"I wanna hang a map of the world at my house. Then I wanna stick pins in the locations that I`ve traveled to.
...But first I have to travel to the top two corners of the map so it won`t fall down."
-Mitch Hedberg

Monday, March 22, 2010

Hot Water Beach

The only bad thing about New York is that nobody owns a hot tub. And I mean no one. Sometimes I’m all, “Man, living in the best city ever is wearing me out with how awesome it is. I just wish I could unwind in a pool of really hot water.”

But I can’t.

So when Care and I heard from the Kiwi bartender at the Sunburnt Cow in Manhattan (an Australian themed bar) that you can literally dig your own hot tub in the sand at a beach in New Zealand, we were excited, yet skeptical. Turns out everything he promised was true.
Hot Water Beach (that’s its actual name by the way) on the east coast of the Coromandel Peninsula is home to a freak collision of geothermally heated underground water and a beautiful beach location. Two hours before and after low tide you can rent a shovel at the cafĂ© in the parking lot and dig a few feet into the sand. Within minutes, hot water will seep up into the hole effectively making your own tailor built hot tub. It’s crazy.

The only thing is that it’s hard to gauge how hot the water will be. Pools right next to each other can vary from lukewarm to 150C (that’s insanely hot). Care and I dug our hole pretty quickly – me shoveling, and Care constructing an awesome sand wall to protect us from the waves and other greedy diggers. We thought we had a sweet thing going – it was warm and certain parts of the sand were hot to the touch – like those hand warmer packets you put in your ski jacket. Then a few people abandoned their pools and we took a walk. A pool ten feet away almost burned my feet off. It was mind-blowing. We actually had to drain other cooler pools into it just so we could get in.

We stayed forever, soaking away the stress of life on the road, while marveling at a tourist attraction that actually lives up to the hype. It almost never happens, but when it does it’s nice to kick your feet up and relax in a hot tub. Or at the beach.

But it’s double sweet when you can do both at the same time. Hot Water Beach is double sweet.
by Shawn Forno
Every year thousands of vacationers from around the world descend on Hot Water Beach in New Zealand to dig their own hot tub in the sand. The source of the hot water is an underground spring of geothermally heated water located just feet beneath the sand, right next to...read more
by Shawn Forno
The Coromandel Peninsula is one of the last true hippie hideouts in New Zealand. The small population of towns like Thames, Coromandel Town, and Whangamata swell from a few hundred to thousands as visitors from nearby Auckland pour into town each summer...read more

"Hot Water Beach" - a comic by Shawn Forno

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