Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Las Canarias V: Fish Spa

That's right, I said fish spa. 

This is my last post about our Canary Island adventure, and it's about a very different cultural experience. When Rob and I went to the playa roja, "fish spa" was not what we had in mind either! 

Blowing through the desert along the south coast between Santa Cruz and Playa de las Americas, Rob and I detoured from the expressway to explore the town of Medano because I had fallen in love with a photo of a windswept red mountain in one of the guidebooks. The town lived up to its image. The red mountain defines the horizon and the beach below it is striking; rust-colored sand sparkles surrounded by an unusual geological wonder: fossilized sand dunes. A beautiful sunset with a full moon exaggerated the beauty of the landscape. Despite the lateness of the hour I persuaded Rob to climb the mountain (or most of it). But on our way back into town we stumbled upon something we weren't expecting.  

When Rob read the words "fish spa" all I could think was, "that's the worst translation we've seen yet!" And that includes some pretty epic fails. 

Upon closer inspection, though, the fish spa really was a fish spa! Although Rob's usually the one to shell out for a tourist thrill (Dad and I owe him our thanks for the crazy boat ride into the Iguazu waterfall!), I had to insist on this one! For fourteen euros we could let a bunch of hungry minnows chow down on our extra foot skin--sign me up! 

Now what would be your first thought if you were considering having your pedicure performed by fish? Would it hurt? Would it bea real-life version of the 1980s horror flick Piranha? For your average, sane person, it would probably be something that never even occurred to us: Would it tickle?

Every passerby within earshot of our fish spa experience knows the answer to this question. It turns out that hundreds of little mouths nibbling between your toes seriously tickles. Whodathunkit. Rob was a man about it, but I spent a good sixty seconds of catharsis completely overtaken by uncontrollable laughter. We actually gathered a small crowd. How is it possible that the tickle factor didn't occur to me? It's almost as unlikely as accidentally buying a plane ticket to the wrong continent

Are you ticklish? Would you be able to suck it up for a ridiculously contrived pedicure experience? 

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