May 09, 2005

Bubble bubble

As promised, today was all about the hot, geothermal action. The folks living here are remarkably calm and easygoing seeing as how wide swaths of the countryside are literally boiling over.

In downtown Rotorua, the city's park has small fenced-off enclosures which separate the parkgoers from sulphuric demise. It's pretty amazing. And they've missed a few spots. You'll be walking along, admiring the well kept civic greens, and then "Oh hey, that spot of dirt is, uh, boiling."

I also really enjoyed the roadside attraction Hell's Gates. It's set up exactly like the types of places you see in the midwest - the ones that feature the see-through cow made out of corn, or whatever. Except, instead of transparent livestock they've got a whole slew of thermal pools named things like "Devil's Cauldron" or "The Inferno" or "The Hot Deal."

Made sense to finish off the day with a trip to the hot spring-fed baths in Taupo. Very relaxng. Like taking a dip in a pool of heated, de-carbonated San Pellegrino.

Tomorrow: possibly a horsey-ride and I hope to see at least some of Tongariro National Park (which doubled as Mordor ... "Do you remember the taste of strawberries, Mr. Frodo" *sniff*)