I’m at Ainsworth! Yay!
The green crap on my head is not actually a hat. It’s extremely poor photography – a plant in the background. Instead of looking at that, here’s a view from the pool area (panorama).
I had a good soak yesterday evening after checking in & cleaning up. The water was really nice.
There are three pools – a large, warm pool, a small hot pool connected to caves entering into the hill, and a freezing-cold pool with water trickling in from a glacier. Before 7:00, it was all open to the public. After that, until 9pm, it was reserved for hotel guests only, so it half-way emptied at that time.
It was raining when I got out to the pools. This might sound very undesirable, but the combination of the cold rain & hot water was quite nice. Later, a double rainbow developed across the lake. I wish I’d had a camera then. I talked to various people while moving from pool to pool.
The idea is to hang out in the large warm pool – do some swimming, splashing around, etc. Then you go hang out in the hot pool to see how long you can handle it. Last night it wasn’t super-hot but hot enough. Then comes the wander through the caves. It’s dark, hot, humid, dripping with hot water everywhere, with dim coloured lighting piped in along fibre-optic cables.
Various people sit on the floor of the tunnel and soak up the warmth, and others wander through amazed at the experience. By the time one makes in through the tunnel and come out the other end, with the heat building up in the air, a wall of cold air hits you as you emerge from the dark. I was one of those who sat inside soaking in the heat.
I found a built-in rock bench of sorts to sit on and watch the dark shadows go by. Problem is, no one could see me sitting there (or even see the bench), so I startled a couple of people as they groped their way along. One small child, as he walked along, grabbed hold of my arm and was surprised that someone was sitting there. He stuck his face directly in front of mine to see if I was real before moving on.
Moving from the steamy hot to the icy cold is always a shock. You climb down the steps into the freeze and immediately dunk all the way in to your neck. If you don’t, you lose courage to do the dunk. In goes the head for a brief chill. If you’re still, the biting cold eventually subsides – until you shift a bit, then the cold comes back.
This morning, the hot was hotter (106º according to staff) and the cold was colder. Apparently it is like this in the morning. I could only stand about 6 or 7 minutes in the cold before moving on. Same with the hot.
I bought a plastic sleeve for my phone for $10 this morning so I could take some pics & vids. No rainbow yet. Too bad. That’s also the reason for the B&W photos above – inside the plastic pouch, the phone / camera seemed to get confused as to what I was wanting. … Just as I was writing this, the rain started. I see it outside the restaurant window.
Guests can dip in from 8am to 10am. Public entry starts after that. It is completely booked – no more reservations.
Of course, here’s the coffee cup picture.