We decided to camp at the national park campground at Douglas hot springs for two nights. We arrived there to discover it was about 50ks off the highway (including just under ten ks of heavily .... dirt road) but once we got there we realised it was well worth the (pretty small) trip. The campground was really dry and basically just dirt but there were small firepit/bbqs everywhere. We found a fantastic site to set the van up right in the centre and we very quickly gained some neighbours. We set up the van then walked down the 10 metres to the springs, we noticed a HUGE group of people in one spot right at the centre of the creek resemblent springs. We figured they must be a huge family or somthing and decided to give them their space so we first dipped our toes in down river from them, looking for a less populated area. The water was icey cold. We then walked past them, following the "river" up and dipped our toes in. The water was scorchingly hot (60+ degrees), what a shock! So we went down to where the group was and jumped into the perfect temperatured water. It was like a hot/warm bath (dependent on where you sat) but we quickly realised that the spot where everyone was sitting was right where a cold stream that ran paralell with the hot springs, met up with the hot springs and the boiling and cold water mixed together.
We ended up pretty quickly becoming part of the big "family" that was infact not a family - just a HUGE bunch of tourists trying to get the best spot in the water. It was a beautiful, little, social enviroment and over the two days and nights we spent there we became very friendly with a number of different people from all different age groups. At one point we joined a group of 60 year olds and the next morning we were initiated into the brat pack of ten year old girls. Everyone that comes to the springs says the same thing "wow, this water is so hot you could cook an egg in here" so of course I had to take an egg down and try! Well two eggs. We cracked oe and put it in a foil "dish" we fashioned ourselves and sat it to float in the spring. It had cooked stringy bits through it but it never actually cooked. Then we sat one in its shell right where the water was bubbling from the ground (At its hottest), we left it there for over twenty minutes but unfortunately it didnt cook either. We had lots of fun doing the experiment and we had a pretty big group of tourists (including our helpful accomplices the ten year old girls) curiously awaiting the results. It was alot of fun.
We ended up befriending a small family that came in the second night and we had a great time sitting by the fire with them and another man in a neighbouring van, telling stories. It was fantastic!
|everyone crowding into the part of the spring where the cold and hot stream meet.|
|trying to cook an egg unsuccessfully in the hot springs|
|Our big boy on his new bike|
|Our camp (to the left)|