monkey alone in a cage with no water). However Q appreciated that the abundant #$%@@!!J& roosters and chickens here as well would actually make for scrumptious meals for the local leopards!