Tuesday, 3 July 2012

The Sub-Tropical Swimming Paradise

The above is the name of the swimming pool in Center Parcs, but I wouldn’t call it a swimming pool, more like a magical happiness land where all of one’s swimming-related dreams can come true at once.  It is comprised of a large main pool, an outdoor pool, several slides, Jacuzzis, and, the best part of all, the water rapids, which begin outside and carry you along over a succession of mini waterfalls.  I have about 20 bruises all over my body from whacking myself against the side of the rapids but I don’t care.  I think I said once said that the rapids advertising slogan should be: “you’ll really, really hurt yourself, but you’ll have a lot of fun at the same time.”

The best thing about the large main pool is the waves that occur every half an hour.  They are honestly the most powerful waves I have ever had to swim in, (maybe with the exception of the actual waves in the ocean,) and the only way I can survive them is by staying underwater practically the whole time, which is easy for me as I can hold my breath for about three minutes.  Foofy, however, is not a terribly strong swimmer because he has asthma, so he couldn’t go under the water for long periods of time.  During the waves he was forced to hold tightly onto the side of the pool, and even then he would sometimes fall off and get dragged into the waves and get lots of water up his nose.  Even though I felt sorry for Foofy, it was terribly funny one time as when I would periodically come up to the surface every 5 seconds or so, I would get a snapshot of his wave experience and the struggles that he was going through.  It looked something like this:

After this, Foofy said to me seriously: “I think I’ve got some nose in my water…I mean…”
And I said- “I know what you mean.”

The last time I went to Center Parcs I obtained a rubber duck which I aptly named ‘Rubber Duckie.’  She has been all over the world with me but she enjoys Center Parcs the most because it was where she was hatched. 

Update: Forgot to actually put the pictures in! Here they are...

This is Rubber Duckie enjoying a cocktail on a sun lounger:

This is Rubber Duckie in the Rio de Janeiro sand:

This is Rubber Duckie in one of our changing rooms at Center Parcs; you can see how excited she was to get into the water:

There were more Rubber Duckies for sale at the shop beside the pool but we didn’t show Rubber Duckie as we were worried that she might have an identity crisis.  You’ve probably heard of Rubber Duckie actually under a different name; she is swimming breast stroke for Great Britain in the London Olympics, but in her spare time she enjoys floating in Jacuzzis and listening to smooth jazz.

It was funny when Foofy and I were in the hot whirlpools because we were being so silly that no one wanted to get in with us; one time there were 8 people crammed into the pool beside us but no one in ours! Firstly, we were playing with Rubber Duckie, and secondly, we kept playing games where I would go under water and brace my arms and legs against the walls, then Foofy would sit on top of me and I’d do underwater press-ups.  I managed five and Foofy managed six when it was my turn to go on top, but it’s not fair because Foofy’s heavier.  They also had some flumes and rides- the biggest one was called the ‘Grand Cascade’ and you had to go down it in a rubber ring.  There was also a smaller slide that had red and green lights on it telling you when to stop and to go.  When it was my turn next and I was waiting for the green light, I noticed that someone had written the word ‘stop’ on the red light.  I said to Foofy (and about 8 people behind him overheard):

“The red light says ‘stop’.”

“Yes.” Foofy said very slowly.

“No, I mean, it actually says ‘stop’ on the red light.”

“That’s right.” Foofy nodded, looking concerned.  “Red means stop.”

“NO!!!” I shouted.  “If you look at the red light, it says ‘stop’ on it!”

“Okay!” Foofy nodded again, not looking at the red light.

Then the green light came on.

“Just look at the red light!” I said.

“The light’s green, Stinky, you need to go!”

“Aggghhhh!!!!!” I yelled in frustration as I took off.

It was only once we had both finished the slide and got out and I had had time to explain properly that Foofy understood what I was talking about.  It was annoying because all the people behind Foofy in the line must have thought I had some kind of problem!  

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