Sunday, March 23, 2008

Another Missed Opportunity

Hanmer Springs

Hanmer River just out of Hanmer Springs

When we were in Baden Baden, Germany, we had the chance to bask in grand splendor in the thermal baths originally used by European royalty. We passed up the decadent soaking. When we were in Pamukele, Turkey we could have wallowed in the steaming mud and purged all the bad things from our bodies. Nope. Today we drove about 125 kilometers to Hanmer Springs, located Northwest of Christchurch on the Lewis Pass highway to the Tasman Sea West coast. It is famous for its mineral springs, skiing, and lots of adventure chances.

I dutifully told Mary Ann about the spa opportunity. Her reply was “the swim suits are packed in the bottom suitcase with the stuff we are not using.” As a man who can read between the lines I interpreted this as “No way Mate!” Three chances and three missed opportunities can only be interpreted as “it is not in the cards”. As we do not use the hot tub at Riverwalk this should be a sign that we are not going spa-ing.

In any case, the drive was beautiful, through rolling hills, into the canyons winding up to the Southern Alps. Hanmer Springs is dedicated to only one pursuit – outdoor pleasure. The thermal springs are open to the public, with a lot of pools to enjoy. Hotels and lodges all over the village and adventure merchants are everywhere. If you did nothing and just lay around it would be a great day.

To get another culture fix we went to an improv play at the Court Forge Theatre in the evening. The title was Pulp William. Three guys combine Shakespeare with music, fun, and a bit of slapstick. The thread is that they ask the audience for help with a script by asking for an occupation (marine biologist), a Shakespeare play (Taming of the Shrew), something philosophical (if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there…), and something small to put in a briefcase (ipod). They then improv the play by making it work with all of the selected subjects. It was a lot of fun and for a modest $15 NZ per person.

Quirky Living Note: In a lot of stores I have seen a sign that said EFTPOS. I was pretty sure this was not some political commentary the effete dead possum. I finally had to ask and learned it is a New Zealand debit card system. What had also been confusing me was sometimes the signs said NO EFTPOS, and sometimes it just said EFTPOS. And the definition is? Drum roll please. Electronic Funds Transfer at Point Of Sale.

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