My second last night in New Zealand and I’m spending it in the small town (most towns on the south island are small towns) of Hanmer Springs famous for — yes, you’ve guessed it — its hot springs. As coincidence (or bad luck) would have it, my back finally gave out on me yesterday. It’s been at me for a few days now and I’ve suffered from it for almost thirty years. No doubt due to all the driving around New Zealand. Well, it finally went into spasm last night with the result that I had to quickly find a local physio this morning which I duly did — courtesy of the B&B I am staying in here (remember what I said about the benefits of staying in B&B’s?). I also decided to check out the local speings, given their claimed curative properties. Although I can’t claim that they did anything for my back problem, I must confess that I had a most enjoyable 90 minutes or so conversing with a teacher from Holland and her young teenage son which lying in a thermal pool in the pouring rain. Despite the bad weather, the place was hoping so clearly a popular place with both tourists and locals alike. All of the various pools and baths are located outdoors so it’s like a therapeutic version of Wet’n’Wild without all the slides! Check it out if you’re ever out this neck of the woods.