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Published: February 22nd 2010
Day 73: Monday, February 8th, 2010
Waitomo, New Zealand to Rotorua, New Zealand.
Per the Contiki brochure: "There will be time today, if you wish, to visit the Glow-worm grotto or try underground cave rafting . Then we'll visit the Agrodome farm show, on our way to the thermal area of Rotorua. Maybe try the Zorb or end the day by relaxing in a Polynesian thermal pool, before taking in an optional Maori Hangi meal and concert.
Today we stopped at a sheep shearing demo at the Agrodome
on our way to Rotorua... yes, thrilling. It was cool to see how the sheep dogs were trained though- impressive. I had my picture taken with one sheep, promised to call it later, and we got back on the bus and went to Rotorua.
So, here's a shout out to you Ra-cha-cha folks. You know how Clifton Springs
smells? Yeah, multiply that by 50. There are sulfur springs and baths EVERYWHERE in Rotorua. Quite sickening actually. For those of you who haven't smelled sulfur, go whiff a rotten egg- same lovely scent. I'm sure Bath & Body Works will soon be putting that scent into a lotion: Eau du vomit. We get to
our hotel, Hotel Sudima
, drop off our bags and I then get back on the bus and head to my excursion for the day- a tour of the Thermal Village Whakarewarewa
. Here's the fun part, Whakarewarewa is pronounced "Fuck-a-rare-a-wear-a". Insert giggles here. Our local guide (who is one of the 70 residents of the village) takes us on a tour and explains how the town came to be and how they survive there. They cook in the thermals (one pool is set aside for cooking), bathe in communal baths with the thermal water (everyone is trusted to divert their eyes and not stare), and basically center their lives around it. Needless to say, it was hot there, and i think it was probably one of their cooler days. Very interesting. Don't think I'll be joining them for the nightly town bath though.
We get back to the hotel and myself and my roomies (Sharon and Ashley) partake in some facials with mud masks that I had purchased. Peter shows up and is man enough to let us put some of the mud on his nose, but that's it. We all then get gussied up because tonight we are going to a Maori Hangi & Concert
It was a giant buffet and it was great. The dancing was very interesting but the most interesting part is the way they widen their eyes and stick out their tongues
to scare off their enemies. It would friggin' work. Seriously, next time you're walking down an alley with $100 bills sticking out of your pockets and someone approaches you and tries to mug you, just make that face and they'll go screaming for the hills. They ask for volunteers for one dance for the women and another time for a dance for the men. Both times, Contikiers (act like it's a word) got up but the men definitely stole the show. Some even removed their shirts and they really got into the "make a scary face" aspect of it. Peter was feeling especially invigorated after his nose mask (can't call it face mask) and went nutso. Show ends, I hang in the bar for a bit then it's off to bed for me.
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