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Published: March 8th 2007
This is our cabin near Mount Taranaki
Based in our comfy time-share in the small, non-commercial Maori town of Turangi, we have been making daily forays in the area around Lake Taupo. This whole area is thermally active and dense with volcanic peaks--two of which have blown in the last ten years. When we visited Rotorua, two hours to the north, we watched the ferocious eruptions of one of the tallest geysers on the planet. Just minutes away from all this raw ruggedness and fury, we were amused by dozens of prim, white-uniformed British women who were bowling on the green in the Government Gardens!
These days of leisure have received substance from what we've learned from "Stan," a local Maori guide who grew up in this town. Stan is a guide in the ancient, more spiritual sense: a conveyor of old wisdom and a protector--not only of the travelers he leads but also of the natural environments and of the Maori legends and history he leads us to appreciate. We traveled with Stan for two half-days that were rich in humor, history, politics, culture, and Stan's personal life stories. His van holds only 6, so the trips have been intimate, lively and deeply satisfying.
Bill is still glowing about his first flyfishing outing in this country: two days in the Kiwi wilderness. Out of respect for his still-tender feet, Bill and his guide fished from an inflatable raft on the Mohaka River that has level 4 rapids. They caught (and released!) several huge rainbow trout each day (2-4 lbs) and slept at night under the Southern Cross.
Tomorrow we head north to the Bay of Plenty and the Coromandel Peninsula. All's well in Paradise!
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