Hangi, Waka and Haka.

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Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Rotorua
January 25th 2011
Published: January 25th 2011
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Written on Monday posted on Tuesday - even more confused.
Am in the i-Site - working against the clock to get these blogs published...still raining!!!

Well we ate the fudge and all the crisps and the rain didn’t stop –some very high water levels in the lake and rivers, some flooding and lots of mini landslides and tree branches on the roads…we did have a lot of rain. Ever hopeful we have fingers crossed that the worst is over and tomorrow will be a better day.
However rain doesn’t stop play here and we have had some really good times. Last night was our Maori evening at the Mitai village – so on with the rain jackets and boots ( I knew they would come in handy at somepoint!!) - off we went to be entertained and fed. First we were shown the hangi – huge trays of chickens, legs of lamb, kumara, potatoes all cooked over hot stones in a pit in the ground. As we left it to finish cooking we trooped down through the bush to the river and were greeted by the Mitai warriors coming down in the waka ( canoe) – very impressive as they are chanting and beating drums and lit by flaming torches. Off they ran then and we made our way back through the bush to the village and sat in a covered marquee ( fortunately as it was pouring down) to watch the show. There were greetings and dancing , we were shown weapons and stick games and the women’s poi dances…but of course the best bit was the HAKA… we just wanted it to go on forever. What is it about it that makes you feel so good???? I don’t know but when you have seen it like this with Maori in full tribal gear and full voice, eyes rolling tongues sticking out – it is so powerful – WONDERFUL. Suz and I wish we could see it done every day. And so then back to the dining tent and a great hangi feast. And it wasn’t over yet – we then got togged up and out into the rain we went again through the bush and down to the Fairy Spring – a sacred Maori pool – by this time it was pitch black - we had torches – but on the instructions “all torches out”- - there they were what we had come to see – all round the pool and into the forest were glow worms sparkling…then our guide switched on a light in the pool and we saw one of the residents swimming around – a rather large eel. Time to return to our bus then and we were dropped off back at the tourist centre to drive back home in torrential rain…not a nice drive….but it was a great evening and I am sure Suz will remember it as one of the highlights of her trip – and it’s my second time there!!

Just one of those things that happens when you are travelling and perhaps you are not so careful as you were at the start of the trip when packing – but silly me I was looking for my little torch ( yes , Christine, that little pink torch I bought when we were in Keswick last summer has been so useful) and coulnd’t find it and as I was looking I realised that a few other thing were missing like – all my cables for connecting fones etc and camera charger and my MP3 player and my toothbrush charger ………..OOOOPS!!!! I

Have got some great videos of all this.
had left them at the resort at Mount Mauganui. Suz had the bright idea that as we were only 80 km away and as the weather was still awful we might as well drive back there to pick all my stuff up. Good idea- so that’s what we did this morning – and of course when we had picked up the stuff – we had to go and have a rather nice brekki at the café next to the resort. And what a difference on the beach today from last week – a grey sea with massive waves crashing in and right up to the sand dunes – it has certainly been a bit of a storm we have had. (Jocelyne and Mac you would be glad you were there with us last week when we had such lovely weather.) Rain and clouds were obscuring the views as we then drove back to Rotorua via Hobbitland. This is the area of The Shire in Lord of the Rings and the place where they made a farm into Hobbitton. We couldn’t get to see Frodos’s house as we missed the tour timings and you can’t just turn up and look around – pity. But we saw that the grassy mounds and hiils that we drove through looked very Hobbity.

And on to the next event – still raining but not so hard and the black swans on the lake are loving it!!! – a trip to the Polynesian Spa in Rotorua…its had something of a facelift lately and you can choose from different hot pools to bathe in and many different spa treatments. We had a package to include bathing in some of the private pools by the lake and then a massage. There is nowt quite like sitting in a hot pool ( 38 deg to 42deg range) by the lake and rain gently falling on you…that’s the second time for me. But my “Aix” massage was a first – being massaged with coconut oil while being sprayed with jets of warm water ….in the style of Aix les Bains I believe!!! Well I do like to try different types of massage – and this was certainly very different. My skin feels lovely now. Suz went for a back massage with Rotorua mud and said it was the best massage she had ever had.
We had thoughts of finishing this evening with fish and chips but finding a very nice restaurant we opted for a sit down dinner with Suz having a delicious steak and me having a local fish catch of the day – finishing with a raspberry bavarois and sorbet – all beautifully presented and great service. Much better than a takeaway!!!
And so I am up to date writing the blog but lack of internet access ( we can’t connect to the dial-up connection here- jacks don’t fit) means I cannot post it yet. But hopefully we will find somewhere tomorrow to do a bit of internetting. …and if the weather improves there are still lots of sights to see here.
So nite nite – Bob and Prill will be on their way to the Southern Hemisphere some time around now so I hope the sun will shine for them.
Love L xxx
Thanks for all your lovely comments- and yes I am trying to see every day as a new experience and see the best in everything - even the rain dripping off the fern trees is magical and a little fantail bird hopping about in the garden this morning...and Suz and I saw 2 real kiwis in the Kiwi House at Te Puia this morning ( they are bigger than I thought!!)- and eventualy saw the big geyser blow after waiting for about an hour!!! There's patience for you.

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25th January 2011

I think the NZ Hakai is pretty scary - and certainly aggressive especially when they 'do it' against Australia before every sporting event!! All part of their plan of course!
25th January 2011

Lynne, Sorry about the rain I feel responsible!!!!! Hunky warriors!!!!? Much love Janice
25th January 2011

I'm glad you're having such a great time. I now have a new list of must see places.

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