Three for Three! Thursday 11/24/16
(... a continuation from my previous post)
Never in my wildest imagination would I have presumed to see the three known Old Faithful geysers in the world. The first, and largest, of course, is in Wyoming's Yellowstone Nat'l Park, which we've watched blow sky high several different times. The second, and smallest Old Faithful, we sort of accidentally discovered in Calistoga, right north of us in California! It surprised us to know the durn thing existed. Then, we learned a third Old Faithful could be found in New Zealand ... and I may have made a flip remark about going there to check it off the list. Lo and Behold -- here we are! Life delivers some amazing turns and surprises.
We traveled from our morning adventure to Te Puia -- the geothermal valley -- as well as a center for Māori cultural experiences. We walked the geyser boardwalk, visited Māori Arts and Crafts, pigged out at a traditional mouth watering banquet of authentic Māori cuisine (kai) Hangi style, including New Zealand mussels, corn on the cob, flavored meats, chicken, lamb, vegetables and salads. And entertainment!
Whakarewarewa Geyser Terrace (do not ask me to pronounce that word) in the Rotarua area is where Old Faithful (Pōhutu) spurts. It's the largest active geyser in the Southern Hemisphere. Pōhutu means "Big Splash," It erupts once or twice every hour, up to approximately 90 feet. We saw it when it was just finishing it's Big Splash.
The Blueys Pool, has highly alkaline water, and a water temp usually between 30C and 50C (86-122 Fahrenheit), and it's still a favorite swimming hole for descendants of the original inhabitants. I'd call it a giant hot tub!
I'm determined to get a decent photo of the melodious Tui bird, the guy with the butler look.
Boiling mud pots look so disgusting!
A lovely skirt (or apron) made of New Zealand Flax, from arts and crafts school.
Cooked in the ground, traditional style, and truly delicious, every bit of it, we ate and ate. Dessert, too. I have a feeling none of us on this trip is going to be losing weight!
But the entertainment came before food.
A marvelous show.
Oh yeah, let's eat!
Honestly, these chocolate-covered creme puffs were to die for.
Never mind how many I ate (but it was legendary, I think!).