The "adventure", as we like to call it, began at around 10:40 yesterday morning when Sasha, Kristen, Joy, and I headed to the bus station. An hour later our bus pulled out bearing us towards Pito Solo where we caught a rapadito (a small van that packs people like sardines in a can) that would take us to our destination: the hot springs Aguas Termales. We hiked another 2 km to find the hot springs and the cabins we were planning on staying in. The guy who had the keyes to the cabins wasn't there, but we were assured that he would arrive sometime that day, so we headed down to the springs in the meantime.
I had never been to hot springs before and found it to be an interesting experience. Despite the smell of rotting eggs, the steam and bubbles gushing up out of the earth were fastinating and beautiful! I almost felt as if I'd stumbled onto the set of some fantasy movie. We walked through a steamy tunnel to find a small cool river with hot springs bubbling on the banks. I quickly discovered, however, that hot springs are better admired from afar. Rocks or water along the bank could suddenly turn unusually hot. My worst encounter was when I tried to cross the river at a calm spot to join Sasha and Kristen on the other side. My first step off of the bank and into the mud brought instant and unexpected pain! I danced around frantically for a few excruciating moments until I finally got out of the sucking mess and back onto cooler, solid ground. Glancing behind my shoulder, I noticed a spring bubbling a few feet away. Hot springs do not accurately describe the temperature of the water. "Boiling", "searing", or "scalding" is more like it! Aside from my burned feet (no, they're not that damaged), the place was absolutely gorgeous! The river was calm with a few small rapids and gentle waterfalls. Tall trees dripping with moss and green ferns and leaves surrounded the banks. Everything seemed so perfect, including the slight breeze.
We headed back up to the cabins at around 4:45 to find that the guy with the keyes still hadn't arrived. The man helping us began pulling out camping gear in case, but we weren't entirely sure we wanted to camp out without any bathrooms. Fortunately, Paul (he works in the office at the school) had gone to Santa Barbara (30 min. or so away from the hot springs) for the weekend without his soccer gear, which he needed for a game that night. We brought his gear with us so that he could meet us somewhere and get it, but we ended up meeting him at the springs. He brought his friend he was staying with, and they both hung out with us all afternoon (and watched our stuff while we frolicked in the river, which was really convenient) and acted as our translators (also really convenient).
Paul's friend offered to let us stay at his house, which seemed better than the alternative on the ground, so we hopped into the back of his truck and headed to Santa Barbara. We watched their soccer game before going into town for some food. We ate the biggest baleatas I've ever seen in my life (baleatas are tortillas with beans and cheese or whatever else you want in it. They don't sound that special, but they taste amazing!)! These baleatas took up the whole plate! We ended with some ice cream and walked around the central plaza (sadly, it was under construction). Santa Barbara is a cute little town. We caught the bus at 8:30 this morning and made it back to Comayagua by 11:00. Looking back, it's hard to believe that our "adventure" only took 24 hours.
Friday night we had the opportunity to Skype the Walla Walla University church after vespers, so THANK-YOU to everyone who said hi (and if you were there and didn't say hi, I would still like to thank you for sticking around to see our glowing faces)! I feel bad that our connection wasn't that great (it kept cutting out on us), but we had such a blast seeing all of your faces nonetheless! I don't think I can thank you enough for the support!