Category Archives: Health

Termas El Salado in Baños

 Minutes before arrival at the volcanically heated hot springs of Termas El Salado, I was able to see the smoking Volcán Tungurahua.  I thought: I don’t remember ever seeing an active volcano in front of my eyes.  What a pleasant surprise.  I was glad that I don’t take taxis unless I have to, as the walk rewarded me with a striking view.

Sharing the sidewalks and streets with school kids reminded me of being on my way to school on a brisk, autumn, New England morning.

Hot Stone Volcanic Massage

When I think of the little town of Baños, the first thing that comes to mind is  therapeutic tourism. Besides allowing people to easily bathe in thermal springs, the town is home to well over a dozen massage parlors.

Considering I’d been walking past these massage service stores for a week, I figured that it was time to take advantage of the option that was staring me down.

Bathing in Baños

After walking along a refreshingly misty and windy Baños street, I came to the Termas de la Virgen, one of a few thermal, public baths heated by Volcán Tungurahua.

Termas de la Virgen sits just beside -practically below- the Caballera de la Virgen waterfall.

After paying the $2 entrance fee I went in and glanced around in awe, finding five pools. They vary in water shade, size, and most importantly, temperature.

I was instructed to take a container, go to a changing room, put on swim trunks and place everything else in the basket.

After handing my plastic crate over I was given a band to put around my wrist.  There was a small wooden piece on it that showed the number of my container.  Two words came to mind while placing the band around my wrist: Über efficient.

3 Cheap Vegetarian Options in La Mariscal

I’m not going to lie.  I’m not a full-fledged vegetarian.  That means that when there’s no other option, I suck it up and usually end up settling for chicken and or egg.  I even eat beef or pork when it’s served to me in someone’s home.  Recently in Colombia I had liver on arepas or corn tortillas while at a home in Virjinia.

As time goes on, I continue to like the idea of vegetarianism more and more.    Even though I’m not a fan of labels, for the moment, I’ll loosely consider myself a virtual vegetarian.

The bottom line is that my goal going forward is to focus mostly on a high fruit, high veggie diet.

Massage Therapy in Salento

About three weeks ago, on my second night in Colombia, I stayed in a hostel’s dorm room in Poblado, figuring I’d save money.  But, I didn’t like the place or the night’s sleep that I got.

After that night, I hadn’t slept in a dorm room for over two weeks.  In Colombia, the main advantage of sleeping in a community setting is that it often costs half the price of a private room.

After having private rooms for most of my stay in Medellin and all of my stay in Manizales, I figured that it was time to cut costs and try to suck up some cheap living.

The private rooms always provided me with two pillows.  The one dorm bed I slept in in Poblado had a thick pillow that was perfect for my needs.

When in Medellín: A Traditional Sunday Dinner

For a while now,  I’ve been loosely thinking about doing a weekly cuisine series.  I didn’t want it to sound cliché or like any of the million blogs out there that are already doing something similar.

Yesterday, while throwing my vegetarian ideals into an amoral abyss, I devoured a typical slab of Colombian steak and all of its accompaniments.  It was during that feast when the idea came to fruition:  When in Medellín: My Traditional Sunday Dinner.

On occasion, I’ll seek out a traditional dish from the local area I’m in.  Ideally it’s healthy and therapeutic local fare.  However, because this is a flesh consuming land, the main focus for now is to eat something traditional that the locals eat.

Pumping Iron in El Poblado

As I’ve been on the road for most of the last 11 months, I’ve found getting exercise to be a bit of a challenge.  I’m always on the move.  This makes routine somewhat impossible.  Consistent exercise requires habit.

If I were to prioritize working out,  it would happen more.

In Panama I managed a few hikes.  In India, I started doing pushups and yoga stretches in my hotel room.  In Chiang Mai, I was able to blend into a huge resort hotel and take advantage of their pool, weights and cardio machines almost daily for about two weeks.

Dental Tourism on a Delhi to-do List

Upon arriving in India’s mega capital this afternoon, I was on a mission to cross out items from my Delhi to-do list.

I’d scribbled the list down while on a shabby but efficient local bus from Jaipur this morning.

One item was to get my shoes shined or cleaned.  Before I checked into my hotel room, a boy had already approached me and shined my shoes for 20 Rupees or $.39.  I had to be firm with him about not putting new soles or stitching in.  If I hadn’t been explicit, he would have attempted to do more than shining. He would have tried to command an exorbitant price of 200 Rupees or more.   I knew this from past experience.  Shoes clean.

Fashionable Fruit Creations in Udaipur

While traveling in SE Asia and India over the last few months, a mantra has been popping into my head.  It’s not my own catch phrase though.

At the Backpacker’s Inn in Managua this past January, I spoke with a gregarious Canuck from Saskatchewan.  He was eating breakfast that he’d brought from home while we were chatting about healthy eating and exercise.  He had some sort of fiber-laden cereal concoction.  I said:

Is that healthy?  Is there sugar in it?”

Train Travel in India: Some Pros and Cons


When I asked the man at booth number 52 about the prospects of a dining car aboard a long-day train, he answered:

“Yes there’s a car with food.”

I quickly assumed: It’s a day train.  Why wouldn’t it have a dining car?  Great!  I love to eat while gazing out at the countryside.

Buying the ticket was a cinch.  Unlike the score of other booths, this one was designated for foreign tourists. There were no other foreigners in line when I arrived.