Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Kia ora!

On Wednesday night we went to a Maori culture night, this included the bus to the Maori village, an introduction ceremony, a look round their village, a haka and singing. This was the highlight, the dancing was really intimidating and the singing was amazing too. We had a huge, delicious, Maori feast where we could eat as much as possible (for the travelers anyway)
The traditional way of cooking food is underground on volcanic rocks with earth covering it. Also a goodbye ceremony, and even the bus home was entertaining. We had to sing lots of songs including 'the wheels on the bus' where one of the choruses was "the driver of the bus has no li-cence" we also had to pretent to be rownig the waka (maori canoe) the whole evening was really good!
We went for a drink at the hostel bar when we got back where I got ID'd, Iv never got pissed off about being ID'd before but when you have traveled half way round the world by yourself buying a corona seems kind of out of perspective.

Had a dip in the boiling Rotorua hot baths which was nice and relaxing, I couldn't handle the 42 degree one for long though.

I am now in Aukland, when we arrived the bus driver was telling us what was on offer, his first tip was "the best thing to do when you get to Aukland, is to leave Aukland".
I decided I would make my own mind up but I think I have to agree with him.
My Northern trip seems to be going far too quickly so I decided to book a bus trip up to The Bay of Islands for a few days. This is seperate to my Kiwi Experiance one.
Went out clubbing with a few people from my hostel last night, the night life is better than the day life.

Monday, 24 March 2008

Tongariro crossing

I am now in Taupo, central to the north island and famous for it's giant lake.
Today i got up at 5.30 and went on a 18km walk, the bus dropped us off at the bottom of the hill and we "tramped" and sometimes had to climb over volcanoes. The terrain was changing all the time and it was VERY hard work. One part is called the Devils staircase and their not wrong about that! The volcanic, bubbly rocks were everywhere and you could really imagine how it all formed. We walked over the crater which was yellow and sandy. Unfortunetly the weather was quite bad for a lot of it and the clouds made it harder to see the amazing views, i think it would be stunning when its sunny. It's actually where parts of the lord of the rings was filmed. All the volcanoes are still active so you had that funny egg smelling gas floating around.
It reminded me of woodcraft because everyone was kind of trailing after each other and then we stopped and had a packed lunch, i could also see who's personalities were like those of woodcraft, old enthusiastic hippies at the front, and the moaning "why did we come on this walk" white trainer wearing types.
It was supposed to take 8 hours but our little group did it in 7 yay!

I'm off to Rotorua tomorrow for a night of Maori fun and have a relax in the natural baths.

Sunday, 16 March 2008

Good Vibrations

I survived the 4.6 earthquake that shook the land last night. To be honest the sensation reminded me of when your upstairs at the bookshop and a lorry goes past, where the windows rattle and the house shakes a bit.

Yesterday we caught the cable car up to the botanical gardens where we gazed at trees, sniffed roses and drank a nice cup of English tea.

Rachel and I went into Wellington on Saturday night, which reminded me of a European country (or any country other than England) where everyone was sitting in the streets being jolly, all night funky cafe's and dancing to buskers playing Bob Marley. It was very relaxed and al fresco.
Part of the wellingtons art festival is an installation where massive lights shine on a building, you stand in front of them, and the distance you are away from the lights depends on how big your shadow is, this kept us entertained for ages. One couple got really into it and kept thinking of funny things to do (photos on flickr).

Iv also visited the beach this weekend where I got rather burnt, not realising how hot it was.
Hope everyones well xxxxx

Sunday, 9 March 2008

Stuck in the middle with you

Im here! Wellington is lovely, very varied from one bit to the next and its sunny! Had a day of wandering and window shopping.
My flight was fine, I was sat next to a nice, rather geekey astronomer from bolton. I couldn't quite work out if his stutter was neres. He did say it was the longest flight he'd been on, that, and the accent i had to do quite a bit of smiling and nodding. To my right i had a couple who didn't talk, we were right cosy all there together.
Views flying over Sydney and New Zealand were amzing, I saw the opera house and sydney harbour bridge then the masive mountains of the south island.
Off to cook macaroni cheese now, you can tell Im missing home