A couple girl friends and I have been planning a get-away weekend for a while now. But weather in the winter here can be a bit “dodgy” and at the last minute we decided to scrap our hut-hiking plans. One day of rain for one day of passable weather is alright, but two days of straight rain….what’s the point of that? Instead, Jen and I headed to Hamner Springs, the little resort village at the foothills of the southern Alps. The place is know for the….wait for it…. Springs! Hot springs, to be precise. Saturday the weather was beautiful, chilly but with blue skies, so instead of sitting around we hiked a short loop in the beautiful snow-fringed beech woods.
Milo likes pink skies and he’s enthralled by the moon, along with its changing phases and time of appearance. I must admit that I didn’t really miss him this first short weekend that we’ve been parted, but I still thought of him fondly and took a photo of the moon just for him.
We stayed at a YHA hostel Saturday night. Not fancy, but they had this endearing habit of keeping the wood stove well stoked. We spent a couple pleasant evening hours basking in the warmth and reading our books….I even shucked the long underwear.
I suppose the up side to a nasty cold is that I could hardly smell the sulfur in this hot pool. Hanmer springs are completely built up– no digging out a stream bed to find the natural hot spring here. But in the hottest pools the water is still piped directly from the underground source. The water is about 41 degrees C, around 106 F.
We used to have a pop-up book as kids that had one page of Japanese snow monkeys soaking in hot springs with snow dusting their heads, and I’ve always wanted to try that. After enjoying the snow falling in the air I still wonder how those monkeys ever get OUT of the water and dry off without the benefit of a heated (somewhat) changing room.
What do you think? Do we look like these Japanese snow monkeys? Now guys, that’s actually just a RHETORICAL question!
What do you do while sitting in hot water for hours? Fool around with a water-proof camera, of course! Fish must think the above-water world is strangely proportioned indeed.
Jen is also American, and we had the exact same gleeful reaction when her large mocha came out–“Wow, that’s an AMERICAN sized coffee!” Needless-to-say, NZ portion sizes are significantly smaller than their American counterparts. If only the cost were also smaller….
Milo and Jeremiah had a good father-son weekend too. Sunday they went with two other families up to the port hills to the Sign of the Bellbird shelter, where Jeremiah impressed them by making a fire to cheer the chilly day.