Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Adventures in Kiwi-Land - Smelly Rotorua

After our dolphin swim, we had a LONG drive to Rotorua. Imagine Yellowstone, then place a city right on top of it. This, is Rotorua.

I told our backpacker hostel that we would be there at 11:00 pm. We hurried, and were there at 11:20 pm. No one was there. I was mad, and kept looking.

Most hotels were either full or had closed their main office for the night. Finally, we were saved by the Koreans. I found a place that seemed like it was open, and when I peeked inside, I could see that a Korean family owned the hotel. The couple who owned it were watching TV when I knocked on the door. They were of course surprised that I spoke Korean.

The next morning, Jaydn was ecstatic that our hotel had a jacuzzi bathtub. He had a blast in it.

In the morning I realized I hadn't planned as well as I thought I had. I was all ready to go to Rotorua, but where in Rotorua? There were about 101 places to visit, only a few of them free. We took a time out at the park by Rotorua Lake while we decided.

We visited a local park that was filled with bubbling, gooey, smelly mush. It was great! Jaydn ran around sniffing each one, saying "eeeew, this one stinks more."

The whole city was just one big smouldering, stinky, beautiful town. Smoke clouds billowed from all over town from crevasses in the ground. If you're from Rotorua, and you happen to go to Auckland or Wellington or somewhere else in New Zealand, all someone would have to do is smell you . . . sniff sniff . . . and, "yep, he's from Rotorua." In the middle of this olfactory wonderland, we thought we'd test it out on our sense of touch as well. I got in first. Jaydn thought my feet would melt off.

Once he saw my feet were ok, he and Jessi warmed their feet as well. We'd never think of doing this in Samoa!!! (too hot).
On our way out of Rotorua, we decided to stop by Huka Falls. The falls was really more like rapids than a waterfall. I don't think I'd ever seen water move so fast.
After miles and miles, we finally made it to our next destination. (I planned too much time driving!) We were too tired to do anything, except jump on the beds.

Our next day we would be visiting the land of the "One Ring to Rule them All." The place where the orgs prepared for the destruction of the human race. Where Gollum met his maker. Yes, we were ready to visit Mordor. Or, as Kiwis call it, Tongariro National Park.