FOLLOW WILLY COSMO AS HE EXPLORES THE HEALING WATERS OF THE WORLD
JOE: This place was pretty awesome. Negombo Thermal Gardens has 14 different thermal pools all at different temperatures and with different scenic settings to enjoy. It goes up the cliff sides a few hundred feet and provides some pretty lovely views. The beach alcove is also connected to the grounds so you can go and take a dip in the mediterranean between soaks and lounging in the sun. Located on the north side of the island of Ischia (a delightful island by the way), this is a place I would strongly encourage you spend a solid afternoon at if you ever take a trip to this little island getaway. A little note on getting to the island, we drove into Napoli (Naples) to take the ferry there and let me tell you, I have driven through New York and in Mexico, and through a fair number of high traffic and heavily populated areas, but driving through Naples was absolutely crazy. Rachel's butt cheeks were clinched so tight for that part of the ride that I thought the seat might come out of the car with her after we finally arrived at the ferry docks on the island. It's almost like a free for all, yes, there were a few traffic signs and stop lights here and there but it was mostly people crossing several lanes of traffic wherever they pleased and bikes, and mopeds, and motorcycles, and trucks, and cars, and madness just spinning around in a way that I am amazed we made it through. I might be exaggerating a little bit but, really, only a tiny bit. It was nuts. And that reminds me, we were staying on the south side of the island of Ischia in Sant' Angelo and took the bus up to Negombo. That was also insane. Besides the fact that it was 100 plus degrees Fahrenheit, there were three times as many people as there should have been on that bus. Sure, you may have already travelled to parts of the world where this is a semi regular occurrence but for me, it was my first time, and for Rach who was nauseous with early pregnancy and thought she might puke, I thought we were in for one of those scenes from a movie like Stand By Me where it starts a domino effect and everyone is barfing everywhere. Did I just go too far off course with the intro to this review? Maybe. Well, I'll get back to Negombo...
So, the bus ride was a hot n' sweaty mess to say the least. Thankfully it was only 20 minutes or so, it was a long 20 minutes but totally worth it to get to our thermal garden oasis of a destination. While it was a really hot day, the truth of the matter (for me at least) is that I still enjoy soaking in hot springs, even on a hot day. Negombo had several of its pools that were quite cool which was great. Originally when we planned to visit here, we be both were going to do a massage. After observing the prices and really considering what this place had to offer, and given that Rach was feeling pretty crapy, I decided to forgo my massage and just have her get a really nice extended treatment. That plan fell through though for her as far as a "nice treatment" goes because when she was checking in, she let them know she was pregnant (incita) and they then didn't want to give her a massage at all! After she looked through the options though they said they could give her a scalp massage and do that hot oil deal where they pour it onto your third eye and rub your temples and all that good stuff. She asked if she could do that and they said yes. Apparently something was lost in translation though and what she actually got done was having a rather large and hairy man rubbing his sweaty hands and arms all over her face with oil and basically doing everything she could not to gag the whole time. Mind you, after I said she could just have a treatment instead of the both of us, I kissed her and headed out to grab my book and explore, knowing I'd have about an hour and forty five minutes to hang out before she got done. I had no idea this is what took place while I was gone. So, imagine my surprise when I went back down to find her and she came out looking so distraught. That was not the look I was imagining seeing from her after what I thought was going to be her getting super pampered. She then relayed the story to me (and I contained as much of the laughter as I could in the moment) and felt bad that this was what had happened to her. I did what I could to help her shake that off and we went and got some lunch. They have a cafeteria/buffet style area that overlooks the beach where you can pick and choose your main course and sides, or you can order off of a menu as well. We chose the buffet style option and the food was decent. Nothing to write home about. Then it was back to soaking and lounging and exploring the grounds.
In all, this is another one of those amazing places we strongly recommend you check out. I do want to mention - as I mentioned in the post about Aphrodite on the other side of the island - that Ischia is largely an Italian vacation destination. Only once while we were on this island did we come across english speaking people and it was in one of the pools here actually, It was a dad and his kid. When I heard words that weren't Italian, I could hardly believe my ears. With that said, all the people (staff and guests of the resort included) were pleasant enough and other than the language barrier, we found the place most enjoyable. I'd like to go back one day and visit again. We didn't make it over to Capri but that is also on the list of places to check out for sure. Negombo Thermal Gardens is inspiring to us and we will definitely incorporate some of it's aspects into Cosmo Springs.
Negombo Giardini Termali
Baia di S. Montano, 80076 Lacco Ameno, Isola d'Ischia, Italy
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