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.