Floating in a pool free of gravity, I discovered that I don’t need to be in survival mode throughout the end of the dry, hot season in Nicaragua. A plunge pool sets me free. Free from the oppressive heat…from strangling dust that seeps into every pore and orifice in my body…from the brutal sun.
For several years I tried to convince Ron to build me a pool. His reasons for not building a pool were: 1. expense 2. maintenance 3. We live on…literally on the lake shore.
My reasons for building a pool were: 1. a plunge pool is cheaper to build 2. No filter needed and low maintenance 3. We live on the lake with a giant caiman lurking around our beach.
I won after Ron floated blissfully in my friend’s plunge pool in Granada. His sighs of content could be heard echoing all the way to the hardware store for materials to build our little rectangle of cool delight.
We decided to build the pool behind our house on the back porch for privacy. Plus, we have a view of our active volcano Concepcion. Work on the foundation began a few days after we returned from Granada.
We hired Raymond and Jose to build the plunge pool because they are experts in working with cement. The walls are going up and up.
The dimensions inside our pool are 4 ft deep x 48″ wide x 80″ long.
Raymond puts a fine coat of cement over the pool. It is called repayo in Spanish.
The floor is paved with bricks, then topped with a piece of mesh fencing we had leftover. Then the cement is poured on top.
I wanted a shelf on one side of the pool for flowers, cool drinks, and candles.
Next, tile lines the top of the pool.
Raymond smooths the cement around the tile. We didn’t want any sharp edges around the pool.
Then, we added a step to enter the pool from the front, and another one at the side of the pool. The bench and a drain in the wall complete the inside of the pool.
We wanted a tile patio in front of the door, so Raymond and Jose prepared the foundation.
I think the tile is beautiful. It’s slip resistant and will help control the dust and dirt in the dry season.
Next, we filled the pool for two days to help cure the cement. Of course, we had to dip often. I bought a food strainer for 1 dollar to clean the pool. After it is painted and filled again, we’ll add a teaspoon of pool chlorine and drain the pool once a week. We’re going to put a mosquito net over the pool to keep out leaves and flying insects. It will hang over the pool just like the mosquito net over our bed.
I am sad to report that we drained the 720 gallon plunge pool this morning. Monday, we paint the inside of the pool with special pool paint made specifically for swimming pools. The outside of the pool will be the same mango color as the walls.
We will start the landscaping next week, too. We’re going to build a stepping stone patio around the pool, make new flowerbeds, hang a hammock between the Neem trees, and move some of the electrical wires that are dangling from our internet tower.
I’m in the process of designing a mural for the wall behind the pool. I’m planning to add colorful, whimsical fish. I also decided to make a Pre-Colombian pottery shard caiman mosaic on the front wall of the pool. Take that you sneaky caiman! You won’t keep us from enjoying April and May floating blissfully in our new plunge pool.
The pool was built in one and a half weeks, and the total cost of the pool materials and the labor was less than $400. I believe plunge pools are the wave of the future. They are economical, almost maintenance free, and use very little water.
Stay tuned for the finished pool. Come float with us, soon!