Neil and Lisa joined Ricardo, Suzie, Louise and me and drove up to Santiago and Agua’s Calente (the hot springs). It took us just over an hour to get up there, but the drive was great. As we drove into Santiago we were amazed at how clean and neat this little town is. Compared to Cabo San Lucas and San Jose, this place looked like it was cleaned especially for us…it sparkled. At the other end of the town is the zoo. It to was well kept, but the animals that were there are still in need of more room but more than anything else, better health. We all left a donation behind and then continued onto the hot springs. It had been 15 years since we were last at the hot springs so the way out there was a little fuzzy. From the zoo on, the roads turned from pavement to dirt, with intersecting dirt roads coming in from all directions. And then there were the little casa’s, and rancheros along both sides of the road that made it very picturesque. After driving about 5 miles out from the zoo I started to doubt my way to the springs so as we passed a small ranchero with a lady that looked like a “Gringo”, we stopped to ask directions. Our directions were right on but about 1 mile short, but she apparently hadn’t had anyone stop by for so long she took the advantage to unload about everything that had been building up in her for the last year. They say everyone has a story and she certainly has one to tell. Listening for awhile, we were back on our way. Finally the hot springs came into view. Climbing out of the van, we all headed around the dike to see just how it had changed. Someone had made this “private enclosure” along one side of the wall of rocks that kind of kept the hot waters trapped a little longer. We all had to get in and test the temp and then do some more exploring of the area. Neil and I took off up river to see if we could get to the falls that Louise and I had been to 15 years earlier. With all the rains and hurricanes that have come through the area in that time, it had changed more than I had expected. The hike over the rocks and the crossings across the river were much more than it had been, but the end result was the same….absolutely beautiful. We made it back to the falls, totally about 5 of them, with deep green pools at the end of each one of them. Neil and I were both caught up in the beauty of it all and time got away from us, so before the rest of the crew sent out the search and rescue crew we headed back with a ton of great pictures. One of the other delights of this trip, no matter how often we have made it, is to stop by the Ploma Hotel for a great “Mexican” lunch. As always, we had a most delightful meal in a wonderful atmosphere (a very old and charming hotel).