Chachimbiro Hot Springs

On Saturday we went to Chachimbiro hot springs which is an hour outside of Cotacachi. Chachimbiro is a native Quichua word meaning “strength.” The hot springs are heated inside Cotacachi Volcano. The natives believe that the waters have healing properties. The water is high in iron, copper, iodine and other minerals.

We didn’t find out it was a water park until we got there. There were two slides; the Snake Slide and Dragon Slide. The dragon slide was my favorite. You could go really fast on it. The snake slide was dangerous. Jared hurt his head I hurt my elbow and foot. The dragon slide was fine and no one got hurt on it.

snake slide
dragon slide

It was really fun. There were many different temperatures of water. Some pools were cold, like the kiddie pool, and the rest were very hot. The temperatures of the hot pools were 86°F to 118°F.

The water was green because it was from the volcano. All of the people there were Ecuadorean except us and one other person. There were many people there because it was the weekend

We were there for 4 to 5 hours. We sat in the hot water for two thirds of the time and were on the slides for one third.

Tortuga Bay

A couple of weeks ago in the Galapagos we hiked to a beach called “Tortuga Bay” on Santa Cruz island. To get to the beach we walked a long trail to a beach called Playa Brava (Brave Beach) and then from there walked about 15 minutes to Tortuga Bay.

We built a giant sand castle. We started by building an arch connected to a giant circle of stairs and then realized it looked like the Starship Enterprise from Star Trek. On one side of the Starship Enterprise was a huge arc and on the other, kissing penguins.

We also got a two person kayak. Every one except Karina had a turn on the kayak. At the end they let me go out by myself then take kayak back.

After Karen left, we began building a wall around the city. Alora helped Dad build the wall and put decorations on the wall.

At Playa Brava there were napping sea iguanas at the edge of the beach. There were also sea turtle nests that were roped-off to keep people from stepping on them.

Workin’ On The Farm

Today Mom, Grant, Jared, Justin (a friend of ours from church) and I went to the Bishop’s Grandmother’s farm. There were seven other people there, they were sisters from the church. They speak Quichua so we didn’t understand them. When we needed directions they spoke to Mom in Spanish.
We harvested corn and beans. The beans were growing up the corn stocks. The corn was very small and sometimes you couldn’t tell if there was corn or not on the stalk. The beans blended in with the rest of the corn stocks. There were usually between 2-20 beans on a corn stock.

There were flowers that had seeds that would stick to you and they were everywhere. They stuck to everything. At the end, the seeds were all over us and it took a long time to take them off. There were lots of bugs that sometimes jumped out at you when you were harvesting the corn. For lunch they offered beans and rice. Only Mom took some and she said they were delicious. Several people scooped rice and beans into their hand to eat. While the others shared several spoons.

Inti Raymi

Inti Raymi (in-tea-ray-me) is an indigenous holiday where they worship the sun god. Our friend Marcelo, invited us to dance with his community, San Pablo as a part of the celebration. We started at the edge of town then danced to the square. The rest of his community marched all the way here to Cotacachi from their homes, traveling 3.8 kilometers (2.4 miles).

Marcelo told us that his group would be wearing leather chaps. They wear chaps because they are from the Spanish and this is the natives’ way of reclaiming their land from Spain.

The hat I am wearing in the picture above has four corners that represent the four directions of a compass and the point at the top represents the sun. The hat is made of wood. I would also wear the hat to stop people from bumping into me

At some points in the dance, everyone marches in a circle to mimic the rotation of the earth. They stomp because they are waking up the earth for planting season.

me and Marcelo dancing

Marching with the group was kind of stinky because of the sweaty men and it was very loud. When I was in the center of the group I couldn’t see over all the people. The dancers stomp the ground and I could feel the ground shaking.

My favorite part was the conch you blow and it makes the sound of a horn.