Lauren and David in New Zealand and Fiji 2007-2008 travel blog





Finally stole the computer from David to actually write a blog...congrats to those who took the over on number of entries David would write!!! Phyllis, hope you are the big winner...

We woke up this morning to another delicious breakfast care of Colleen. After chatting with her about her many encounters with people from all over the world, we were off to Waitaupo, the Southern Hemisphere's largest geothermal area. It's about a 25 minute ride from Rotorua, through the beautiful landscapes, and unfortunately today, a lot of rain.

As we entered the park we watched the Lady Waitaupo geyser, where a man-made eruption goes off every morning at 10:15 a.m. If you've seen a geyser eruption before, you can skip this wasn't anything too special. Something about watching a tour guide poor a box of Tide in a geyser to make it go off takes the thrill away...

From the geyser, there are about 3 different 30 minute walks you can take to explore the geothermal area. We held our breaths as the wind from the rain made the sulfur smell even that much more pronounced. The colors of regions called Devil's Bath and Champagne glass were very impressive. Imagine an artists' palette swirled together...but stinky too!!!

By the time we finished it was about 110% humidity and we were exhausted so we headed back to Rotorua. Little did we know that the last 2 hours would be the most exciting of the day. The town of Rotorua is a cross between East Lansing and Palatine, there weren't even any reasonable stores to shop in, unless you like Buster Brown shoes or recycled electronics. Our most exciting discovery was that cell phones in New Zealand cost close to $1000...a close second was the look on the local woman's face when we asked her if they sold Blackberry's.. (Gooseberries are a common fruit here, so I think we might have confused her...)

David managed to find the most disgusting Japanese restaurant in the world. For $10 NZ the lunch special came with sushi that was rolled last year, miso soup that was partially congealed, a salad, and teriyaki chicken that could have been called teriyaki rubber. I was pleased after, however, to find an Italian gelato place that managed to wash away the stale taste of miso from my mouth. Four days in New Zealand and I finally found ice cream!!!!

After realizing there was absolutely nothing else to do in Rotorua (and frequent bursts of torrential rain), we drove the long 3 mile drive to the Rotorua Regional airport, which is maybe two Chicago city blocks in total. Three hours early, that's where we're sitting now waiting for our two quick flights to Nelson, via Wellington. Thank goodness for laptop computers and PSP's

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