As they entered the temescal it dawned on Sam what they had been talking about. It was a sauna. The hottest sauna he had ever been in. They sat on straw mats against the wall as a vented fire burned in the middle of the room. Stones had been placed on a grate just above the fire and a bucket of water for creating steam sat off to one side.
Ten minutes into the experience Sam felt as if his lungs would burst with the heat. He began to pant until the old man placed a hand on his arm and shook his head at him. He did his best to calm down. The other two seemed to be going into a meditative state so he tried to do the same.
As the old man created more and more steam every five minutes or so the room became clouded and Sam could no longer see anything around him. He felt himself slipping into a trance.
He thought he detected movement on the wall opposite and made out the shape of a small human form dancing in the steam. After a while he thought he detected horns on its head and he remembered the statue in the old man’s room. He was mesmerized by the dancing form and couldn’t take his eyes off of it. The more he stared the more details he saw. At last he made out two glowing red eyes that seemed to look right into him.
He felt his mind slipping sideways and then there was nothing. He came to outside the temescal with Yoshi and the grandfather staring at him. He was wrapped in a towel and sweat stung his eyes.
“Are you all right Sam?”
“You have been purified in the temescal.” This last with a grin.
“Wow. How long were we in there?”
“About an hour. You should get dressed now. We must go to the place of your journey.”
“Oh yeah…my journey. Where are we going?”
The old man spoke and Yoshi nodded. “You will see when we get there. No more questions. We must go.”
Yoshi handed him his clothes and he dressed and got in the van. As they drove he was given directions and he was keenly aware that the old man was studying him intently. After an hour of it he asked Yoshi what was going on.
“Oh, he’s just making sure you’re ready for your journey. The purification was very important. I think he feels you have questions again. You can ask any time you want.”
Sam thought it over. Something had happened in the temescal but he couldn’t quite remember what it was. The more he thought about it images started to come back to him. A figure dancing…horns…something red…he decided to ask.
“Okay, yeah, something happened in the temescal. Before I passed out. I thought I saw something. It was like that horned statue of your grandfathers.”
Yoshi translated what he had said and the old man listened intently. He spoke only a few words and Yoshi grinned.
“Grandfather says all is well and you should not worry. You are most ready for your journey.”
Sam felt a sense of peace come over him. Whatever was coming he knew it was going to be a life changing experience and it was good to know he was ready for it. He resolved to place his full trust in his new friends and put his mind back on the road.
Part 7 Tomorrow