Woof. Saturday was more like a day and a half – I did so much. We went to these hot springs in the state of Merida, which weren’t too far away at all. We agreed to meet at ten, and that was that. Except for it wasn’t. I decided to wait in the wrong plaza, but it was all goo because the group needed to pick up antoher person in the plaza I decided to go to, so I just met them a bit later. We hopped a bus and later a jeep, where we saw some rabbits in a pet store (there’s a pic on flickr, shout out to my honey!) and climbed our way up the mountain. Every now and then there would be a cow just hanging out, moo-ing, munchin’ some cud and what not, so I snapped a few pics. Our jeep broke down halfway up the hill, so we hiked a bit and finally got to the hot springs, which wasn’t at all what I expected a natural hot springs to be like.

Was it hot? Not exceptionally.

Was it natural? About as natural as a swimming pool could be.

Did it spring out of the ground? I certainly couldn’t tell; all we could see was PVC pipes guiding the water into the pools.

Was it fun anyway? Heck yes!

They had a couple of different man made falls around that you could turn into your own private group bathing party if you found the right stuff to stop up the holes with. I had brought an extra pair of boxers, and a like minded Venezuelan friend had a brought an extra T-shirt. Thus, when rocks failed to sufficiently choke the flow of water rushing out of our bathing pond, we volunteered our extra garments to be plugs for the sake of the greater good. We sat in our makeshift pool for a while, until Antoni said he’d felt a parasite swimming around next to him. Not that I entirely believed a parasite would be so big you could feel it next to you, but who wants to take chances?

Afterwards, we checked out the other pools, ate the food we’d brought and headed back home. Later that day, my fellow US students and I regrouped at the ritzy Hotel Chama restaurant and checked out the live jazz. The drinks were pricey, but the band wasn’t half bad. I wasn’t feeling their guitarist, but the drummer had some nice chops. I stood next to the bar, drinking my Tom Collins and just watching with a steadily tapping foot. I watched arrangements of salad served in wafer thin boxes of bread and desserts of truffles and ice cream float past on the slender hands of the astonishingly gorgeous waitstaff, I realized my urgent need to return to this restaurant.

Due to the price of the drinks, I was out-voted and we left Hotel Chama before the band’s last set and we headed to “Ollo de Queque” (I have no idea what this means). At the fault of one of the girls in my group, I spent most of the time in “Ollo” dancing and talking with an attractive 30 something. Like most of the folks who practice English with a stranger, she made sure to tell me how much she loved the United States and how she wanted to go there. Like most of these conversations go, I struggled through her native tongue the best I could while she had an equally difficult time with mine. By the time one o’clock rolled around, she had finally asked me “how many years I have.” I told her, which then prompted her to ask me to guess her and her friends’ ages. I guessed low, just like I was supposed to, and she didn’t divulge the truth, just like she was supposed to. They wanted us to head across the street with them, but due to our conflicting idealogical differences in night club philosophy, our group headed elsewhere.

After committing the traveler’s sin of eating food from the street vendors, we finished off the night in Poco Loco, where I spent most of my time wishing I could just fall asleep in my bed. We all made it home, safe and sound, and I slept past noon on the following day. It was a full day, to say the least, but it was definitely a Saturday well spent.

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