Getting 'Steam'y in Baños...
April 5, 2007


I feel invigorated. I feel refreshed. If only I could start every morning like this!

But I can’t. Because that would involve building my own personal steam bath. Tempting…but probably won’t be happening.

I had no idea the process that goes into such a thing. Such a process that the person working there had to walk us through every
step of the way. Now I am going to re-live those steps…

    #1. Walk into the wooden ‘bath’ (more like a vertical execution chamber, if you ask me, as your head sticks out like it’s in a
    guillotine) and sit down. The guy then fits a wooden board up against your neck. There is a lever inside that you can pull in
    order to make the steam bath hotter.

    #2. Sit in there for four minutes. Now it’s time to rinse. Walk over to the little faucet and bucket on the floor. Turn on faucet
    and take the towel and follow these procedures: 1) move the cold towel from the right foot up to the top of your chest; 2) wet
    the towel and repeat #1 with the left side of the body; 3) wet the towel and move the cold towel from the front of both ankles
    to the top of your chest; 4) wet the towel again and move the towel from the side of the right ankle up to your armpit and
    around the rest of your arm; 5) wet the towel again and repeat #4 on the left side of the body; and 6) wet towel and open it up
    and put it against your back and move down the backside of your body.

    #3. Repeat Step #1 and Step #2 two more times.

    #4. Repeat Step #1 again.

    #5. Move to the cold lounge pool. This step is for the bowels (yes, I said ‘bowels’). This is when the guy starts rubbing the
    bottom part of your stomach to demonstrate what you are to do once he goes away. Nothing like some strange guy rubbing
    your gut, I tell you. He then comes back after a minute or two and starts splashing the cold water all over you.

    #6. Repeat Step #1 again.

    #7. Now it’s time for the final step: the hydro-massage. This felt a bit more like a human carwash. The guy took a hose-like
    thing ran it down the body in all sorts of ways. The pressure of the hose was so strong that it gave a sensation of stinging and
    tickling at the same time. But then I got used to it and it wasn’t that bad. But it really did feel like a carwash – he moved the
    hose up and down with such precision.

And that wrapped up my ‘steam bath’ experience. The first of its kind for me. And let me just say that if everybody could start off
their morning with something like this, the coffee industry would be in trouble because there really would be no need for such a

I seriously have a buzz right now. I can’t really explain it. All I know is that I want to start everyday like this…
Back to Ecuador.