Monday, April 4, 2011

Making Our Own Hot Tub

At 11 am, two hours before low tide, we put on our togs (that's Kiwi for swimsuit) and arrived at Hot Water Beach with spades – not the playing cards - but shovels – and began digging. Our campground host advised us to find the perfect spot, one that’s not too hot as we would end up with scalded bums nor too cold as it wouldn’t be the perfect home-made hot tub.

We thought we found a good spot so eager Kai started digging with Maya. The neighbor hole diggers, a young Swedish couple, had already dug a substantial hole three foot deep. They even had a barrier to block the surf. “Do you know why it isn’t warm?” she asked me.

I smiled and remarked that it reminded me of Louis Sachar’s book, Holes, where the prison boys are forced to dig thousands of holes in search of a lost treasure. “Maybe it’s a New Zealand joke and we’re helping them look for a lost diamond ring,” I suggested, skeptical that warm water would actually percolate out of the sand.

But then I saw an older English woman in a black swimsuit shuffling her feet in the surf. “It’s burning down here,” she remarked to anyone who would listen. I walked up to her and wiggled my feet like I too was dancing in the sand. Within seconds, I felt the hot sand. “It’s true, this isn’t an April Fool’s joke.”

We changed our location, joined forces with other intrepid diggers and constructed a perfect hot tub, engineered such that the scalding hot water pool could warm up the cooler pool. Instead of turning the spigot, we blocked the water with sand as we enjoyed our warm water soak with the hundreds of other travelers lined up on the beach. When it got too hot, we cooled off in the chilly ocean.

Next time, we'll bring an umbrella for shade and a chilly bin (that’s Kiwi for a cooler).

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