I don’t think I even heard the first couple of people’s coughs. I’m pretty sure I noticed a cough here or there on the terrace of our hostel in Baños that night, but I certainly didn’t catch on to the problem until Tom pointed it out.
I was happily cooking away in the shared kitchen/terrace of Plantas y Blanco, sipping red wine and absent-mindedly stirring the mixture of several hot peppers and a head or two of garlic I had sauteing over a flame while I thought about the scary monkey we had seen at the zoo that day.
And the scary dog we had seen on the way to the zoo.
The zoo in Baños was a little nicer than I had expected. For all of it’s international cuisine and vibrant art life Baños is, actually a pretty small li’l town. But the zoo was not quite as depressing as I had feared, and best of all- The tapirs there don’t live in cages but just wander around the whole zoo, munching on piles of carrots left out for that purpose and chilling in the shade.
Most of the monkeys were pretty cute, and it was amazing to watch the squirrel monkeys run around with their intelligent, little faces conveying (or seeming to) what they were thinking about. Mostly things like “the bottom of this piece of fruit is hard” and “it would be a good idea to throw this hard piece of fruit at my homie over there” and “WTF?! where did that hard little fruit just come from, it kind of hurt”.
But one Monkey, one that was kept farther away from the rest of the monkeys did not adapt to a life of imprisonment as easily as his fellows. He was pissed. He wanted out of that cage, and I don’t think he will ever stop fighting. Not until he is free and every bastard who put him in there is bitten.
Tom leaned over and interrupted my musings- “Jenny, I think those hot peppers you are cooking are getting to the people up here”.
“Oh crap”. I looked up at the terrace to finally notice that the 17 or so people up there were coughing and choking, eyes streaming and red. “Not again!” I thought to myself.
The next afternoon, after another lovely breakfast and work morning on the terrace (5 app updates submitted in 4 days- woo hoo!) we decided to go canyoning. I’m not quite sure why it’s called canyoning. We decided that it should actually be called “rappelling down waterfalls” as that is what it is. But that probably does not look as catchy on the posters.
It was pretty cold out, so we were thankful for the wetsuits/jackets that provided to us, inexplicably with a tarp-like diaper attachment.
We rappelled down several waterfalls set amidst these beautiful lush green backdrops. Ferns of every size and shade of green crowded around the falls- as if to get a peek of the silly tourists making their way down slippery, wet rocks with nothing but a rope and their firm grip keeping them from crashing to the rock-filled pools below.
At the last fall we went to the guide told me to sit at the top of it, I assumed that it was to safely wait my turn to get hooked on to the rope to start rappelling down. He then told me to make sure I kept my hands up, and while I was mulling over what this may be for he shoved me hard from behind. Sending me careening down a waterfall (slide fashion) before landing in a pool at the bottom.
Well That explained the diaper tarps!