Well I must say that everyone's been going on about the South Island and how pretty it is, but holy scissors batman, the North Island is the boll*s so god knows how pretty the South Island is. They filmed Lord of the Rings there so I guess pretty nice.
Anyway, we arrived in Auckland on Sunday which think is England's Saturday as we are 12 hours in front. We arrived about 5am and found it a bit cold coming from Santiago. Soon warmed up though and even though the weather forecast was rain and clouds, it's been abfab sweetie darling sweetie!! The bluest skies, the clearest blue, green and white lakes ever imaginable. Auckland was pretty boring as we only stayed in the centre of city. We hired a car and drove down from Auckland to Rotarua (get your maps out now), and stayed in Rotarua. It was a bit touristy looking but we're sortof out of season so it was OK. They have some really cool stuff to do here.
We went to visit a Maori village where the people still live today. Tourism was started by there people about a 100 years ago and tours were started just the like the one's done today. It was wicked seeing how the natural baths and geysers they have are a part of their everyday lives. The water from Volcanoes heats the floors (which are only about 7 metres deep) and if you stomp on it you can feel the vibrations. We got to see how they cook their meals. They have a natural pool which is about 250 degrees and they use it to cook corn and other such vegetables, and things like chicken. The traditions haven't changed, and they use a pool that is about 400 degrees to dunk the poultry in and then it's easier for them to pluck the feathers. It was really cool to see how the little village was still being used today by the tribe. Their clothes are that of european people nowadays but they treated us to some poi dancing, and a wicked Haka at the end which as you'll know when you watch the NZ rugby team sends a chill down your spine, well imagine being in front of that! It was very cool! We even got a photo with them. Wicked experience!
Later on we drove down to the Buried Village which is in between the blue lake and the green lake (both breathtaking). To get you up to speed, about 1886 the nearby volcano erupted violently and basically took out all the villages in the area, burning them and burying them in mud and lava. Most villages and people were killed, however there was one that only 17 out of 170 people died. Some years later, an excavationist was sitting on the grounds with his family having a picnic, when he noticed something popping out of the ground. It turned out to be part of the hotel that once was. They came back and excavated the lands which once stood there, and managed to find some houses, the hotel, the bar and the blacksmiths house and workshop. They also found the village chief's house. There was a lot more info on this but I refuse to bore you any longer (if you wanna know more then look it up - what am I, a tourist guide).
Last night, we stayed in Lake Taupo and that's where I am right now. We're heading down to Napier and then on to Wellington. I'll let you in to a little secret, we're so in love with this place, we're going to try and extend it by a week so we can see the south island. That'll please those few Kiwi's that said you gotta go.
Who knows how long we'll stay, or when we'll write next? We'll it's not exactly the forest, although the surroundings are exactly that!
Take care peeps and keep sending us messages, as it let's us know that someone's reading this at least, and that you miss us (OK at least pretend for our sakes).
Lee and Edina
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