First time I’ve ever bathed in mineral pools for 4 hours! Feeling pretty good! The saga of traveling, especially solo, is that you just never know what the next turn will be. This time, on the long trip from Quito to the bustling tourist town of Banos (know for volcanoes, waterfalls, “extreme adventure,” taffy, and way too many tourists) I met a Canadian woman and her son traveling together for a month in her home country. It’s made the time here so much more enjoyable. Rocio & Dillan are great fun and she has strong mothering instincts so has somewhat taken me under wing, at least in introducing me to many of the things I may not have seen, food I may not have eaten, and Spanish I was desperately needing.  

Since it is Saturday tomorrow, I am leaving Banos to get down into the jungle, with the hope of getting a little bit further ahead of the swarms of weekend tourists that will descend on Banos SOON. Rocio and Dillan will be in Banos a week, so we will meet again. 

So, I haven’t even gotten to the jungle and I am covered with bites. The mosquitoes are already on to me! Funny thing is, they are quite cunning and devious in these parts and they must be practically microscopic. One never hears them, sees them, or feels them . . . until after the little swollen, itchy bites appear. I’m thinking that at least in the jungle, where everything is bigger, the little buggers will be apparent so they can be slapped, squashed, and treated with the infamous DEET. Yes. Decided not to go the malaria pill route, so I will be depending on pharmaceuticals, mosquito netting, and garlic pills. I think the key will be mind over matter. Don’t think about them and don’t scratch them! ImageImageImage