We were almost to the springs (a long, cold walk from our hostel) without seeing any dogs when this great pup came wagging his tail up to us. I gave him the chicken, wished him well, and we continued to the springs. He gobbled it up and instead of following and begging like most, came and danced circles around us bounding up and down like the happiest dog in the world! I hadn't seen a dog dance like that since my Poncha Bear, so he was my new BEST friend.
For the rest of the time we were in Papallacta he escorted us everywhere. Though he looked just the opposite, he had my Bear's personality. I was in love. He would wait all night in the freezing rain and be waiting at the road from our hostel the next morning, ready to escort us wherever we went bounding and prancing with joy at the sight of us. I would have thought nothing could have beaten the joy of soaking in hot water, but Leo managed! Now I miss another dog...great.
I'm pretty sure she gave us the discount so that we would stay under her care for a while. Geoff came down with a cold right when Caryn arrived and was sick the whole time she was here making it necessary to avoid the orphanage more than we'd have liked because we didn't want to infect the kids.
He was still a little sniffly when we got to Papallacta and the lady owner of this hostal saw him walking in the rain on the cold dirt roads in his Chaco sandals and about had a fit...I love Ecuadorians. She said, "you'll get sick walking around like that up here!" My husband's witty response? "It's okay, I'm already sick!" That was enough for her - she adopted us for the next 24 hours.
After a hot dinner at her hostal restaurant she made him wear one of her full Alpaca wool ponchos back down the mountain to our previously reserved hostal for the night. We stayed at her place the next night and she did some crazy massage reflexology stuff and fixed his really bad headache that he'd had for several days -immediately. It was a little eerie, actually! She then told him that one of his parents had high blood pressure (we had said nothing) and he would die young if he didn't eat better. She didn't stop there, but I'll spare the details! So, enough said, Geoff is now more convinced that he needs to be a vegetarian...most of the time.
Even with all the hot springs, Papallacta was COLD. In the middle of a cloud forest and at a very high altitude the rainy drizzly cold was hard to overcome. It hovered around 40 degrees, with intermittent rain, constant mist, and chilling wind. It was GORGEOUS, but very cold when not submerged in the water of the hot springs!
We enjoyed our day and a half there in the hot water as much as possible and then escaped in search of lower altitudes and dryer weather! Up next, Banos and the Tungurahua Volcano!