No Longer Pool Deprived
Being sans pool these last 12 or so months, our friends have taken pity on us with invites to swim at their houses. Their kindness has at times helped us from completely losing it during the hot days spent on site supervising the build.
This weekend, however, we are no longer a charity case as our pool is full up with cool aquamarine. As of 1:13pm yesterday, the pump stared up and water gushed forth. Despite waiting 18 months for this moment, watching it fill inch by painful inch over the course of five hours was agony.
The pool has been under construction since the beginning of March. Since those early days when the crew marked out the boundaries with spray paint, it’s been a slow and deliberate process getting the pool to its current state.
First up, the dig. Unlike many horror stories we’ve heard of people bringing dynamite to the site to blast through limestone boulders, we had one kid who spent three weeks shoveling nothing but fluffy nutrient-rich soil with nary a stone in sight (the ones you see piled up were brought in by us for other purposes).
Then, as with so much in Mérida, it was time to build a mamposteria wall running the perimeter of the pool, acting as both sides and footing.
Nearing the end of May, with the temperature soaring, the mamposteria wall was plastered with a hand-mixed concoction of grey concrete and festegral (a powdery substance that is added to concrete to make it waterproof).
The choice of concrete color (or any other finish for that matter) impacts the resulting color of the water (you can get an idea of how it works here). We chose a darker grey, which gives the water a rich turquoise color. Darker colors do cause the pool to absorb more sunlight and warm the water, but we will be balancing this out by erecting a summertime-only shading solution.
For the pool edging, we opted for a stone cap of “tok”, a local limestone that complements the stone wall bordering the rear garden. Working with a stonemason in Dzitya, a town specializing in stone work, we obtained thick machine-cut blocks which were scored on a diagonal to give a rough, non-slip finish.
By mid June, with our friends growing tired of our constant come-ons for a swim, it was time to get things finished up. The steps and platform went in by forming mini mamposteria walls, filling them with rubble and finally forming the steps with a layer of concrete/festegral plaster.
Finally, with yet more plaster and a little wire mesh, the floor was laid along with the plumbing and various other boring details (our patience was wearing thin).
Since moving in two weeks ago, we have purposely not asked our contractor when the pool would be completed so as not to appear naggy and perhaps a little disappointed. This approach seems to have paid off, for we were taken by surprise yesterday with news that things were ready to fill.
Granted, our salt water purification system has yet to be installed and our filter is not yet functioning, but for the next few days, we will enjoy our sparkling new pool. Yes, we have a bit more to do, but now wallowing in watery bliss, the end is truly within sight.