Have just arrived in Rotorua, the biggest geothermal area in New Zealand, in search of warmth. Its been so cold and wet for the last week or so i just cant wait to plunge into a thermal pool and get warm. There is a smell that hangs over the town that would conceal the most pungent of farts, it emerges from vent holes by the lake and wafts in waves through the streets along with clouds of steam from the boiling water.
I left the citrus farm a few days ago and headed up the east coast to Gisbourne, where Captain Cook first landed and accidentally killed a few locals, it rained the whole time so i got wet and had a fairly good look at most of the sights and sites of interest. The plan of escaping the town came on the first sunny morning in the form of a car transporter, whose driver picked me up at the outskirts of the town,after waiting just half an hour or so. The road headed up to the north coast through farmland and later high hills clothed in rain forest, up through an area called the Triffids (for no apparent reason) over the top of the range before descending down a 75km long gorge. The view from the cab was amazing, looking down over the edge to the raging torrent of water at the bottom, miles ahead into the distance with hills following hills as we slowly wound our way down into the valley. Soon after reaching the flood plains the coast appeared, and my destination, the little one horse town of Opotiki. There were two back packer hostels, i chose the smaller, left my bags, explored the main street in about 5 minutes then spent the rest of the afternoon walking along a small section of the longest most deserted beach i have ever been on. Thankfully i made the most of the sunshine as the rain came in again that night and its poured down ever since.