Thermal Springs

Despite being surrounded by a striking mountain range and multiple pools of a thermal spring, A, R, and I could not help ourselves but complain. 25 A$A grants you access to a thermal spa, clearly a day-away destination for locals. Pools of water with various temperatures, ranging from icy cold to scalding hot, were plotted on the side of one of the cliffs overlooking the valley.

A ring of slightly cooled water circled in a type of a lazy river. In this river, none of us could figure out why the locals found it necessary to bash into us while we were tucked away in a small inlet of the otherwise raging lazy river. Complaining ensued when splashing children (aged at least 17) would horseplay right by, splashing out otherwise intentionally dry hair and faces. Trekking back toward the entrance, we came upon a pool of water, dubbed a puddle of lukewarm water,  that was situated close to a fountain, encircled by a cement "beach." Aside from the screaming children, this spot seemed like a great option to relax and let the natural thermal waters do whatever it is that they are supposed to do to our skin. Well, complaining ensued. The fountain encircled by beach would sporadically shoot cold water 5 meters in the air and into our direction. The puddle clearly didn't house enough water to cover us, thus leaving parts of our legs and torso exposed to the wrath of sprinkling cold water, which would leave us late 20-somethings squealing in angst. Nothing to see here folks, move on.

The apparel at this location was extra ineresting to me, though. Since landing in Buenos Aires, I have been taking mental notes of the fashion, the clothes, the shoes, the bags, the way people carry themselves, pretty much everything regarding choices in physical appearance. In addition to the platform shoes and severe lack of shorts in Buenos Aires, which will have a lengthy post at a later date, the thermal baths bore a style that was very difficult to explain. Firstly, a few pockets of people had piercings, many of which included a stud on the corner of a lower lip, a semi circle in the back of the neck (similar to those normally in belly buttons, but flatter... and significantly stranger), but no tattoos. Zero! Next, a few ladies clearly in their 40s and 50s found it acceptable to wear slightly decorated underwear as bathing suits. Now, I've had this debate before: certainly these articles cover just as much, and sometimes more, than a standard beach suit, it is slightly jarring to see a woman running around in her knickers. Finally, some parents found it perfectly appropriate to allow their pre-teen daughters to run around in swim suits that I have trouble accepting as an adult. I guess, welcome to LatAm?

Anyway after a few hours and deciding we had enough, we leave and take a more serious note and appreciate the fact that these baths lie on the side of a spectacular hill in Cacheuta and overlook beath-taking views of the Andes. A few silly photos and we're off to the bus stop across the street, right next to the cafe where we had lunch after cabbing it from Mendoza. One hamburger later, we boarded the van that took priority for leaving earlier (which we were clearly not meant to take but ... whatevs), and drove off after a swarm of locals on their day break piled onto the megabus in front of us. Peace out Cacheuta!

Pictures to follow.. eventually.

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