Sunday, January 27, 2013

Muy Caliente! Hot Waterfalls

The water was calm in the river as we passed into the lake
at the Castle

Honoree took all of these pictures - here of our group before
taking off
Group leader Ella organized a half day tour to the Hot Falls for everyone at Tortugal and despite the cool overcast conditions we set out in fine spirits. It was calm as we headed up the river but once we entered the huge lake at the end the waves built up and we were headed straight into them. We all took a pounding for about 15 minutes before Walt called for a slow down to give our buts and spines a rest.  It took us about 40 minutes to get to our destination - a rather deserted looking "resort" on the lake edge. We walked down a dirt road to a small farm where we were supposed to get a tractor ride up to the falls. The tractor was in for repair so we took turns in the back of a pickup truck down to the parking lot. A elderly guide led us down the muddy path to the falls where we gingerly stripped down to our bathing suits and entered the water.
The whole pool is often hot we hear, but after all the cool weather we've had, only the falls and the hot spring entrance areas around the sides were hot. Plenty of heat for all though. Standing under the falls was like being in your "hot as you can stand" shower. There are a lot of minerals in the water but there wasn't an unpleasant smell.
Everyone soaked and talked. It was very relaxing and my face softened down considerable. It looked much better after this experience.
The ride quickly turned into a Amusement Park ride with
waves that bounced us around like crazy.
Several people climbed up the falls and one daring man (who'd explored the depth first) dove off the cliffs. But a young woman, Juliette, who was on her own and was there when we arrived, slipped and fell on her way down. Her foot was badly cut and she feared she had broken one or more of her toes. She had hit her head as well. Two young men carried her out to the road to get help.
After our long soak we walked back toward the main road and stopped in a local bar to get a cold beer.
Our truck arrived to take us back to our boat and we discovered that Juliette was stranded there with her foot unattended and bleeding. We bundled her up and took her back with us to the
You can get a better idea of the size if you can see the people in the water under the falls

That's our group testing out the hot sands in one corner
The heat came up through the floor of the pool and when
it did - it was hot!

Others who'd been there before said that normally the whole
pool is hot but it has been cool and rainy so the center
a bit chilly. Under the falls themselves it was as hot as you
could stand
Rio Dulce to the local clinic.
A few nights later she came over to have dinner with us at Tortugal and she had received appropriate treatment and was feeling much better. She is German and is hoping to get a crew position on a boat heading somewhere with her American boyfriend.
There are a lot of young people with backpacks seeing the world here, mostly Europeans and Kiwi/Australians. American young men and women are trying to work 60 hours a week with two weeks vacation. Our children among them. Heather was one of the "see the world backpackers" in her youth and she feels very lucky to have done it. She served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines from 1966 - 1968 and then on Peace Corps Staff for another year. Afterwards she traveled extensively in Asia, Middle East, Europe and Africa.
We soaked for an hour and a half in our scenic hot tub,
On the way out we stopped for a cold beer and had this
one dog audience.

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