B is for Baths


I think it was Villager C who mentioned something about The Baths, and if I had been to them yet. She went every Sunday with her husband because the warm waters were excellent for her aching bones and muscles. I should go too, she said.

My mind immediately conjured up the Spa image, people walking around in thick white bathrobes, lots of steam and a voice over (my mind does this often) “Feeling the stress? Need a place to completely unwind in luxury?”

Life hadn’t allowed me to think about luxury  at that time. And it would be expensive obviously.

I’m not good with luxury. I’m so not good with luxury that I managed to live without running water for three years and when I eventually had water out of the tap I felt overcome with nostalgia about the times when we didn’t have water. I still have this now.

My Inner Polly Anna thought the no running water was great and kept reminding me how I’d never needed to go to the gym because my arms were toned for life now due to all the water carrying.

But a year or two ago I found out visiting The Baths didn’t require me to empty my life savings, which at that point would have amounted to about 10 euros.  There were some you had to pay for, but there were also Free Ones.

The Baths we visited overlooked a flyover and I felt conned, to say the least, because even though it was free, that wasn’t what was promised in the brochure. I felt out-of-place too, there were plenty of regular people who knew how it all worked and who knew all the differences between the baths and which one was warmer and where was I from because I didn’t look from here and they lived for years in Switzerland and did I like Galicia and oh be careful because that bath is particularly slippery and you might fall over.

I envy people who Know How Things Work when I am clueless.

It took me a good year or so to figure out there were Other Baths. You had to pay for those but it was in the middle of the woods, a friend told me. It looked ridiculously luxurious but the price certainly didn’t reflect it, for 5 euros I could spa myself silly for an hour and a half.

On my drive home, it felt as if I had been on a 2 week Holiday. I was on a complete Spa High, and I’ve never recovered from it.

I’ve sampled all The Baths in the area. I know exactly which ones are warmer, how long it takes for the jacuzzi  to get turned on again and what hours are best to visit so there aren’t too many people and oh are you  from Madrid on Holiday here that is lovely no I’m not on Holiday I live nearby and  I know how to make chorizo and yes I know I speak Galician because that’s what they speak in my village and no don’t sit there, you’ll burn yourself because that’s where the hot water comes out.

I’m no longer just an Adopted Galician villager. I’m also a Spa Regular.

11 thoughts on “B is for Baths

  1. Wow! I’ve never been to any type of spa or bath, for the same reasons you mentioned. They seem so over-the-top decadent, and with prices to match. But the baths you describe sound fantastic. I’d love to give them a whirl. 🙂

  2. I will need to find the Spas. I’m slightly jealous of your village, I’m going to have to look hard to find the tradition that was once here. Although there are a few who still know, most was given up, the pressures of modern life (and the lack of children of my generation) & that percebeiras became the only ones able to earn a living.

  3. Baths too, how lovely. We have those spas in Hawaii with the fluffy towels and robes, and the marble floors, the polite attentive masseurs and masseuses, but I have never gone to spa day with the ladies or spa anything because they are SO expensive here. I have enjoyed lovely soaks at Harbin Hot Springs and Breitenbush, wonderful places and not pretentious. Harbin, sadly, burned down in a freak wildfire last fall, but they are rebuilding. Maui Jungalow

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