Soaking It All In

I’ve written before about the Airbnb experiences I’ve enjoyed while traveling.

There was the Irish baking class I took in Galway last spring where I learned how to finally make a good brown bread (and scones!), and the two experiences (a food tour in Athens, and a Farm-to-Table dinner on Paros Island) that my son and I enjoyed in Greece in July.

All of these experiences were fun, relaxed and delicious.

For a recent trip to Palm Springs, I went in a different direction. Instead of preparing or consuming something, I selected an experience that was all about letting go – a two-hour soak in a private natural hot spring in the desert. Here’s how it went…
The location for our experience was a short driving distance from Palm Springs in the direction of Desert Hot Springs. The area is not very developed and the Google Maps directions were simple to follow. In fact, they were far more simple than the series of locks I had to manipulate to make use of the public bathroom where we made a pit stop. We arrived a few minutes early and found our host ready to lead us on a short walk through the desert to the bath. Our bathing suits were under our clothes and we carried only some water, towels and cameras to capture the experience.
The bath was bigger than I had expected and nicely positioned to take in the views. There were rocks edging the perimeter of the pool and hot water continually flowed in from one corner while the overflow trickled out to join a narrow stream.

When I initially tested the temperature of the water I was concerned that it wasn’t hot enough, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. The temperature was actually ideal. Our host, Paul, left us alone, returning a few minutes later to bring us some fresh aloe for our faces, which was a nice touch.

In a typical hot tub, I’m bored and overheated in about 20 minutes. This bath was not like that at all. My guy and I talked while appreciating the beauty of the snow-capped mountains in the distance. The more time that passed, the more relaxed I became until I couldn’t help but tip my face up to the sun and close my eyes for a quick series of cat naps.

Occasionally I’d move closer to the source of the hot water to stretch my limbs or practice my Chaturanga. But mostly, I just soaked it all in. The time just flew by in the most pleasant way imaginable.

Two hours later, we climbed out into air that was surprisingly easy to adjust to despite the cool temperature. My skin felt great, not puckered or dry in the slightest. I was completely satisfied, which is a really strong and positive way to feel, with the entire experience – start to finish. If you’re looking for an essential, yet indulgent way to spend a couple of hours in the desert, this should be your first stop. Do this.

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