During our hot and humid January, these beautiful ocean pools in Sydney and south to Kiama have kept me cool, calm, revived and inspired.
I was about to drive to my local indoor pool this morning but at the last minute I changed my mind. I wanted to swim outdoors and so I headed down the road to Leichhardt Pool where I had the most beautiful swim in the perfect water temperature among the steam!
Pink-orange Angophora trees twisting and turning like ballet dancers above a river of blue-green, pathways of sandstone, the sweet smell of the Sydney bush, the camaraderie of the Oatley Amateur Swimming Club, bodies diving off the concrete blocks, retro change rooms, sausages and tomato sauce, a salty taste on my tongue, sand and mud between my toes, the swish of the water, the flow of the tide and the heat of the summer sun.
Travelling to Adelaide through south-west NSW and the Mallee country in Victoria and South Australia over the past couple of days we stopped by nine country pools – Lockhart, Urana and Jerilderie in south-west NSW, Swan Hill’s Richards Swimming Leisure Centre, Sea Lake Pool, Underbool Pool and Murrayville Pool in Victoria and Pinnaroo and Lameroo swimming centres in South Australia.
Built between 1955 and the mid-1980s, they were typified by vast expanses of lawn, simple amenities buildings, quirky signs, 33-metre and wading pools, surviving springboards, slides, retro-style seating and plaques commemorating the official opening of the pools. If they’d been open I would have loved to have swum at each one but especially I would have enjoyed bouncing off the diving board into the L-shaped Lameroo Pool.
Autumn trees turning the hydrotherapy pool red, helping Robert, a stroke survivor put his sandals on, lime green reflections, gold glows, old men slapping the water down hard, a guy in the corner reading Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See, a kaleidoscope of colours and a lane all to myself.