Testing the Waters
Trip Start Nov 24, 2005
40Trip End May 21, 2006
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
We were informed hot springs were to be found a one minute bus ride or a 15 minute walk uphill. So close.....who knew. So we headed up the road and we walked and walked and well walked until much past 15 minutes. More directions were required. It wouldn't be tough to guess that we had passed the turn off. New direction upwards determined we marched on. The Gringo Parade we called ourselves as people stopped to stare and children waved. Inadvertent hikers we passed tiny houses, exclaimed over fields of flowers and gasped at the views of the city nestled in the valley beneath us
An hour later we were at Los Vahos. But wait. Los Vahos means The Vapours and there was a serious lack of tubs in which to soak our tired muscles. There were however stinking hot dungeon like rooms with vents emitting vast quantities of steam. We took a chance and the six of us crowded into two tiny rooms and allowed our bodies to soak in the steam. Hot it certainly was and the occasional dash to the cold shower was most necessitated.
Despite the lack of actual waters it was a surprisingly fun excursion and we rewarded ourselves with scrumptious thought miniscule soya burgers upon our return to town.
Our next attempt to find hot springs was on a teacher accompanied school organized activity. Always heed the advice of actual Guatemaltecans over poorly written LP guidebooks. Bus to Zunil from where we hired a pickup for the remainder of the journey. Standing in the back of a truck, clutching at a metal bar for balance is a stunning if somewhat breezy way to experience the Guatemalan highlands.
The valley surrounding Zunil is a patchwork quilt of agricultural plots
The Agua Almogagas are set amongst a stunning backdrop of palm trees and creeping vines only slightly marred by the gaping scars left by Hurricane Stan. The pool and its immediate surroundings are dirty and decrepit but a vast improvement over Stan's aftermath. The owner showed pictures of the facilities before and then directly following the landslides. Sections of near complete devastation. Three weeks of digging through mud, rock and rubbish to recapture some of the former comfort offered by the pool. The water is now apparently hotter than before. One miniscule benefit attained amidst mountains of destruction.