Monday, 27 July 2009

Every Good Pilgrim Deserves Pampering...

Monday July 20th (Later): There is no pilgrim refuge in Caldas. It seems that there was at some point but it is no more. I have been determined for days that once in Caldas I would take advantage of what it is famous for: very hot mineral water!

At the Hotel Davila just across the bridge I was told they had no singles, "but I can let you have a double for the same price." How much? 30 Euros? You betcha. My room is blue with white bedspreads it has no window but a skylight but once perched on the chair I can easily take a picture of the view back in the direction I have just walked. I booked a treatment for later on which was a one hour massage and a good dip in the waters "with rest in between". Then I went for a walk.

Caldas is nice and has a Roman bridge. There, you see. I can make it short when I want.

My masseuse has the unusual name of "Chus". I assume I have heard wrong. "It's short for Marie Jesus," she says. I'll never understand Spanish nicknames. She takes me down into the white tiled and very sterilised-looking Balneario. I am enchanted. There are weird contraptions sticking out of the walls with people who appear to have them in their mouths or up their noses or something. I don't get to linger long enough to ask. Instead I am introduced to a pool of 43 degree water which I am sure will need no explanation. Unlike many spas it has no smell.

After dinner in the very formal dining room (there are a group of Jubilados - pensioners on a government-sponsored jaunt: they are all very quiet), an anacronism in red velvet and oak, I return for my massage. My feet are pronounced "swollen and stiff" and it is good to hear that this pain has a medical term. "Tonight you will sleep like a baby," says Chus.

The mattress is latex, the sheets are soft, the ambience is one of total relaxation...

Aaaah! What a perfect day.


  1. When you have time to look at the Internet, check out this site for Spanish nicknames: Very interesting!
    Your treatments sounded wonderful! If you had made it to San Roque albergue 2 weeks ago, you would have had a free foot massage!
    Buen suerte peregrina.

  2. Hola amiga,

    Unfortuantly I lost your email address somewhere along the camino however the title of your book was burned into my mind and I wanted to say hello. I was the bicigrino, we met in an albergue in Spain (somewhere) and we walked for an hour or 2 to your stopping off place. I even sacraficed the humble pleasure of going downhill on my bike, forsaking such frolics as we discussed the world and indeed put it right. Indeed your book arrived today from Amazon and I look forward to commencing it shortly. I just can't get the camino out of my hair!