Today we spent a lot of time on the bus, driving to the volcano. The weather was not very agreeable, since it has rained most of the day. We started out driving North from Quito, then East toward the volcano. Along the way, we passed a village that has traditional Ecuadorian "cowboys" and we stopped to take a picture with some.
We arrived at the paramo of the volcano (Andean plains) that is filled with grassy vegetation and no trees. First, we walked to a small lagoon (a lake in the middle of the paramo), then hiked around the paramo in search of different plant and animal life. It was raining for most of the hike, and quite chilly.
We had a traditional Ecuadorian lunch and listened to some native live music in honor of Mother's Day. "Viva las madres!" All of the students would like to tell their mothers, "Happy Mother's Day from Ecuador!"
We drove to our next stop - the thermal hot springs in Papallacta. The springs are heated by the volcano, and each one is a different temperature. As I write this, they are all completing a thorough study of each of the springs around our cabins. Later, we will go to dinner in the hotel restaurant, then more studying of the hot springs and their therapeutic properties.
Photo op with the some local "cowboys" going to a competition: