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Published: April 5th 2008
Since the earth is still working hard to create New Zealand (or push in under Australia, forget which way the plate is moving) the entire area, particulary around Roturua, stinks. 'breathing is just no fun anymore' Geysers, mud pools, sulphur springs etc are everywhere. The reek of sulphur would frequently appear on the breeze giving you an instant desire to retch. Got used to it after a while. Closed bedroom window one night, just trapped the smell inside. Smelled like there's been lots of sweaty blokes in there. Does make for very impressive sights though. 'You can feel the pulse of the pavement racing like a runaway horse. The subways are steaming and the skin of the street is gleaming with sweat'
Spent 2 days touring the are looking for more thing to assult the nose and astound the eyes. Wai-o-Tapu Thermal Wonderland and Waimangu Volcanic Valley had a wide collection showing nature at its most beautiful, and a reminder of how destructive it can be without trying. Also visited a buried village. Covered in mud by the eruption of Mt Tarawera in 1886, it's taken them a while to excavate even a small part of this particular Maori village.
Many just vanished off the map.
There are signs everywhere saying please stay on the path. Well duh, if the muds boiling, safe bet it'll be quite warm. I heard a story of some idiot backpacker that wandered off the main track. The rock below him was only a few centimetres thick and cracked. Up to his knees then became one whole blister. Sorry, don't have photos of that. And sorry to anyone who just flinched. ya ha ha
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