April 10, 2008

thermal wonderland

The Spa was sooo great. It was set right on the Lake of Rotorua and you could sit in
one of the pools and look over the lake... awesome! And since it gets quite chilly at
night, even better. It was pretty quiet in there as well, so no crowds. The pools were
all outdoors and ranged from 37 up to 42 degrees. So you could like jump from one
to the other. After a while you also get accostumed to the sulfur smell, which smells
like rotten eggs. And it does smell like that in the whole area. Sometimes it' s still
gross though!

We had a really nice backpackers and we had our own little house, more like a
shared house, with three guys from the Netherlands and a couple from Switzerland.
We had a lot of fun at breakfast, all sitting at the table and chatting. We could have
stayed there like one more day! But time is running out and we had to drive to the
Wai-O-Tao Thermal Wonderland, which is a Park full of volcanic activity and amazing
thermal pools. It' s amazing, the colors range from yellow - sulfur- to orange and the
smell.... uuuhhh, was disgusting at times, when the hot smoke hits you surprisingly
while walking past the pool. There the Lady Know Geyser is still active and erupts
every day at 10:15am - with a little help from a package of soap. It wouldn' t erupt on
time if they wouldn' t help a little. That' s also the reason how they discovered that the
geyser is still active, way back. around that thermal area an outdoor prison was
located once and the prisoners did their laundry like right next to the geyser when
they one day found their laundry like 15 m next to where they washed it! The geyser
erupts with a steaming water fountain up to 20 m... it was really impressive. Although
we thought it would go off with a loud bang, but it was quite smooth!

At noon, I thought it was about time to have another tattoo. :-) And since the Maoris
were the ones who "invented" it - they all have amazing tattoos here! So, as we
walked by this neat tattoo place I just walked in to see if they have space... and they
did. Three more stars!!! I love ' em!

In the afternoon we went to a Maori village, the only one that is still lived in Rotorua.
A Maori Guy showed us around and this was really interesting. They live in an active
thermal area and they are cleverly using the hot water streams for cooking and
bathing. Quite impressive. Also, the ground is soo hot they never get cold feet!

After the village we sped of to Waitomo, to do the cave tour the next day!

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