Monday, October 21, 2013

Dancing in the Mud

La Casa Molino Blanco is in theory a great B&B, especially considering it only costs less than $10 for a private double and it comes with a buffet breakfast and super soft beds. The downside is that the receptionist has a severe personality, and when I asked to switch to a dorm since Liza left tonight, she sent me on a guilt trip that I made the wrong reservation. Luckily she came around and moved my room. She also helped us book private spa services at El Refugio, a spa within walking distance. 

When we got to the spa, we headed into the mud bath room where we covered ourselves with volcanic mud that supposedly has special healing properties. Little did we know, in order to dry the mud, the spa therapists forced us to dance around the room in our bathing suits to zumba, Ice Ice Baby, salsa, and even Gangham Style. It was one of the most ridiculous experiences ever.

After rinsing off layers and layers of mud, we went to the herbal steam boxes. You sit in a wooden box that seems too much like a coffin, with your head sticking out the top. We sat there sweating for 5 minute intervals while the women who worked there fed us digestive tea through straws. After 5 minutes, the women would dump freezing cold water over our heads or we would be forced to sit in small tubs of ice water. We did this 3 times. It was surprisingly relaxing.

We followed up the weird cultural treatments with very normal 90 minute massages (and an exfoliation treatment for Liza). We were meant to have a 30 minute walk around the grounds to finish up the day, but I had bumped into Maxamillion, a guy from Germany who stayed at Community, on the way to the spa and we had made plans to all meet for lunch at 2, but it was already 2:45 by the time we finished our treatments. They said I could go back for the walk tomorrow if I have time.

We met Max for lunch at Cafe Hood, an eclectic restaurant with an even more eclectic menu. I split nachos and had pad thai followed by piña juice.

After lunch, we did a little shopping, then met up with our rainforest group (Brett, Caitlin, and Cameron) to taxi up to the currently erupting volcano. As we pulled up to the lookout, we could see it briefly spewing lava, but soon after, the clouds rolled in and we lost our view. I plan to head back there before leaving Baños.

Tonight was Liza's last night, so I will be traveling alone for a couple days until I meet up with Stephanie and Miriam in Cuenca on Friday. 

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