I decided to go for the tour option today, since it was only $10 to see the Fuentes Georginas hot springs and the town of Zunil, and the pickups alone to/from the hot springs would cost that. Turned out to be just me and a couple from Spain. We left the Black Cat around 8am, sadly missing out on the fabulous free breakfast, and headed to the Fuentes in a minibus.
Got there around 9am, and it was COLD!!! Nobody else there, either, except for a French family having breakfast. You can stay in the cute cabinas on the grounds, and there is a bar/restaurant there as well. The hot springs themselves had more character than the ones we went to in La Fortuna, with steamy water trickling directly from the side of the mountain into a natural rock pool. Unfortunately the water was only tepid, and the ambient temperature was frigid, so I only dipped my lil toes in the water. It was still nice and relaxing, though. And the gorgeous mountain scenery made it nice to sit and contemplate absolutely nothing for an hour or so.
Next stop (after leaving the facility and then coming back in a huge hurry because I'd left my camera behind while contemplating) was Zunil, a short way down the mountain. The town is known for its textile cooperative, beautiful white colonial church, and another spot to see Maximón! OK, let's see how it compares with the last time... Long walk up a steep hill, check. Duck into a random house in a narrow alley, check. Pay to get in, gringo tax, check. Many multicolored candles around, check. In this case there were actually people going up and making "requests" of the deity, who looked a little more like an escapee from Reno 911 with a big cheesy moustache and sunglasses. There was an extra charge to take photos, and when they tried charging me for *each* photo, I knew it was time to leave. Alrighty then, I think I've satisfied my Maximón needs for this trip! At least I didn't get ripped off by a grubby little guide this time.
Back in time for lunch, which I spent with a German girl named Valeri at a neighborhood restaurant called Casa Babylon. Feeling lucky (punk), I even ordered a spinach salad, something you're not supposed to do in these parts, but I was in such desperate need of green leafies that I threw caution to the wind. I doused it with lime juice, something that's supposed to help kill any residual creepy crawlies, and apparently that worked because I suffered no ill effects. Rock on!
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