Monday, July 9, 2012

Hotspring-ing in Oyacachi

Thanks to Carla our host in Quito, Ecuador, we knew a hot-spring near the city. It is in Oyacachi, a small village among mountains of over 3000 meters high. She said there are not many people going there. So we go.

Going there is not easy, Carla had learnt the hard way of going there by truck from a crossroad and it was not cheap (more than USD 10 one way). We searched on internet for cheaper way by taking public bus and there was only one bus per day supposedly starting from Cayamba (1.5 hour from we were) at 7am. That means we had to wake up very early.

on the crossroad to Cangahua, on the way to Cayambe,
So we woke up at 5am, took off at 5:30, 15 minutes walk to the bus station and got a bus to Cayambe at 6am. Seeing that we may miss the 7am bus, we took off a few kilometer before Cayambe, on a cross road to Cangahua and caught a bus into the smaller town Cangahua.

There we realized that the bus to Oyacachi took off actually at 8am on Sunday. Therefore we went with local people with that bus (which was cheaper, only USD 2.5 from Cangahua), to the hot-spring. On the way, there was beautiful scenery of the snow-capped mountain and fields. After two hours we were in the Oyacachi village.

It was Sunday, so there were many families going to the hot-spring for a day of dip. So did we but just for the morning because the public bus going back would leave at 2pm. There we had at least of three hours of hot-spring, which was quite enough for us. The weather was cool; we where among the green mountains with fog and cloud. The hot-spring was next to the river where people can fish trucha (trout). The entrance fee was cheap (only USD 3 each, the cheapest we had in South America so far).

There were many pools for the cloud and place for camping. We would have done that if we had enough time to plan (maybe we shall go next time). There was even a family doing barbecue there. It is a good and cheap resort for Sunday family activity.

After three hours of dip, we had some lunch and enjoyed the view around. Then we walked around the small village, where there was some sustainable tourism facilities, like local trout and cheese production. We bought a locally-made cheese. There was also artistic wood-carving showing the local talent. We were also introduced by the tourist information about a local trek, as part of the sustainable eco-tourism project, in which people can hire a guide for a two-day jungle trek or just one day hike without a guide. There are so much to do that our morning was not long enough to enjoy the nature and scenery.

the lovely calf we met in the village
We missed the village when we left, with the hope that one day we shall be back to enjoy it more.

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