We’ve all done interesting things in hotel bathrooms. But Farzana and I have probably just outdone you all. We just had a Limpia in ours at the Casa Gangotena in Quito, which involved getting flowers in our knickers and stinging nettle welts on our arms. Here’s a sneak preview:
A Limpia is, according to the Andean cosmic vision, a session of energy equilibrium restoration. Basically, because we’ve both been feeling a bit knackered thanks to the altitude and jetlag and wandering around on the equator, our equilibrium is out of balance.
It was time for Rosa (a lovely lady we met yesterday in the herb and flower market) to make us feel better by rubbing yummy-scented plants all over us, which she prepared in the sink in the bathroom. And yes… stinging nettles were involved. I had welts all over me. Surprisingly, it felt kind of good.
So Rosa says, a person’s energy can be blocked by “espanto” (translated as “fright”) which means we needed this ritual using herbs, flowers and natural essences to heal us. Having stripped down to our underwear we took it in turns to be cleansed in sweet-smelling herbs and roses, as well as a few different floral sprays. At one point, Farzana’s head was positively slapped with a bunch of parsley.
Truth be told, when the egg came out and Rosa started rubbing it on my head whilst telling me in Spanish what it all meant, I did wonder when it would be appropriate to get up and put my clothes back on and resume normality by watching some TV. But strangely, by then I was also starting to feel quite fabulous.
Farzana and I agree that the Limpia is definitely the most interesting thing either of us have ever done in a hotel bathroom (except for maybe one thing I did once a few years ago, but you’ll have to read Burqalicious for that, ssssh), it’s not the last time we’ll have a Limpia. It might be the last time I wear this pair of knickers however. The remnants of the nettles are making me itch a bit…
*Note: If you’re in Quito, you’ll have to get yours at the Casa Gangotena with the gorgeous Rosa, as they’re the only people who do it!
This experience is detailed along with a bunch more silly stuff in my book Latinalicious – The South American Diaries.