The hot springs of Esalen

If you happen to be in the process of writing a 10-things-I-want-to-do-before-I-turn-90ish list, I have an entry for you; the hot baths at Big Sur’s Esalen Institute.

Arriving at a remote location at 1am in the morning – 1am to 3am is the only window for outside visitors, – Maja and I, along with a small group of strangers, were picked up by a guy strangely resembling Killer Bob from Twin peaks (do not click this link if you are still traumatised, like me). In a scene not unlike Bill Harford’s arrival at the, um, weird place in Eyes Wide Shut, Bob escorted the group down to the spa, where everyone showered and then resorted to the various tubs and pools.

And this is where the magic begins. Sitting in your own pool of hot, thermal water, which you can ‘tap’ straight from the source, listening to the waves of the Pacific smashing against the rocky walls of the Californian coast a few metres away from you, in pitch black darkness, with a sea breeze in your face, is nothing less than divine.

For the lucky few going during day hours, you might be lucky to watch whales migrating up north, but I was happy just watching the stars (cheesy harp music kicks in here).

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