It’s impossible to backpack through South America without having to take a cold shower, even if you only go to hotels that advertise hot showers like I do. Sometimes there is no regulator, or the morning shower rush simply overwhelms the puny heater and you don’t want to wait another two hours, or they simply lie.
1. You can’t just dive into the cold. You have to mentally prepare yourself for at least 10 minutes. Flex your muscles to pump yourself up and say things like, “I am like block of fire,” and “This will make me a real man.” Nod your head as you think these thoughts and purse your lips a couple times to convince your brain that you mean business. (I really do this.)
2. Turn on the water. Stare at it as it flows and give it the evil eye.
3. Point the shower head away and step in. Be concerned at how cold the mist is. Take a deep breath, close your eyes, and move the nozzle over you head. Howl loud enough so the Incans can hear you.
4. Keep your muscles flexed as you soak yourself with water that feels like it comes from melting ice blocks. Point the nozzle away and clean yourself with soap products. Within two minutes you no longer need to flex your muscles because you are shivering nice and good.
5. Rinse your body. The water doesn’t feel as cold now because violent body tremors are warming you up somewhat.
It takes about 30 minutes for your body to warm up to normal, your hands and feet being last. Congratulate yourself for making a big deal about something that most locals do their entire lives. Pussy.