We got a tip from a local to go take a soak at a hot springs in the area, Ngwaha Springs. She told us you that this was a real deal natural hot springs, that there were no showers and you would smell when you were done. We had no idea how long we would smell. Unlike body odor that goes away after a good shower or swipe of deodorant, sulphur sticks with you. Our swimming suit and shorts have been washed three times and are still hanging on the side view mirrors in order to keep the smell out of the van.
After driving 10km on a gravel road to get to the springs you arrive at an open field with a lake. Place your $5 in the box at the door (it’s on the honor system), throw on your swim suits, and follow your nose to the sulphur smelling pools. There are eight pools of varying temperatures, with exotic names like “Tranquility” and “Lobster”. The hottest of the pools was probably around 125 degrees Farenheit. John lowered himself in butt first because the thermal mud floor was too hot for his sensitive toes. We spent about two hours soaking in the tubs with the locals, chatting about everything from fishing to politics and even heard a story about a woman who came to the pools twice a week for 12 months and had a fuller head of hair as a result. After one treatment, John has yet to see positive results so we may have to do more testing. Another one of the healing elements of mineral baths, supposedly, is the mud that is at the bottom of the pools. People put it all over their bodies–we aren’t quite sure why exactly, but we tried it anyways.
Thankfully the person we originally got the hot springs tip from was wrong about the showers, there was one cold shower. It washed off the mud, but definitely didn’t wash off the stink. Regardless, it was a worthwhile experience, but if you ever decide to do a sulphur bath make sure to leave anything you care about at the door (including stainless steel jewelry-ours turned brown). Maybe that’s why most people try to do these things in the nude?