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June 22, 2012

From Mindo we drove back to Quito and visited that all important supermarket. Its was another shopping centre with an underground car park – which have plagued us since hitting South America. We managed to find a side street where we could park but we had to pay an old man with a stick a couple of dollars for guarding the truck – it was obviously his patch.

Once we’d stocked up we jumped back in the truck and drove East from Quito up into the Hills and over a pass at 4100m – where it was very cold and wet – before dropping down towards the small mountain town of Papallacta.

The reason for visiting Papallacta is the hot springs spa where there are 15-odd hot pools scattered in a picturesque setting next to a river. They allow camping in their parking lot as well which means that one entrance fee and you can pop in and out to the hot pools as many times as you want during the day.

We had a very enjoyable, cold mountain day, soaking in the pools. I even had a cold dip in the river (which was very cold) between my hot soaks.

When we left and headed back to the central valley as we crossed the pass the weather started to improve and we emerged into bright sunshine after a day on the Amazon side of the mountains where it didn’t stop drizzling.

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