Maruia Hot Springs and The Little Guy
June: 7.30 am: anti-stress yoga – 45 to 60 minutes: yoga studio.
Graham: 7.30 am: anti-stress writing – 45 to 60 minutes: teardrop camper (‘The Little Guy’).
We started the day with a hot water wash. Only cold water came out of the tap in the nearby rounded pod that provided toilet facilities for those of us in tents, caravans, motorhomes or sleeping pods. So, donning my navy-blue towelling dressing gown for the five-minute round trip, I tried to blend in with the guests staying in the rooms who were provided with white towelling robes to wear when sauntering down ‘to take the waters’ in the mineral rich Maruia hot springs. The difference being that I was carrying a large green plastic bowl and using it ‘to take the waters’ from the hot tap in the toilet located in the men’s changing area.
Once back at the tent with my portable sink, we washed ourselves with flannels and swilled down black tea. June got dressed for yoga; I dressed for sitting and writing in our wee teardrop camper: three layers of fine merino, topped by a winter weight pullover and a sleeveless woollen jacket. Add to that a balaclava-style woolly hat, woollen gloves, and legs inside my sleeping bag and you’ll be getting the impression that it was a chill start to a beginning of spring day in the mountains. At 300 metres in the Fairlie Basin and surrounded by mountains, our Little Owl Gully cold temperature guesses are usually pretty good, so I guessed around 4 or 5 Celsius by the time I started writing at seven-thirty. Thankfully, by mid-afternoon, the sun, not having to contend with cloud or breeze, had us basking in its warmth as we sat up against the north side of the tent reading for a couple of hours.
It was still bloody freezing in the tent at nine though, so I stayed rugged up for the breakfast of eggs, bacon, tomato, homemade bread and homemade plum sauce. The temperatures were on a slow upward creep. Chilly at eleven when we went down for our first hour-long soak of the day: that familiar sulphurous odor in the air like the smell you get when peeling overcooked hard-boiled eggs, and the water the temperature of a hot bath.
Sitting in a pool in a river valley beneath mountains, the water gurgling up hot and mineral rich from fissures deep in the earth, why would you not believe that the sum of it all is some great good thing?
That’s all on modern-day homesteading at Little Owl Gully for this week. Next Monday I’ll tell you about the couple of days prior, which we spent at a Department of Conservation (DOC) camping ground a ten-minute drive west of Maruia Springs: Marble Hill Campsite and The Little Guy.
Thanks for your company. Bye for now.