The Heavenly Salt Baths of Almeria
Floating in liquid bliss.
On a square deep in the center of Almeria lies a hideaway I never would have known about had I not been invited to enjoy my friend’s birthday.
Sure, there was the hammam, then the cold, warm, and hot jacuzzi baths. The massage was delightful. The ice-cold bath (complete with waterfall of ice cubes…) I could have done without.
But the salt bath?
That I didn’t know about.
It was a large pool, maybe 3 meters by 10 meters. There was a burlap sack of thick granules of salt nearby with which you could scrub each other’s backs to, I don’t know, get prepared.
Then you dipped your toe in. It was warm. Nice. Friendly. Welcoming.
We had just come from Probably the Best Lunch Ever and spirits were high, expectations were low, and the water was just right.
I’m not a confident swimmer. I don’t necessarily “love” being in the water. But this was somehow different. Maybe it was the candles everywhere, the dimly lit wall sconces, or the quiet strangers floating and soaking it all in right next to you.
I thought it might be like what I heard the Dead Sea is like where you can’t even dive very deep as it’s so buoyant. But it wasn’t that strong. As I lay on my back, my feet did slowly sink to the bottom and sometimes hit the floor.
As we had no agenda (other than wine and tapas), I gave it another go. Then another. Finally, I got it. If I regulated my breath and “didn’t think about it all too much,” I could keep my body parallel with the surface of the water.
My ears sank just under and there was music in the water. Music in the water. That was a first.
I floated towards the edge and my head bonked softly into the wall. With a single push with my pinky finger, I launched every so slowly in the other direction.
I fell deeper and deeper into something of a trance. I had my eyes closed yet my ears heard the music and the occasional bubbles of the water. My eyes “felt” the flickering candles. The pores of my skin soaked in the water and the salt.
My mind went elsewhere.
I’m not sure if I was sleeping, awake, in some sort of trance state or all three at the same time.
I floated away.
I saw everything and anything I wanted to see.
I could talk to whom I wanted to, get help from others, and help yet more than helped me.
There was no time, no space, no body, no self, no me, no you.
I stayed there a while. I don’t know how long.
Listened without hearing. Saw without seeing. Felt without feeling.