Anne-Renée is a Hot Springs Aficionado!

My name is Anne-Renée and I joined this blog in February 2015. Lee approached me as we share the same love for well-being and relaxation. I am a former fitness competitor turned yogi on a quest to spiritual enlightenment through yoga, meditation practice and nature exploration. I have developed a curiosity and appreciation for spas, wellness retreats and hot springs. My goal is to discover and share my experiences and adventures through this blog.

I am a Hot Springs Aficionado.  Join me!

I am a Hot Springs Aficionado. Join me!

I am a public servant, working for the Government of Canada since 2006 and have been teaching yoga to my work colleagues on our lunch time for the past two years. This has allowed me to consolidate my professional career with a physical & mental health. For the past two years, I have noticed the benefits of yoga and meditation practice to address the high stress levels related to my professional career. I now have a great following and would like to extend this passion for well-being through sharing information on the benefits of spas, well-being retreats and hot springs.

As a highly sensitive person, I am well aware that stressful triggers can damage one’s health, by creating anxiety and eventually deteriorating one’s quality of living. Therefore my pursuit of finding healthy methods to ease tension comes naturally and is important to me. I believe there is a link between happiness and how we take care of our bodies mind and soul. The basics of achieving happiness are doing (a lot) what you love, by living in the present moment and by practicing gratitude.

My role is to inspire, motivate, bring positive thoughts, discover passions, guide you to be introspective, help you live in the present moment while laughing at this rollercoaster called life!  Let’s go hot tubbing’!!

Soaking in South East Asia

from Soaking in Southeast Asia

from Soaking in Southeast Asia

Every week I try to re-blog someone else’s post on hot springs.  This week, I found four absolutely stunning sites by blogger J.H. Dubbeldam, who runs

Soaking in Southeast Asia,

Soaking in Siam,

Hot Soaks of the Himalayas and

the European Natural Soaking Society. 

His primary focus is natural hot springs – though he does include some developed springs and spas.  His blog posts are very thorough and in depth studies of what is going on in the world of natural soaking.  The layout and photographs are beautiful!  This is the place you want to be if you are looking for hot springs in Asia or for natural hot springs in Europe!  Check out his blogs right now and bookmark them for later!

 

from Soaking in Southeast Asia

from Soaking in Southeast Asia

Not quite a hot spring, but it is For Sale!


Here is an interesting offer.  It’s a house that is for sale.  How does that relate to hot springs?  Well, it’s across the street from Spa Le Nordik in Chelsea, Québec.  It’s also close to some great skiing and mountain biking.  So if you’ve got a million dollars or so and you’re looking for a place to live or a very nice cottage, click here to check it out!

 

Malaysia – Deal at Banjaran Hot Springs Retreat

BanjaranEnjoy 3 days at Banjaran Hot Springs Retreat for 855 euros, leaving from Kuala Lumpur. Click here for details.

This looks like a fabulous resort, with excellent Tripadvisor reviews. I haven’t been there, so if any other Hot Springs Aficionados can comment on it, please do!

Japan’s youngsters recommend cuisine, hot springs, in survey | The Japan Times

This was a great week for news stories on hot springs, and here is another one I wanted to share with you. The soaking culture is strong in Japan, and very much part of every day life, so it’s no surprise that when elementary and junior high school students were polled about what they wanted the rest of the world to know about Japan, they named Anime, food and hot springs as the top three.

For the full story, click here: Japan’s youngsters recommend cuisine, hot springs, in survey | The Japan Times.

Have a great read and a great weekend!

Signing Off from Tecopa Hot Springs

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On The Sorting Table at China Ranch

I only spent three days in Tecopa – that wasn’t nearly enough to even begin to explore this place!  I thought I had done my research before I went and I knew of 3 hot springs in the town so I figured I would have enough time to explore them along with a side trip to the China Ranch date farm.

In reality, there are at least 5 hot springs to visit in Tecopa.  There are ultralight tours, hiking and biking trails, Dumont Dunes and more.  The stark beauty of the desert takes your breath away.  The feisty Amargosa River sneaks up on you in Tecopa – I had to laugh at swatting away mosquitoes in Death Valley!  I didn’t spend enough time just looking at the rocks – who knows how many opals I overlooked?  Tecopa is a remote and deeply spiritual place, and I was glad to have met Lady Gaia on this trip.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Al & Rhea, Hot Springs Aficionados

I met many great people in Tecopa, and I have a special shoutout to Al & Rhea, fellow hot springs aficionados, who told me about Saline – I didn’t get there in the end, but I will try to go another time.

The water here is great, soft and silky on the skin, with a mineral texture.  Every time I mix up the bentonite mud masque I brought back, the scent makes me feel like I could close my eyes and be back in Tecopa, in the desert.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe geology of the area, called the Amargosa Chaos, blew me away.  The path of that little Amargosa River from Beatty to Tecopa to Lake Manly is an astounding, hidden path.  Lake Manly?  Did you know that Death Valley is a Lake?  Lake Manly and Death Valley are the same place – its name depends on how much rain has fallen.  Very occasionally, rainfall makes Lake Manly reappear and the lucky few who are prepared can kayak across Death Valley… click here for the photos to prove it.  It’s proved yet again on the drive to China Ranch, as you descend into a canyon that is oh so obviously the bottom of a mud puddle.

It was much too short a time to spend in Tecopa, yet it was wonderful.  I learned so much there and later while completing these posts, about geology and history and the interplay between earth and water.  One thing I learned in Tecopa is that I feel deeply thankful that I am a Hot Springs Aficionado – this path has helped me meet wonderful people, soak in warm adventures, and enjoy life so much more than before.  So please join me and a growing tribe of other Hot Springs Aficionados as we share our stories, our favorite soaks, and choose to consciously live life in the hot springs of the world.

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This post is one of a series of on the Hot Springs of Tecopa; to see others, click on the links below:

Post #1: Tecopa Hot Springs

Post #2: Tecopa Hot Springs Resort

Post #3:Delight’s Hot Springs Resort

Post #4: Tecopa Hot Springs Campground & Pools

Post #5: Signing Off From Tecopa Hot Springs

Onsen-inspired ‘water walls’ can heat and cool homes, Hungarian inventor says | The Japan Times

There were quite a few interesting hot springs news stories this week and this is the first one I chose to highlight.  It shows how helpful hot springs can be to creativity and innovation!

Matyas GutaiMatyas Gutai got his inspiration for a new way to build walls in 2003 as he stepped in to a “rotenburo” (open-air hot springs) while he was in Japan studying sustainable architecture at the University of Tokyo.  His patented modern walls flow water to supply heat to the home combined with a geothermal pump that stores energy in the off season.  For the full story, click here: Onsen-inspired ‘water walls’ can heat and cool homes, Hungarian inventor says | The Japan Times.

Tecopa Hot Springs Campground & Pools

Tecopa Hot Springs Campground

Tecopa Hot Springs Campground

Locals refer to these as the “county baths”. These baths are operated by the Tecopa Hot Springs Conservancy, whose members are working very hard to increase awareness and responsible use of the Amargosa River.  They have developed an excellent website for the Tecopa Hot Springs Campground that is full of useful information to help you plan your trip to Tecopa.  This is an excellent campground with fabulous views and great walking trails.  The campground even supplies GPS tracking systems for hikers, and all campsites have wifi.  I didn’t realize it then, but the new management had only been in place for about three weeks the day I was there and there are a lot of plans for the future.

The View from Tecopa Hot Springs Campground

The View

At the center of the campground are two large segregated bath houses, one for men and one for women. There are two pools inside, one with spring water flowing directly in for an average temperature of about 103 F, while the second pool is supplied with the overflow so it is a little cooler. The pools are enclosed in large but simple and freshly painted cinder block structures. The main pool doesn’t have a roof so you are more exposed to the elements here than in the other bath houses in Tecopa.

Once you enter the bath house, hang up your clothes then take a shower. After that, it’s only a few feet to enter the baths. The pools are very deep, about 4’, so you can easily get a full soak and float experience here. The pools have rounded gravel on the bottom and the open sky overhead gives you a sense of being truly outside – the walls are purely for modesty here. The walls are plain and functional, the pools are plain and functional, and the waters feel wonderful. You can float here for a long time, looking up to the evening stars.

The baths are open long hours and offer a pleasant place for socializing. The office keeps a small supply of drinks and snacks available. As always when heading for Tecopa, I recommend your bring your own water and wine and food. You’re only allowed to bring water into the baths, but for some reason if I had to choose a drink for here it would be a light green tea. That seems the perfect accompaniment to the warm healing waters and wide open spaces of Tecopa California.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This post is one of a series of on the Hot Springs of Tecopa; to see others, click on the links below:

Post #1: Tecopa Hot Springs

Post #2: Tecopa Hot Springs Resort

Post #3:Delight’s Hot Springs Resort

Post #4: Tecopa Hot Springs Campground & Pools

Post #5: Signing Off From Tecopa Hot Springs

History Undressed: “Taking the Waters,” in Bath, England

I found this blog post that I enjoyed reading and I thought I would share it with you.  It’s written by a historical romance author, and has a very playful take on bathing culture in Bath.  It’s a quick read, and worth it!  Click here to read History Undressed: “Taking the Waters,” in Bath, England.

In more recent times, the Great Bath of the Temple of Aquae Sulis Minerva was closed to bathers.  In 2006 Thermae Bath opened, finally ending a 28 year period of no baths in Bath.  I believe it’s operated by the same group that operates Thermae Valkenburg.

I’ll be doing a series on the history and culture of soaking in the coming weeks.  Follow Hot Springs Aficionado on Facebook or Twitter to keep in touch as we explore the rich history of the relationship between humans and hot springs.  In the meantime, if you want to know more about “Taking the Waters” in Bath today, here is a video from Thermae Bath that invites you to spend the day in one of the world’s premier luxury soaks.

It’s the small moments that count

This evening I went to the gym, then to the sauna.  When I opened the door to the sauna, I was greeted with the gentle strains of spa music.  It was so inviting!

A young woman had brought her cell phone into the gym’s sauna, turned off her data roaming and had a playlist of spa music to listen to help her find that zen space.  In an instant, less than a second, she had completely changed my attitude towards phones in saunas!  Used correctly, technology can help us find peace.  Thank you, Natalya, for changing my perspective so quickly and so thoroughly!

It’s important to find those moments of zen in our too busy lives.  Look around you today to find those moments of peace and enjoy them.  Those moments are what make life worth living.  Peace out.

© Jorge Royan / http://www.royan.com.ar, via Wikimedia Commons