Rubber Boots and Hot Springs

May 29-30

Upon arriving in Quito, everyone went boot shopping. Rubber boots are a hot commodity in places like Ecuador. They keep your feet and calves dry and snake free! In order to get to the hardware store, we took the public bus system. The busses had their own lanes. I stepped onto the bus to find the entire thing jam packed! The bus’s seems were seriously splitting with people pushed up against the glass of the windows. This was a stressful bus ride; I spent the whole time trying not to stomp on small children. The boots were bought just in time for the next day’s trio to the Páramo.

The Páramo is a high elevation habitat. All the plants are short and squishy looking. The landscape was seriously unlike anything I had ever seen before, super cool. It was about 14,500 m in elevation, so I spent the whole time tingling because of the elevation sickness medication side effects.

 

After a brief lecture and activity, we bussed on over to the hot springs. A natural vent with boiling water from the earth’s core heated up the various pools of the springs. It was a welcome change from the freezing wind of the Páramo.

The only problem was having to scuttled across the grounds from pool to pool. You often find yourself willing to stay in a boring or too hot pool so you didn’t have to freeze your swimsuit off trying to find a better one.

Tomorrow, we embark on our first adventure away from the rest of the courses. Tropical Ecology, my course, is headed to camp in the cloud forest. I heard the hike is supposed to be rather intense and I am not looking forward to it.