Let me tell you a little travel story from our recent trip. It is called the tale of the shower coin…
It had been a long day. A long fulfilling day by the Soka river in Slovenia…
We went hiking early that morning and came back, late afternoon, to our camp ground. The Soka river is a mesmerizing river of emerald blue color. It come from the Alps glaciers and runs through the mountains. Its water have shaped gorges through the landscape that you can only want to explore.
Part of the hike, along the river, was an easy walk on a nice little trail where the sun was shimmering through the trees and was making the water glow. Part of hike required to cross shaky and partially dilapidated wooden bridges which made my heart pound through my chest and my legs wobble. Part of the hike was above the gorges, on trails that barely existed. Some paths took us to more wooden bridges which had disappeared with time, some ended on the rocky and sloppy edges of the gorge where we could admire the gorgeous sight of the river down below…
We wanted to go further and further, walking between mossy slippery rocks and tree roots, having to climb over some boulders which had ended their course on what might still be a trail. Some fallen trees here, more rocks there, definitively less trail. My hands were getting dirty as I had to help myself up by grabbing tree trunks and anything else that looked sturdy enough. The rest of my body wasn’t getting a better fate as I had to sit, lean and thread my way between rocks and trees.
After a while, the height and the treacherous path got the best of me. I feared I would not be able to go back and climb thought some of the obstacle I had just passed. I feared one step on the wrong rock would have disastrous consequences. As my fears were growing and my heart was beating faster and faster, my legs were becoming more and more unreliable. Every steps further was becoming a challenge as it seemed I couldn’t find a single stable spot to place my feet on. The ground was probably not shaking as much as I thought, but my legs were.
As such fears were taking over, I started getting cold. It was a sunny day, and all the climbing kept us sweaty and warm enough but it suddenly felt like the temperature had dropped to freezing… It was time to turn around.
Walking back, knowing that the beginning and easy trail we started with was ahead of us, was a relief on its own. As the gorge disappeared behind us, and after a few last glance to their majestic beauty, I started feeling better. Every step forward was taking me to firmer grounds. And every step was making me forget about the pitiful condition I was in, a few moment before.
We eventually reached our car. Suddenly I felt sad. It was time to go back although I didn’t want the hike to be over. My fears had completely disappeared, my legs felt strong again and I was ready to take another shot at it. But it was getting late and we had to go back to our temporary home.
The camping ground we were staying at, had some very basic commodities. Open-air common areas & tired appliance made these not so welcoming. Two showers were there, in the middle of the sanitary block which had 2 sinks on each side, one for personal use, one to do the dishes, with nothing more than a tiny wall to separate them. No privacy, nothing cosy about them and not comfortable. Not the place you want to linger around.
The shower on its own wasn’t very welcoming either. A dark door, 1 hook to hang all your things, no shelve or bench, a very small space to change, separated from the actual shower by a simple tired curtain. It was gloomy and cold.
I needed to shower. There was no question about it after the day we had, but it took a lot of self motivation to get in there.
I had purchased some shower coins the night before, when we arrived. One euro each. The camping carer had informed me that each coin would provide water for 4 minutes and 30 seconds which, in his view, was more than enough to shower. I bought 4, thinking I would probably use 2 instead of one.
So here I was, undressing in this little dark space, trying to make sure none of my clothes would fall on the dirty floor. Somehow, I was almost more afraid to get into this shower than I was standing on the edge of the gorge. I breathed deeply, inserted the coin in the machine, stepped into the shower tray, closed the curtain as well as I could and turned the water on…
To my surprise, the water was at the perfect temperature. There was nothing fancy about the shower head, yet the stream flow was perfect as well. The air was cold, and feeling the warm drops cascading down my back felt delightful. Knowing that the time was limited, I quickly poured soap on my loofa and scrubbed meticulously the dirt accumulated from the hike. At home, I never pay too much attention of how long I stay in the shower. Here, I had to be cautious of the time, despite having a spare coin. I rinsed as quickly as possible, worried that the water would stop running leaving me with soap everywhere. And I was done. All clean. Yet the water was still running…
Already the little and dimly lit room was filling with steam. Water was still pouring and my mind was drifting away as the stream was passing over my skin like a caress. The cold sweat I had experienced earlier was being washed away. All my fears were dissolving and my mind was calm and serene again. Never before, a shower felt this good. I was savoring every second, not knowing which one will be the last.
The water eventually stopped. Quite abruptly. I knew this would come to an end and surprisingly didn’t feel sad about it. Instead, I felt
And this was the tale of the shower coin or how 1 euro can buy four and half minutes of happiness!!
Want to have a good laugh? Read how we got lost in Tenerife and what went on in my head 😉