There are specific times when soaking in hot springs is pure joy: after a day of skiing or a week of kayaking come to mind right away. This is especially true here in Ecuador as the paddling tends to be “busyâ€? and at the end of six full days, the muscles start to whine for attention. Answer: the hot springs. So Pappallacta Hot Springs ends up having special significance: something to look forward to all week here in Ecuador and the too-soon end of a week of paddling. But what icing on the cake! Perfect water levels all week allowed us the chance to paddle all the classics: the Oyacachi, Cosanga, Cheesehouse Section of the Quijos, Upper Mishaulli and Canyon Section of the Quijos; with weather that was sunshine mixed with clouds (luring us into thinking sunscreen was not necessary. Nice farmer’s tan!!). If you had to sum up the week with a few words: Steep Class IV runs and big holes. Okay, some of us found those holes a little more intimately that others. In fact, I personally taught the group the term “let ‘er buckâ€? in a hole at the bottom of Logan’s Leap/Panel of Experts (rock on Mutant—rodeo boat for a shining moment!!). And during the week everyone had at least a taste of the local culture: Hank helped the new panaderia open for business by hanging up their sign one afternoon as he wandered about Borja sporting his new Panama hat. Another afternoon he managed to find probably the best (and only) hamburger this side of the Andes. Drew took the opportunity to visit Otavalo where the largest indigenous market is held. And one morning Troy stumbled upon the local version of ESPN on his television—where they were showing a cock fight/iguana fight. All about visiting a new country! After finishing up on Friday with the Cheesehouse Section of the Quijos (so named because once-upon-a-time there was a house that sold cheese at the put-in), we reluctantly dropped off boats and began the drive up to Pappallacta—11,000 feet above sea level. There we lowered ourselves into the steamy water to soak for a bit before heading back to Quito. A remarkable Class IV week of boating.