Friday, July 27, 2012

Mud Massage

On Thursday we decided to go back to Chachimbiro for a massage and the thermal pools.  It is a trek to get there, though.  First is a 45 minute bus to Ibarra, then a 30 minute bus to Urququi, then a $6.00 taxi ride up to Sacre Aqua. But this time we found where to go to pay for a massage, and only had to wait a few minutes for my therapist to be ready.  She told me to take my suit off down to the waist and lie on the table face down.  I couldn't see what she was doing, but I could tell she was using oil or something.  Then she used hand gestures to indicate I should turn over. Well, I am accustomed to the very modest ways of Massage Envy, not the customs of a country where women just pull up their blouses and nurse their babies anywhere, no matter how many people are around.  This time there was no sheet at all.  It was strange, but when in Rome or in Ecuador, you just go with it.  I just kept my eyes closed, and she finished the massage with my face.  When she told me to get up, I opened my eyes and saw that I was covered in a reddish-yellow mud.  she told me to sit in the sun for 10 minutes and then go rinse off in the shower.  Ron took pictures, and after I was no longer brown we went into the jacuzzi.

We spent several hours soaking in the various pools, had our lunch that we had prepared, then left to wait for the bus back to Ibarra.  Just down the road that leads to the place where the buses park were a couple of little stores and a concrete bench to sit on.  We parked ourselves there with our bags.  Soon two little girls came walking up and talked to an older girl, probably their sister, who seemed to be watching the shop and also watching a baby who was strapped into a tricycle/stroller gizmo.  One of the little girls came over to me and pointed to my camera.  I took her picture and showed it to her.  Her eyes lit up and she started pointing to her sisters, so I framed the shot, then took her hand and put her finger on the button and pushed it down.  Then showed her the picture.  We yelled "you did it!" She was delighted.

We took pictures of all of them and she was practically in my lap by that time.  We told them we had to go to the bus, so said goodbye.  However, when we got to the bus he wasn't ready to go yet so we had to wait some more.  Sure enough, here they came again.  This time they had some little packets of powdered candy.  Looked like Kool-Aid.  The more friendly of the girls grabbed my hand, turned it palm up and poured some in my palm.  God, it was awful tasting stuff, bur I didn't let her see me toss it on the ground.  In a few minutes, she ran back and gave me another portion.  Ron remembered that we had some bandy in our bag, so I got that out and gave it to them.  Now we were friends forever.  When the bus started up, they both shouted "Ciao, ciao," and we blew kisses to them.  Great moment!
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