Winter has finally arrived in Perth and after two weeks of storms and cold nights, our water temperatures are now at a level where an outdoors swim is reserved for the determined and the demented. So we pack away our bathers and dream about distant hot summer days, or start looking for cheap flight to Bali or you can improvise ....
Did you know that Bicton Pool at Bicton Baths Reserve has a heated geothermal hydrotherapy pool situated on the banks of the Swan River? And we're not talking heated to the point where you're not sure whether the temperature is mostly just from all the kiddie pee in the pool like at some of the indoor heated pools in Perth. We're talking proper tingling-toes-when-you-get-in bathwater warm. And did I mention that it sits right on the river, so that when you cling blissfully to the side of the pool and stare out over the river and the cliffs at Blackwall Reach, you can almost convince yourself that you are actually floating in the river. Plus there's a fair chance that you'll see the local dolphin pod swim past.
We started a new tradition in our family a few years ago: when the winter blues start creeping in and the monotony of before-school routine gets too much, we pick a morning when we all get up an hour early. We make sure we arrive, PJ clad and coffee in hand, at the river on time for the 7am opening time of the heated pool, and hop out of the crisp morning air into the gloriously hot pool, just in time to see the sunlight up the river after it's winter morning lie-in. I can guarantee that there are not many better ways in Perth to start your day.
Last year, in a moment of foolishness, I convinced my 6-year-old son to run, steaming hot from the pool, onto the jetty right next to the pools and jump into the frigid river with me, and then run squealing and shivering back to the warm embrace of the heated pool. It was freezing, and exhilarating, and as I learnt today during this winter's first swim, it's now also part of the tradition at his insistence. Not for the faint-hearted (literally!), but it sure does add some zing to your morning! Try it if you dare.
Then it's shower, breakfast in the car, school drop off and off to work, but somehow the rest of the week now seems a bit less daunting, and summer not quite so far away.