January 27, 2009
San Alfonso Del Mar
I got to swim in the WORLD’S LARGEST SWIMMING POOL!!!! The pool is a gorgeous blue and stretches on forever and ever…the length is 1,013 meters, so just over 1K. The width varies up to about 300 meters and is 3-9 feet deep, so much water! They pump water in from the Pacific Ocean, then treat it and warm it up. The temp was probably about 70 degrees, and the neighboring ocean a chilly sub-60,so when you would swim past the incoming water you would freeze! San Alfonso is a private gated resort near Algarrobo. It has 9 huge condominium buildings, restaurants , a grocery store, a gym and several outdoor sports facilities (soccer fields, playgrounds, tennis courts, driving range), a temperature controlled beach (the big pyramid in the pictures), and activities going on all day long…its quite the place. The pool is so big that non-motorized boats are allowed on it…so there were sailboats, kayakers, paragliding, paddleboats, and rafts. In addition there are several water activites, such as trampolines and superballs.
The superballs cracked me up! They would put kids inside a deflated plastic ball, Velcro it up, then blow it up with a leave blower, then they would let the kids go. It was like a human hamster wheel on top of the water! Most of the kids would stand maybe 2 seconds before falling flat on their faces, but I did see a few that could really get going and jet across a section of the pool. Crazy things people think of, who knows what will be next!
The first day I was there, Yasmine and her parents came with me. (she raced in Vina del Mar too) So we headed out to explore the pool. We swam a little over 4K, just 4 lenghts! We got to one end and there was a gigantic water slide, always one looking for fun, I said ‘come on let’s go!’. We climbed to the top and I was surrounded my 10 year olds. :) The guy working at the top told us we had to take our goggles off or put them on our forheads and told us to be sure to cross our hands across our chests for safety. I was like, wow, we are going to fly down this thing! Unfortunately, that was not the case…but fun anways. Then it was back in the pool for a 1K jont to the other end. Yasmines parents were eating at a restraint at that end so we swam right up to the window where they were sitting. It was like we were the dolphins at an aquarium restaurant. :) After our swim we hung out on the beach and then Yasmine and her parents had to take off for the airport. I set up my trainer (yes, I drug my trainer all the way to chile!!!) on the balcony and got a little spin in, oh what a view I had! Cooked me a little dinner and then fell asleep to the waves crashing on the beach.
The next day I woke up and went for a run. There was a path that surrounded the whole resort that was about 3K long, 1K of which separated the pool from the beach. Then it was back to my trainer on the balcony. The superball kids were right outside my condo so I laughed at them, people watched, enjoyed watching the waves, and rocked out to my Ipod. Then it was time for another swim. I debated doing the great 100x100s set…since it would only be 10 lengths! But since I was recovering from race #1 and getting ready for race #2, I opted for a 5K instead. It was pretty windy and there was a considerable difference in the roughness of the water at opposite ends. One end was wavey and the other smooth as glass. I even put up a good fight in a ‘race’ against a sailboat that was heading into the wind. After my day of working out, it was time to chill out and relax on the beach and enjoy the sun being out until after 9! Then it was time to pack up and get ready to head to my next destination: Pucon.