NZ Day 17

Full packed day today rob and I up early this am and took a walk along the beach it was very tranquil the sun was warm, the sound of the sea makes me feel comforted and restored. I Collected more shells ! We had breakfast and headed out to Rotarua we drove through a gorge and passed loads of vineyards and lakes it was about hours drive away we went to see the volcanic pools, it wasn’t how I expected I thought we would go up the volcano! But the land was flat and it was laid out like a park, the hot pools and mud pits were surrounded by wooden fencing to keep you safe, some were little pits with steam, some where big pools, the smell of sulphur was very strong we tried to say down wind so the at we didn’t have to inhale it to much! It smelt of rotten eggs. Some pools had bubbling squirting slurping mud which sounded satisfying, the steam made you feel like walking through a sauna. There were two pools so that you could soak your feet that water was hot! We went to the park afterwards and had our packed lunch, it was a beautiful sunny day, then went on to our next adventure. we gathered at a huge lodge waiting to be picked up, we had the Tamaki Maori village tour , We watched a short film about the Maori culture and how they came about. Very similar belief as Christians the world was created and in the beginning their was light and dark. Man made By eed which to me is god! Some warriors travelled the oceans and learnt how to navigate via the Stars and learned how to navigate through the sea respecting all forms of life. We boarded the bus and we were named the kiwi tribe a man was appointed our chief . When we arrived at the village we had a Maori welcome, the men came down the river in a boat and faced our Chiefs leaders by doing the Haka and intimidating dance, they laid a fern in front of the chief , he then had to pick this up as a sign of peace. We were then lead to the houses and learning huts, we were shown the carvings and their meanings, and then weaving house, how they cook food by making a pit in the ground using hot stones to Cook the meat over a few hours. We were shown the fun and games hut where thy learn games using sticks for hand eye coordination . I was chosen to play the game, I won! The game was to hold a long stick and when told to go left of right to hold the other persons on the left or right and catch it before the stick falls, if it falls your out! We then moved onto the haka and the men were asked to learn part of the moves, Rob and Joe did a great job. Thomas watched he was to scared to join in. We also learnt about papau a round pouch on string , the women use this for dancing and making a drum sounds. Afterwards we were taken to the food pits where they were cooking our tea! Chicken , lamb and vegetables. After this the Maoris put on a show of singing and cultural dancing and the haka , afterwards We were lead by our tribe to the dining hall, where a huge spread was laid out. I had a vegetarian lasagna it was delicious! And a pavilova for pudding. They sang songs and that was the end of the experience, it was a really good afternoon. I throughly enjoyed it. We came home at 9am all worn out and ready for bed.

I’m really going to miss this place , the bay of plenty is beautiful, I’m glad we’ve had some summer sun in our winter time got some vitamin D! We are sun kissed and feel the glow of sun on our skin.

Morning walk
Hot pool water
Maoris !
The welcome haka
Scary face
Maori songs and dance
Haka face
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