If you haven’t rolled in mud yet just go ahead and do it. Don’t think too much about it. You may be braver than you think. Let yourself go and have a blast! You will find out that covering yourself in mud is not such a bad idea. It will be messy but it is something that you will always remember. You may even like it. The hippo seems to enjoy it.
If you are looking for some adventure in your life that will bring you as close as possible to the Earth and jumping into a volcano is not an option, take mud baths. It only takes one time to make you want to do it again. Your body will be thanking you. It’s not every day that you can have some good dirty fun with Mother Nature.
For those of you that have never experienced a mud bath in the middle of the nature, this is what it looks like.
I was glad to see that http://www.amexessentials.com recognized Lake Techirghiol, Romania as one of the world‘s 13 best mud baths. That’s right. These places are famous for their nice warm mud. Alabama mud was not one of them (movie “My Cousin Vinny”) but still: “Famous for your mud?”
Yes, Romania is famous for its mud! Romanians have been taking mud baths for centuries because of their therapeutic effects. They are also a great way to find tranquility and get close to nature. It has been shown that they can help with relaxation, take the stress off and detoxify your body, cleanse and rejuvenate your skin, solve different skin problems such as psoriasis, reduce stretch marks, improve circulation, and relieve your body from arthritis, rheumatism, and muscles and joint aches and pains. A medical exam is recommended before you decide to have treatments that involve mud.
Many of the locations where you can find therapeutic mud have been for a long time and still are hidden gems for Romanians and other people that visit Romania. There are thousands of relatively small size glacial lakes in the Carpathian Mountains that where formed at the end of the last Ice Age. During the Communist era, only a few foreigners knew of them and their mud by word of mouth from expatriate Romanians. They were able to pay a fraction of the cost of comparable treatments with mud baths in other countries.
Lake Techirghiol seems to be the best known location for mud baths because of mud’s special qualities. With year-round mild climate, Lake Techirghiol is a very popular vacation spot. It is conveniently located near Constanta, a major city in Romania on the Black Sea coast, where different modes of transportation are available. You can bathe directly into the lake or use the designated facilities. This is a very crowded place, especially during the summer months. I understand that there currently are waiting lists because of the increased number of tourists that are coming to take advantage of this natural treasure and low cost of the treatments.
Wikipedia offers a very good explanation of Lake Techirghiol‘s natural apparition that lead to its rich mud formation. The lake’s hyper saline content is the result of successive evaporation of sea water that remained in its basin after a tectono-erosive phase exhaustion. This process created a fluvial-marine firth that blocked the lake’s connection to the sea and increased the salts accumulations. The semiarid climate with high temperatures in the summer also contributed to the excessive evaporation that increased the concentration of salts in the water. Although the lake’s salinity has decreased over time it still remains high (83.6 g/l in 1970, and 63.6 gl/l in 1980). It creates a “bottleneck” in the selection of the lake animal and plant species. When the wind blows you will be able to see white salt stripes on the surface of the lake.
The concentration of water and mud chemical components can differ from lake to lake depending on how the lake was formed. For example, Lake Amara‘s sapropelic mud that is deposited on the bottom of the lake contains 40% organic substances and 41% mineral substances. The water and the mud also contain sulfur, sodium chloride, and magnesium.
There are locations in Romania that may not be as developed as Lake Techirghiol and still deliver the same or better results at a lower cost. Transportation system that seems to be improving makes it easier for people to reach nature. You will be able to bathe directly in lakes and enjoy breaths of fresh air just like the locals that have been coming here for hundreds of years to enjoy the curative effects of the mud and salt water.
Here’s a list (http://sanatate.acasa.ro) with other locations in Romania that can be researched if you are looking to bathe in natural lakes and their mud.
- Amara, Ialomita County,
- Bazna , Sibiu County,
- Baile Govora, Valcea County,
- Baile Felix , Bihor County,
- Baile Herculane, Caras Severin County
- Ocna Sibiului, Sibiu County
- Lacul Sarat, Braila County
- Sacelu, Targu -Jiu County
- Sangeorz Bai, Bistrita Nasaud County,
- Sovata, Mures County, and
- Vatra Dornei, Suceava County.
Featured Image: Hippopotamus bathing by Bernard DUPONT from FRANCE [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
Photo#1: Photo above has been cropped for a better view – by Николай Максимович [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons