Another great day in NZ!
First off, sleeping in Jucy worked quite well. I still need to refine my process for my nightly bathroom run, but I have some ideas on how to streamline that inconvenience, and it doesn’t involve using Depends!
Our sea kayaking trip departed from the Hahei beach right near us so we had no trouble finding our guide, Ross this morning. Our group was small, just us, Ross and a young couple from Perth. After a talk on how to use the kayaks and a safety talk we were ready to push off out into a relatively calm ocean. Jim and I were in a double kayak and Ross gave us a big shove off the beach, timing it perfectly so that a wave did not crash over the bow as we got started. We paddled to and around some off-shore islands, including a paddle through an arch at the end of one of the smaller islands! Very cool!
We then paddled to Catherdral Cove beach, where Jim and I walked to yesterday. Ross landed his kayak and then waved us in, timing our landing so we didn’t have to deal with the breaking surf. As we approached the beach we noticed that because of the high tide, it was not a sandy walk under the Cathedral Arch, but rather a flooded walk with waves rolling in!
Once we all were on the beach and out of our kayaks, Ross took orders for Morning Tea- lattes, cappuccinos, tea and hot chocolate were all things he was willing to brew up for us! Jim and I walked over to the Arch and watched as a couple of kids timed their run through the water to get into the arch. We decided we could do this too, so we waited out the biggest waves and ran through thigh deep water to the sandy part of the arch. This was a fairly exciting run because if timed incorrectly a wave might slam you into the wall of the arch! But we did just fine and enjoyed our walk on the beach on the other side. Our water walk back to Morning Tea was also uneventful.
Our return kayak trip took us along the shore line to places we visited yesterday on our hike. After a two and a half hour tour, we returned to Hahei Beach and were very pleased with the tour and what we saw.
Rotorua has been a delightful surprise! It is a bigger town than we thought it would be and as we were driving through looking for a post office, I saw a yarn store! With good NZ yarn! There are now 2 balls of NZ Merino wool and possum sock yarn in my suitcase!
We were admiring all the beautiful flowers in the town when we then noticed all the steam coming up from various parts of the town! This place is built on an active geo-thermal site and even the sewer grates are steaming!
After getting a campsite for Jucy we walked around this Holiday Park to see their bubbling mud pots and hots tubs filled with geo-thermally heated water! We walked to the nearby lake on which Rotorua sits and discovered the hot water just below the sand on the shore! Wild!
We walked into town and toured one of the parks which features a variety of natural geo-thermal features. The boiling mud pots are my favorites! Apparently there are a few geysers around town, but we didn’t get to them.
The floral display has been impressive. Both yesterday and today we’ve been impressed with the explosion of wisteria in many yards. Rotorua is brilliant with all colors of rhododendron in bloom. And these are not just bushes, these are large rhododendron trees covered with the flowers! The round-abouts and road medians are filled with tulips and some other flowers that we don’t recognize. We are loving springtime in NZ!
Once again this campground/holiday park has wireless Internet around the grounds. We are currently sitting in the kitchen building, doing the blog and charging our devices. Here is photo Jim took of me writing e blog in Jucy last night!
Tomorrow morning we are going on a white-water rafting trip. The time on the water is short, about an hour, but that hour includes going over a 21-foot waterfall! Yes, I am a bit nervous about that!