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September 16th 2008
Published: September 16th 2008
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Traditional danceTraditional danceTraditional dance

This is the war stance!

Monday 15th September

Today we spent the day exploring part of Rotorua. We arrived at the i site where we collected many pamphlets on what is in the area. Unfortunately most of these pamphlets are produced by the commercial businesses and are therefore very biased on what they provide.

We settled on Whakarewarewa, often shortened to Whaka by the locals which is a geothermal area on the edge of Rotorua. This living Maori village houses an actual community of Maoris and has the locals performing and running the shops in the centre. After a performance of dancing and singing where we learnt about war dances such as the Haka and about Poi Dances, we were teamed with a guide with a long name but Proroa for short. He was very 'nice' and gave a fluent explanation of what went on in the village, both in the past and in the present, as well as showing us how the people had harnessed the volcanic energy to supply them with hot water, a cooking facility and communal baths. The smell of hydrogen disulphide, (rotten egg gas) is constantly present as well as hot water vapour coming out of the ground all over the complex, with the background roar of the geysers erupting almost continuously. We found the whole experience very educational and well worth the effort and cost.

By the time we left the complex it was well after lunchtime, so after eating our picnic lunch in the park outside the entrance we drove down the main street which consisted of many hotels, all advertising special rates because it is out of season. Rags sat himself down with a cup of coffee and the newspaper as his foot continues to ache (plantar facitis) letting Judy free to window-shop.

An hour later we were ready to leave, deciding it was too late to do anything else but agreeing to return later in the week as there is so much here to be seen.

Additional photos below
Photos: 10, Displayed: 10


Boiling mudBoiling mud
Boiling mud

Not for making mud pies!
Hot steam!Hot steam!
Hot steam!

We could hardly see our guide at times through the steam.
You can see the tongue poking here.You can see the tongue poking here.
You can see the tongue poking here.

This is part of their warrior actions that include rolling eyes.
Maori kissesMaori kisses
Maori kisses

Maoris touch noses twice as a greeting.
Pohutu GeyserPohutu Geyser
Pohutu Geyser

This geyser erupts 10-20 times a day and we were lucky enough to see it.
Sweet CornSweet Corn
Sweet Corn

We ate sween corn cooked in the hot thermal water.

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