OK this is my last “catching up” post from last week’s travels. What we really needed after all that busy traveling back and forth was something relaxing. We decided to wrap up the Great Inland Travel excursion with a day trip from Rio Dulce to Agua Caliente. Agua Caliente is a hot springs waterfall an hour away by collectivo. The waterfall is actually a mix of both hot springs and cool mountain stream so you can sit underneath at different spots until you have found your perfect temp. A little group of us went together last Monday: Scott, Tracy, Will and Molly of SV Yollata, Henry and Tuk of ParPar, Ms Shirley of Speedwell of Hong Kong and Neil (boat name unknown). We had an awesome time in the most beautiful setting.
Lily, Will and Molly took turns jumping off a protruding rock. Then they played around under the falls and, eventually, Lily and Will decided to test their strength by forging through the rushing water which tumbled at powerful velocity through a narrow vortex. Once past this maelstrom, there was a peaceful little stream with millions of fascinating rocks,
plants and fish to examine. They went a good little way upstream before turning around and heading back to the waterfall pool. It was a prime spot for exploring. Tuk and Henry are always out front in the exploration, too. Tuk scaled a huge smooth rock that I tried to follow her across but could not (err!). Tuk and Henry climbed up to the falls’ starting point to trace the hot springs to its source. Tuk also upset a few bats in the bat cave while climbing a different trail down so that added some fun.
After hours of play, we ate our packed lunch and the clouds began to form overhead. Our guide mentioned the possibility of rain. We decided to trek back out of the falls area and to the road. Here, we caught a collectivo again for the ten-minute ride further away to the El Boqueron Gorge. There we hired a small boat to take us up this river, wider and swifter than the one by the waterfall. The boat glided along and in through the steep-side canyon walls to another local swimming hole. The swimming here was a bit colder and swifter and we had to walk carefully over the rocky bottom. The boat left us to play and we all wondered how long it would take us to make our way back if he didn’t return. We played here about an hour and the boat showed up on time.
While we were waiting for the collectivo back to Rio Dulce, we got some cokes and stood around talking. Somehow, we got on the subject of food and Michelle was explaining her fondness for ketchup. She mentioned that her longest ketchup-free stint was the month she spent with us aboard Capricious (2009) when we sailed all the way from Houston to Brunswick, GA with no ketchup. At this point, I jump in with the story of seeing a t-shirt in Key West which read “I like ketchup with my ketchup” which I really should have bought for Michelle’s trip souvenir. As I am adding this to Michelle’s story, I am already inwardly asking myself why the heck am I telling this? It is such a goofy saying, only funny to me at the time and even reveals by tightwad-like tendencies, etc. But as I am wishing I had not offered up this additional conversational tidbit, Tuk starts laughing cheerily. Tuk has the kind of laugh that makes you happy. She is so cheerful with her apple cheeks and merry eyes. So I am so pleased with myself to have tickled Tuk’s funnybone, when she pauses and says in her wonderful Thai accent, “Henry, what this means, I like ketchup with my ketchup???” Michelle and I, goofy as we are, just loved this and now Michelle keeps gathering little packets to give Tuk so she will have ketchup with her ketchup. Yes, I am sure she is still perplexed by this strange American conversation.