Two days ago we drove to Rotorua, a remarkable place of fantastic mists and geysers and fire and water. You can read about it here and here (scroll past the many ads on this one). It's a center of Maori culture and spirituality.
We started off by taking the waters (in this case, sitting in them, rather than drinking them that would have been yucky) at the Polynesian Spa, which I absolutely loved. The next day we went to Te Puia, which used to be called the Maori Arts and Craft Institute. It's a showcase of Maori culture, as well as a gateway to seeing one of the astounding geothermal areas. We went into the meeting house for a concert by some Maori musicians, and got a bonus! A troupe of kids from the Marquesas Islands were visiting the site, and ended up doing a set as well and I have to say, they were at least as entertaining as the Maori pros who had the gig at Te Puia. The two cultures are similar, and it was fascinating to observe the variations as well as the similarities in their music and dancing.
Here are some photos Margaret took:
Here's another one Margaret took:
"Whew," said Margaret, who found the prospect of water and mudpools climbing fences to be alarming in the extreme, and was relieved that, through the miracles of dodgy punctuation, her worries had been assuaged.
We drove back to Auckland last night (as I mentioned below, it was an ordeal). Today we went to the Auckland Museum, where we saw, among other things, a ginormous Maori canoe, beautifully carved; the volcano room; Islander art, implements, and textiles; and a huge exhibit on New Zealand military history.
Tonight as I was glancing idly at the vending machine by the elevator in our hotel, I saw these:
Oh, yes. Oh, yes. Lamb-and-mint-flavored POTATO CHIPS!!!!!
And here endeth this blog post, for what could follow that?