My higlight of the day was the pool with the ‘lashing waves’. For twenty minutes one of the largest pools turns into a stormy sea where a machine at one end churns out waves that toss swimmers to and fro. It’s great fun. ----Lauren Davies
With a jolt and shudder my English teacher friend and I were propelled into an adventure. Our Chinese colleague had chosen a remote hot springs complex in Enping for our relaxing treat away from the bustle and smog of Guangzhou.
I’d been teaching English in Guangzhou for four months and with one semester completed I felt a little exhausted. The hot springs is certainly a good remedy for fatigue.
The excitement of traveling to a new place made the journey an enlightening one. My eyes were fixed wide open so as to take in all the rural and urban scenes that were flashing by.
There were factories exerting their industrial strength and boats ferrying all sorts of materials from place to place. Further into the realms of Guangdong the skyline contracted, then dipped and rose with tree-covered hills not glass fronted buildings or apartment blocks.
It was intriguing to see people tending their allotted land and crops with their grey, leathery beasts at their side. Some people carrying baskets, buckets and tools, others just sitting taking a rest from their labour.
There were some great photo opportunities but jolts and shudders we all felt were not just a result of our excited feelings but from the bumpy ride in the minibus.
It was an early start for the day trip but we had no time for yawning. On arrival we had a tasty lunch in one of the hot springs restaurant’s and it felt just like we were on holiday somewhere exotic.
The sun was beaming down on the hot springs and the hills that surrounded the area. For a winter excursion it was looking like a real hot spot. On weekdays, we were told, it wasn’t so busy with tour groups. In fact by the time we’d all put on our swimming clothes and been given lockers, plastic shoes and towels, we were still the only people there at the hot springs.
We chose our route carefully as each spring declared itself the best for a pool for smiling happy children, a pool for lovebirds with scented plants nearby, and a pool for longevity. The pool for longevity was one of our favourites but ironically it made our skin look old and cracked when we emerged from there.
Other great pools to try were the magpie pool, the pool of dried orange peel (with a sack of real dried orange peel scraps floating around), and a series of cool hot springs that were a shock to the system. At the cool hot springs there was also a refreshing opportunity to be pummeled by a waterfall.
Although the main purpose of the day was for relaxation, and I did feel very close to having a quick sleep in one of the warmer pools, my higlight of the day was the pool with the ‘lashing waves’. For twenty minutes one of the largest pools turns into a stormy sea where a machine at one end churns out waves that toss swimmers to and fro.
It’s great fun. And after adjusting to the oven baked temperature of the water I felt like a small child in a giant watery playground. I sat in a rubber ring and the waves crashed about causing me to collide with an artificial rock island. Some swimmers nearly lost their glasses. The waves were so powerful but the element of danger was never more than a flicker. When all the waves had subsided and my skin had shriveled beyond recognition we decided to relax with a drink and some pistachio nuts. Then with wrinkly hands we waved goodbye to the hot springs and caught the bus back to Guangzhou.