We've made friends with an Irish chap named Tom. Tom is a jolly fellow and both Randy and I enjoy his company. He invited us to join him and a buddy of his on a trip to one of his favorite locales - the Caldera Hot Springs, 45 minutes away from Boquete. Rand had been feeling a bit under the weather and Tom claimed that the natural minerals in the springs were just the thing to sharpen him right up. It sounded like fun to us. If we got the added bonus of Rand starting to feel closer to 100% as a result, all the better.
A bumpy, misty ride in Tom's 4x4 Jeep eventually brought us to the end of the road, we'd continue the rest of the way on foot. We disembarked and made our way in the direction of the springs with Tom in the lead. Down a rocky slope we trudged, through a marsh and finally into a flat pasture area shaded by the canopy overhead. Tom paused in front of a log bridge and waited as a young kid shimmied across the log to collect a dollar from each of us-our entrance fee for the springs.
We chose one of the three pools and eased into the agua caliente. My, MY it was wonderfully warm and relaxing! It began to rain and the cool drops were a nice compliment to spring's temperature. When we started to get too hot, we stepped out and walked down to the river. The cold water took our body temperatures back down quickly.
It continued to rain and after another soak in the springs we decided to make our way back to the Jeep so as to traverse the footpath prior to nightfall. Rand remarked that the pouring rain reminded him of "Nam". On the road, we were thankful for the Jeep's 4x4 capacity as the uphill climb was now a mud pit. We arrived home safely and agreed that we'd had a splendid time and also that we'd never been so drenched from a rain storm. The only things negatively impacted by the downpour were the candy suckers tucked in Randy's soggy backpack. They had thoroughly melted coating the inside of the pack with strawberry, grape and cherry goo. The clean up proved a sticky one.