We (Becca, David, Lucia and I) went away for a long weekend to Rotorua.
Lucia is our Korean Homestay, here for about 8 weeks. Although she's spent about 2 years studying English, it's from American accented lessons, by people for whom English isn't in their first few languages, and concentrating on Grammar and stuff. We speak with a Kiwi accent, use Kiwi colloqualisms, and speak very fast (so I'm told).
We were on the road by 0900 on Friday morning, 23 July - a record for us, and made it to Katikati by lunchtime, to visit David's parents, and ask for financial help. Investment property - phoey! Terrifying black hole is more like it.
The drive to Rotorua was nice - would have been quicker if we hadn't taken a scenic route (ie, the wrong road) out of Tauranga. Marama Resort is on the top end of Lake Rotorua - almost opposite Rotorua city itself, and waaaaay out in the countryside. Most of the units are 2 stories, with a lounge/kitchen downstairs, and 2 bedrooms and bathroom upstairs. There was a canal right outside the unit, which was really cool. We took a walk around the resort, talking to the Australian Coot's (black birds with a white beak), and looking at the trout swimming in the canal.
Dinner was at the resort restaurant - lovely lambshanks, that disintergrated when you looked at them. Seriously blew the meal budget, but well worth it. Went back to the unit, where David and the girls watched "Spiderwick". I went to bed and read "This Present Darkness" by Frank Perelli. I couldn't cope with seeing goblins and demons and other nasties on screen, as well as the word-pictures of these creatures in the book.
SATURDAY 24 JULY - Buried Village, Te Wairoa We thoroughly enjoyed it, but Lucia was bored! Te Wairoa was one of the villages that was buried when Mount Tarawera erupted in the mid-1880's, wiping out numerous villages, and the tourist attractions of the Pink and White Terraces. The museum was comprehensive, and well signed, as were most of the buildings they've excavated. It was really nice in the sun, but cold in the wind. Pictures of Becca and I wandering round the village.
This is a rainbow trout, here to spawn. There were dozens in the stream around the village, of varying sizes. Pretty pretty, nommy nommy ....
Last picture is of the 90 ft/30m waterfall. We had wondered if the trout were climbing this, but evidently not. Looking down from the top, it looked like the rocks were giant teeth!
After about 3 hours here (and for me, a trip thru the museum again, as I hadn't had a chance to read and look at everything), we went down to Rotorua and got Pizza, garlic bread, chips and softdrinks for lunch. Sat in the park, on the edge of a large pond/small lake, *enjoying* the smell of sulphur.