Friday, February 20, 2009

Hanmer Springs

On the 16th, we left Christchurch EARLY in the morning to head out to Kaikoura, the Whale Watch Destination of NZ. Some background info: at anytime of the day, the weather may change at once, allowing you to experience a years worth of weather in one day. Somehow rain always seems to come into the picture. Another fact: most activities in NZ are weather dependent - do you really want to bungee in a storm? When we called the whale watch company from Christchurch, our boat was already canceled due to rough seas. And high winds. And rain. Our original plan was to go to Kaikora, spend the night and the next day head to Hanmer Springs, the famous hot springs. But because the Whale Watch was cancelled, we decided to reverse, and go to Hanmer Springs first.

When we arrived in the town of Hanmer Springs, we got out of our Nissan Sunny (the only sun we've seen, hahaha) and found that it was drizzling. After we changed out of our clothes and into our bathing suits, it was, brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, only misting. They have many different types of pools there; the rock pools are moderate in temperature, the sulfur pools are 41 degrees Celsius (HOT!), the lap pool and the children's pool are normal swimming water (not hot) and there are several other pools that are pretty warm. We visited a 35 degree pool, a 39 degree pool, a 37 degree pool, and dipped a toe into the 41 degree pool. It was much too hot, my toe started to burn when it was exposed to the nasty stuff. Siena and I liked the 37 degree rock pool. It had one main pool from which a stream flowed to a much shallower pool. We liked the shallow pool and even made up a game in it called Cheeky Americano. To play, one person gets on their knees and the other holds the back of their legs. Then, the person in the back moves the persons legs to make them walk. However, the person in the front chooses the direction, and usually they move into a spot called the Cheeky Americano spot. The other person has to pull them out and they begin to walk again. The finale is where the person in the back picks up the walker and throws them onto the rock in the center of the pool yelling “Cheeky Americano!”

We all loved Hanmer Springs, we just wish it had been a sunny day!

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