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  • Banos de Agua Santa

    We’re in a small mountain town on the eastern cordillero next to the Orient, which is what they call the jungle portion of Ecuador. Today it’s raining, so there’s not much to do other than sit on the computer and write. Now we understand why this is the low-season…

    Downhill mountain biking to la Garganta del Diablo

    Downhill mountain biking to la Garganta del Diablo

    Yesterday was stupenderisiouly-magnifinormous. We rented some bicycles for $5 and rode downhill through mountain ravines for 2 hours. The sky was clear, the weather nice and cool, and the tourist traffic to a minimum. The hills here are covered with jungle- everywhere there’s green, except near the rivers rumbling below that are carving deep rifts through strange looking volcanic rock. I wanted to take pictures of it all… to somehow save it, maybe hang onto the it’s vast beauty for years to come- always remembering what it was like to be here. But then reality told me that the photos can’t do that for me. Nothing can. All that we see and do here is gone just as soon as we turn around and move forward. Sadness accompanied the joy of it.

    And then the people you meet wipe that sadness away, because they too are here for those fleeting moments of awe. They know just as well as we did that this is a special place, and knowing that for the first time uplifts you, but ultimately we are destined to experience far more than one view of creation. We must turn away, and move forward. People share the same human experiences, understand the same limitations, and are blown away by the same vastly beautiful unknowns. So stopping to forget with them all that we think is ours is a welcomed relief. Two men we met along the way yesterday we’re exceptionally pleasant distractions. One was an ex-pat from Canada, who came here to tend a garden next to the rumbling Rio Verde. The other was a restaurant owner who’s kindness and obvious honesty allowed us to relax a bit in a foreign and sometimes unforgiving land.

    Antonio the gardner wanted to tell us about the “3rd Dimension”, the interconnection of all things, the end of the world, truth in all texts which inspiried faith, a mythical dwarf who is between good and evil, devils and angels, and other mysteries of the universe. And, of course, he wanted to tell us about his “Garden of Eden.” What a gem that guy was. We promised to meet in another life, again in this one, or in the hereafter.

    The restaurant owner fed us, took care to stash our bikes safely in the back, told us what we should go and see, and was generally just a sweet little old man. The food was good too.

    Afterwards, we ate and went to the hot springs. They were hot, alright. And brown. It felt almost like we were all children of the womb, splashing around in warm and organic fluids, relaxed and placid… awaiting our moment of uncomfortable birth, when the dip into 16 degrees Celcius water shocks you awake. We slept like babies.

    Time to read on the hammock a bit.

    Theme: Esquire by Matthew Buchanan.