Last day Rotorua

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March 31st 2015
Published: March 31st 2015
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End of the last day here, and I will finally be caught up, so if you all look at the date, you can figure out where I am. This morning we went to Waimunga Volcanic Valley. Everywhere around Rotorua there are volcanic vents spewing out sulfer fumes and boiling ponds. Even the golf course has a couple of real hot hazards. Anyway, tourism started there in the mid-1880's because of the steam vents and geysers. On June 1886, Tarawera blew up in the early hours of the morning and at 2 am, a column of black ash suddenly erupted from the highest dome, Ruawahia. The eruption kept extending to the southwest. The eruption rift extended in a 16 kilometer line and was in violent upheaval. The rising magma hit the gdo-thermal pools and the resulting ejection was said to be 11 k high. The craters started collapsing, leaving boiling lakes and hot streams. Seven small villages and 120 people were destroyed. Yet today, even with all the extremely hot, we are talking boiling, really boiling here kids, there is a dense vegetation all over the mountains and valleys. Nature knows how to heal herself. We took a boat ride on the cold lake (the hot and cold lakes are separated) to see some of the historic stuff. When the mountain blew, it was not the hot lava of volcanos like Kileaua, but a mountain of mud up to 120 feet high. Nowhere or time to run. After we left the park we stopped at an area of erupting mud pots. Looked like a facial that had gone very wrong, like an extremely acne marked face covered with a drawing mud that caused the pimples to erupt and spurt out. Lovely picture, eh? Actually it was brown-grey, thick and sluggish with these erupting short columns of mud all over. Tonight I an going to a Maori dinner, sort of like a luau, only without pigs and poi. Chicken, potatoes and veggies cooked underground with a Maori show. Should be fun. Off to Queenstown, South Island tomorrow. Forgot to tell you yesterday that we got within thity kilometers of Hobbiton, the place Peter Jackson made for the Fellowship of the Rings movies. Seems he had his scouts fly over the area and it was just as he envisioned it, so he promised the farmers he would build them a road across their farm and then put everything back as it was(minus a few things that made it the Shire). No one knew what was going on until the call went out for extras. The Army got involved so people though it was a training area. Too far off the beaten path to get to in time her, dang it.


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