Salto is known for termas, hot mineral baths.

The Dayman terma, not far from Salto, can handle hundreds of visitors at a time.There are spas for those that want a massage.There are eating facilities. There are lockers, picnic tables and shaded areas to take rest out of the sun. It is five dollars U.S. to use the terma facilities all day and they are open seven days a week.

A ticket seller at the entry asks where I am from and tells me about his son who lives in New Jersey. It seems lots of people know about New Jersey in Uruguay. All I know about Jersey, from friends, is that spring and fall are the best times of year to visit and Jimmy Hoffa is buried somewhere in the Garden state under a slab of concrete.

Tomorrow I will be back floating in hot water, on my back, watching clouds cross the sky.Today I just came out to see the lay of the land and try the city bus ride out for ease and price.

The baths this morning aren’t crowded and I watch old men and women with old fashioned swim caps wading in the middle of enormous hot water swimming pools, floating on their backs, sharing gossip in groups of two or three. Kids stand at the edge of the pools, look, then leap into the water with a splash.

If it were a little colder the hot water would be even more inviting but most of the bad weather in Uruguay is just rain and more rain.

When you are in a hot pool the cool raindrops hitting your uncovered head are refreshing, little reminders to your brain that you shouldn’t stay in too long.

The hot baths of Salto are a Christmas present I don’t want to leave unopened.

 

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