Wednesday, November 4, 2009

At the Hot Springs, in a Frosty Evening...!

You know what hot springs are, right …?
I don’t know any universally accepted definition of a hot spring!

Wikipedia says –
“A hot spring is a spring
that is produced
by the emergence of
geo-thermally heated groundwater
from the Earth's crust.
There are hot springs
all over the earth,
on every continent and
even under the oceans and seas.”

Days back, in between a chat with a friend,
the topic - ‘hot springs’ popped out.
Being a journalist, he was curious to know more about
the existence of such springs near Fujairah, where we live.
I mailed him the details I knew. Then,
I thought of a post here as well.

Hot Springs @ AIN- AL-GHAMOUR, near Fujairah.
Photos taken on 20.12.2007.

We had just heard about them and
once went on its search in a winter evening.
The location was not much recognized.
We wandered away till the sunset and finally located it
off the road to the hilly area and
the route was almost deserted.

On the way we could see unfrequented dates and vegetable farms.
Two or three men lived in each farm,
we saw them cooking and feeding the animals in the farm.
We went to one among those farms.

The isolated life…!
Rarely, they went out of the farm.
Once in a week the farm owner’s pick up vans
brought in their weekly supplies and
went back with their products ready to sell
to the neighboring market.
It has been years since they've been to their native places…!
As they told me about their families,
I could not find the expected melancholy in their eyes…
they were just blank or indifferent.

They offered us a dinner, but what to do?
I’m a vegetarian and they had only fish and meat…!!!
They presented us bananas, guavas, brinjals and so on…
I just accepted my hands full of green chillies…!
Fresh From the Farm... :)

There were goats, rabbits,
dogs, donkeys and
few cows in the farm.
Ammu and Appu enjoyed
that evening with rabbits,
chicks and hens… :)

It became dark as we reached the destination.
We had no idea what to see in and around the area.
We saw few youngsters
curiously looking into a pit at a distance and
few men were getting down into
somewhat like a square water tank.

First we went to this empty crater…

There were few more such dry pits.
These were active earlier and released out hot water.

The narrow warm stream surfeited through the duct seen here and in the picture below.

Then through this… and

Finally, it got collected in the tank.
Look at the blue plastic aperture…

We too soaked our feet and washed our hands.
The warm water smelt alike sulphar...
It was believed that soaking
in this water would cure
whatever skin problems ailed you!

In that cold evening, it was so relaxing!!!

It became completely dark by then.
There were no electric lights,
the couple of vehicles, including ours,
parked away kept the headlights on,
that the ‘foot’path be visible,
So, I couldn’t find the existing spring…
It was somewhere far above from where we stood,
I couldn’t climb up and have a look at it.

Back home, Ammu came to me, puzzled…!
Her silver anklets turned black
after the dip in the spring water...!!!
We were really surprised
to see the result of a chemical reaction… :)

Now, I am waiting for the next winter...!!!