Day 21, Caceres to Banos de Montemayor — 116 km

And then there was one.

Dick and I packed up this morning, then he headed east to Madrid and I north to the area around Hervas. I had decided that after all the rain, I needed a couple of spa days.

It was an easy ride, and some beautiful vistas, clouds on the horizon.

When I stopped for gas I met some English-speaking tourists who were curious about my motorcycle. She is currently driving a 125 cc bike while prepping for her upcoming exam. He drives a Honda 400. They were very impressed with my lovely monster.

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Banos de Montemayor is a very small town which had been a Roman spa resort. The current baths are actually on the same spot, and house a museum. In fact, you can look through the glass from the museum, and the original baths, to the current baths. That was the element I liked.

I was somewhat disappointed in the experience itself. I chose the fullest option, the Circuito Romano, at 26 euros. 26 euros is a pretty average amount to spend on a whole day’s entry at one of the Netherland’s thermen. There you would have the freedom to do as you liked, in numerous baths, hot tubs, saunas, steam rooms, etc. At the balneario and termas here, the process consisted of the following:

1. make a reservation. Opening hours are from 09:00-13:30 and then 17:00-19:50.
2. arrive, change into your bathing suit. a bathrobe is provided, but you will also need a haircap, or you can buy one.
3. wait for the others in your time slot
4. receive a super fast explanation of the process.
5. sit in a lukewarm marble bathtub filled with super soft sulphurous water (i liked the water, not so keen on the temperature) for 20 minutes
6. carefully dry off with your bathrobe (this was repeated as very important several times), and turn on the showers so that they warm up.
7. sit in the sauna for 15 minutes, on tiled seats so hot your butt is burning. actually, i was really grateful for the heat after the tub.
8. shower (you can also shower at any point during your sauna time, and return to the shower). DO NOT dry off.
9. sit in the steam room for 15 minutes (this part was perfect)
10. shower, dry off.
11. sit in heated seats beside the tubs for 10 minutes.
12. proceed to the tiny and rather cold but quite lovely swimming pool, where there are many people lounging, making it difficult to do anything other than hang on a side.

and then I added a step:
13. read book while lounging in the seats next to the pool. I was the only person to do this, and received many strange looks.

To be sure, I actually went to the reception to ask if I had understood the process correctly, and was finished. I also asked if there was any reason I could not go back to the warm seats next to the bathtubs (they said other people needed them, but there was no one in there). So. I guess there went my plan for tomorrow. I will go for a ride instead, after my morning massage at the eco-store down the street.

After the termas, I walked around town a bit, bought breakfast necessities at the tiny supermarket, checked out the bar options for dinner later.

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And here I am now, typing this while everyone (myself included, out of morbid curiosity and because it’s onscreen in the only place to hang out) watches bullfighting on TV. The tapas are truly tapa-sized here, unlike any pintxos, pinchos, raciones, half-raciones, or tapas in any other place I’ve been, where they’re all huge. But the bartender is friendly and those tiny tapas are tasty.

Most of the people I bathed with today are here with me.

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