Friday, December 01, 2006

Hot hot hot!

Our ultimate destination was the hot springs, about an hour and a half further up the mountain. The trail got much narrower and less populous after the waterfalls, perhaps because of steep sections like this that left me gasping for breath. I was berating myself for not going to my ridiculous gym more often, when I realized we were probably feeling the effects of altitude as well. After all, 40 percent of Jakarta is actually below sea level, which accounts for its swampy charm.

This observation seemed to be confirmed by our Roller Coaster potato snax, which were bulging in an ominous manner. We managed to disarm and devour them before they could cause injury.

Chad is either calculating the explosive properties of these chips, or picking up a radio signal from outer space

We had visions of soaking luxuriously in the hot springs, but we must have overlooked the small print in the guidebook that mentioned they can get up to 75 degrees celsius (that's almost 170 Fahrenheit, my fellow Americans!).

The water cut its way down a steep hillside, sending up billows of steam to mark its path. The mist looked pretty in the sunlight. I thought of just soaking my feet, but I had to pull them out again with a yelp. There were some pools nearby, but they were tepid - just barely above the air temperature. So we hung out in the steam bath for a while and then headed back down.


michele said...

the area looks gorgeous, though I can't imagine wanting to soak in hot water when I'm already hiking and sweating in a tropical forest! I'd be looking for the freezing mountain streams.

did you hear anything about the animals that live in that area? I was just wondering how the presence of hot springs might or might not affect the wildlife that lives nearby.

did the springs smell like sulfur at all?

m said...

p.s. - I think in fact the potato snacks are telling chad a secret. it's an old jungle secret that he must commit to memory and pass on to the next lonesome traveller on the trail. it's an awesome responsibility, and he's frowning from deep concentration.