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Published: September 27th 2006
Originally, our plan had been to travel from Cordoba to Iguazu Falls and then back to Buenos Aires via a few days in Uruguay. A small matter water shortages leaving the falls running at 50% capacity meant the thought of a 20 hour bus ride in a semi-cama (ie. airline economy class) seat was less than appealing, hence the decision to spend up to a week in Uruguay instead. Despite having to sort of double back on ourselves after our time in Montevideo, the chance to spend some days at the thermal springs in north west Uruguay was too good to pass, so we headed up towards Salto.
There are a number of thermal sites in the region, some with more medicinal waters and others purely for fun and relaxation. For convenience we selected Termas del Dayman, only 10km south of Salto and a popular family resort. Luckily, it was the week prior to the local spring holidays, so we were able to easily get a room at a good hotel directly opposite the thermals park. Although we arrived just after dark, the pools were open until 11pm, so we quickly recovered from the journey by relaxing the waters, heated from 36-42 degrees. The following morning, after being tagged with our day-pass armband we followed the locals examples and hired attractive dressing gowns, so we could spend the day in and out of the pools. At first I found it odd that most people just hung around at the sides of the pool rather than swimming, but after attempting a few lengths realised that prolonged swimming isn't really an option when the water is as hot as a bathtub. Far better to just take it easy.
Initially it struck us as odd that so many families evidently come here in the summer for a week or two, but quickly realised that it has the same to offer as most european beach resorts - sunshine, water, tacky souvenirs, playparks for the kids, bars for the adults. Just like a seaside holiday, but without the hassle of sand getting everywhere!
To top it all, we appeared to be the only gringos in the village, so it was nice to get away for a few days from the usual traveller spots. The mediocre meal we had on our first night was quickly forgotten on the second when we found a fantastic place with great service, all washed down with a few 'Patricia' beers, the top brand in the country!
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