When I saw this in the holiday section of a boatshow I thought it would be fun to go to such a place for a wet week or so. One summer a while back, my friends saw a job advert from such an outdoor adventure centre in the coastal mountains. We phoned them to find out what it was all about and when the interviews were.
They asked us to come up the next Saturday. If we were fit for the job we could start right away. This sounded like it could be a lot of fun. We had not planned anything for the summer holidays yet, so we jumped at the chance.
They told us to bring several changes of comfy clothes and sportswear that could get wet and muddy, including waterproof clothes, ponchos, swimwear, robust socks, boots and adventure sandals.
We each packed a big bag full of sportswear, casual clothes, and rainwear. All of it could be worn in the water just in case there was some extra time to play around. Saturday morning we headed for the mountains and arrived at noon.
Leslie from Australia was our interviewer. She showed us their amazing adventure pool, with canoes and dinghies for fun and safety training, and big canisters for raft building.
It had a wider poolside area than most pools so they could use it also for land based activities, like lifesaving classes, survival skills, yoga, and such.
When we passed by it was full of kayaks and boats while a group of students learned to roll kayaks in preparation for an outdoor adventure. All were dressed in sports clothes or full adventure gear, having fun in the pool.
A net of robust ropes could be moved across the middle of the pool to practice open water crossings. Different kinds of rope bridges could be build across the pool and fixed to special anchors on both sides.
A climbing wall was leaning over the deep end of the pool to practice free climbing in a safe manner. If you lose your grip, you just fall into the pool. I was looking forward to try that.
At the shallow end were chairs and tables, plus a few deck chairs. It looked like a holiday area. Some of the canoeists were enjoying a break there in dripping wet clothes. Others had just arrived in dry sports kit, ready for the next pool session.
"This is our chill-out zone, for social activities and pool parties.
Here we meet in between adventures or hang out in the evening," she explained.
"Drop in tonight and soak up the social life, quite literally."
Next to the pool hall Leslie showed us the drying room. It was really hot in there, using the excess heat of the pool heating system.
A group of college students was at the centre and it looked like they had a lot of wet fun already. Lots of racks and hangers were loaded with drying clothes, many still dripping wet.
Leslie said we could borrow any kit we might need from the public rails. Our own clothes could dry in the back on personal hangers.
"Oh, one more thing," she said as we walked back through the pool hall. "Step under the sun umbrellas." She turned a big valve on the wall and the sprinklers released a tropical downpour that reached every part off the hall, fed from the warm water of the pool. The canoeists who had just arrived in dry clothes were drenched immediately.
"Well, the canoeists had their mandatory shower now!" she said with a smile.
Then she turned on the wind machine, driving the rain around the hall in a circular way.
Wow, that was totally rad!
The canoeists were thrilled by this added realism.
They quickly put on their windbreakers and jumped into the pool.
We asked when we could use the pool and what the dress code was.
She said the pool was open from 6am to 10pm, unless there was an all night event like wet camping or a pool party. We could wear anything as long as it is clean and we properly rinse it in the shower first, to keep the pool clean and not overload the filter systems.
Everybody wanting to use the pool had to shower in all their clothes they want to wear for the pool session, especially after outdoor activities when clothes might be dirty or muddy.
Exceptions were when the clothes were fresh and clean, or taken from the drying room, provided we had a shower recently, like before the pool parties where the thrill was in staying dry for as long as possible.
The idea that pool rules require you to take a shower in all your clothes before entering the water was unreal.
We were looking foward to check this out soon. Very soon.