Thursday, February 15, 2007
no more smell
Been busy again, and little chance for internet stuff, so a bit of a catch up again. Have filled a whole memory card with pictures and am on the next one now, but unfortunately have not got it on me to download the amazing sights of geothermal activity at Rotorua. Will try and add some later.
What an amazing place. Huge bubbling ponds of mud, geysers, pools of the most amazing coloured water, steaming in the hot sunshine, some smellier than others with amazing deposits of all sorts of compounds round their edges. Bright yellow sulphur, oranges and greens, blacks and browns, white silica will have to show you the photos.
Great hostel with really great guests, we all shared our experiences and prepared ourselves for the next few days. I headed off to do white water rafting down a river that i had walked along a week or so ago. The tallest fall was 7 metres through a narrow opening in great high rocks, down into a turmultuous pool of thundering splashing water. The raft completely submerged for a few moments before bobbing back to the surface. Our guide instructed us to paddle forwards and backwards, steering us downstream through towering cliffs and a rainforest of lush vegetation for over an hour, before emerging in a large calm lagoon just next to the carpark where we caught the minibus back to base.
Hitched a ride with two fun girls from the backpackers on to Napier, the art deco capital of the country. The whole town was rebuilt in the style after a huge earthquake and fire in 1932. We phoned ahead and booked into a backpackers that was in the decomissioned prison of the town.
en route we stopped off in Taupo for a while, a wonderful sunny afternoon with a few white fluffy clouds floating about the sky. Not long after arriving we were high up in the sky in a birght yellow plane with huge black teeth painted on the front, minutes later hurtling towards the ground faster than imaginable with the most amazing view of the huge lake, farmland, town and mountains in the distance. The airstrip became larger and the sides of the lake disappeared our into the distance before Mike, my guide pulled the rip cord and we abruptly slowed, swung into a sitting position and floated calmly back to the landing site safely on the ground. Skydivig is an incredible experience, not quite as scary as bungy, but lasting a lot longer. It still feels quite amazing to have spent 45seconds hurtling downwards out of a plane and still be fine. Will be doing that one again sometime.
The prison was great, didnt sleep in a real cell, though some were available. The communal showers, washhouse and toilets were the originals, as was the site where the executions happened and where prisoners were punished in stocks until the early 60's.
Spend the day with Annie and Gladie taking in the sights of art deco Napier. We took turns reading the guide book and pointing out the architecture, stopping occasionally for food and icecreams and to take excessive numbers of pictures that will no doubt bore folk stupid back home. The sea was too rough to swim, but the local pool was only $6, including loungers, spa and piped music so we had chance to relax for a while. The museum and aquarium were also excellent, but i've written enough on that.
Recently arrived at Autumn Farm, back on the south island, for a week of helpx and a bit of fun in this wonderful, peaceful gay retreat. Its on the edge of Golden Bay, close to the west borders of the famous Able Tasman Park. Plenty of opportunity for beaches, trecking and no doubt more gardening. The weather is cold and damp,you will be pleased to hear..