Swimming in the rain – Saturday 3rd March 2012


Hanmer Apartments not only has loads of space, but a staircase! We opt to sleep upstairs and the moment we close our eyes we hear rain beating on the roof. We feel sheltered and warm. The place has a heat exchange unit. The rain does not worry us!
It is still raining when we awake. Torrential rain. The rain the tv warned us about yesterday! For 22 hours there is no abating. This is not a time to be out. The offer of free bikes, the lure of good walking, must go unheard. We turn up the heating and settle down with a good book.

By one o’clock we feel there’s no option but to brave it. The mountain in the back garden has appeared briefly, disappeared and is now making a braver appearance. There is some slowing in the density of rain. We could manage a dash to the car, and a pub lunch down the road in the town.

It was a good meal and the rain becomes mere drizzle as we eat.

Hanmer is famous for its springs. We would get wet there no matter the weather. We’ll brave it! Poor things probably no one else will be there.

Don’t you believe it!

If anyone had told me I would be standing in my swim wear, with about 100 other people similarly attired, all running about happily in the drizzle between pools ranging from 40 degrees to 30: I would have laughed in their face.

But there we were, having a wonderful time. There are three hexagonal pools, which seem to be the hottest and have underwater chairs in them; shallow rock pools where warm water flows between and the setting is natural and calming, all very well planted and secluded.
The complex is made for all the family and there is a large children’s section with a water tube, a swimming pool and lots of splash ponds. Yet on the other side adults can enjoy the steam room, the sauna or lounging in thermal sulphur pools, or hydrotherapy pools with massage showers or jacuzzi style bubbles. Near the swim pool is a track of fast flowing water. You enter, grab a float and hang on while you whoosh round with dozens of children and grandparents. It’s really good fun!

It’s still chilly but you are hop in between such warm water and such a wide variety of pool that you begin to forget! Eventually I felt quite warm and we spent about 2 hours here.

That evening we watched the final DVD of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. We both agreed it was a day which left us warm and happy.

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