Rotorua

Well we decided in Lisa’s absence to use my holiday for a bit of exploring for the kids and Agnes. We went to Rotorua for some culture. I had booked us all into a backpackers in the city called Treks. It was excellent, clean, tidy and it had everything that you needed. It was a new experience for everyone except me. The boys were VERY excited and had their little penguin ‘suitcases’ packed and ready. After checking in we headed off to Te Puia a haven for Maori tradition. It is very commercial but very good all the same. It is located in amongst a geothermal park so, it is amazing to be in the steam, sights and sounds of the park and incredibly smelly. The city smells of eggs! Anyone who has been will know this. Anyone who hasn’t can’t imagine the smell for what it is. It’s a mix of various chemicals but the main one is sulphur. The photos will come soon but smellynet is still in the making. There was lots to see (and smell), the geysers, the mud pools, the waka (war canoe), the carving, the weaving when Connor, Aidan and Liam got little gifts of flax bowls and the performance.
It all started with the welcome and laying of a fern leaf for our ‘chief’ to accept and then on to the ladies welcoming us with song into the Marae (Maori meeting house). Songs and dancing were …. er sung and danced. and it was a good fun experience. Little video clips (from my camera … poor quality) are juddery as Aidan was on my lap.
Back at the Backpackers the boys soon caused some havoc. They went to bed all well and with the baby monitors that I took, I could hear them as I cooked Agnes and myself some dinner. Then Connor arrived in the kitchen (different building), back he went and then he did it again, this time Aidan was out too but in the completely wrong direction. Nothing for it ….. 7pm I was in bed so that there were no more escapes.
The next morning after an interesting breakfast we went to Wai O Tapu We watched the big geyser go off, it was big but to be honest not as impressive as those of yesterday. We drove back to the start of the tracks (of which there are 3 linked together) and headed off on the first and easiest (red) which took us past some really stinky, steamy holes in the ground. Through some lakes (literally) and to a point meeting the next track (orange). We decided to go on with that with Liam now in the pram and found quite a few steps but we were rewarded by some great views and more smell. The colours of these lakes and pools are fair to WOW! We met the join of the third walk and even though the sign was off putting, the ticket lady said that with a bit of lifting we should be fine, and we were. The end of the track is a little steamy waterfall and a huge very green lake. We ate lunch and returned via different tracks. The guide map says that the three tracks should take 75 minutes, with 2 little walkers and a buggy we did well (not times but a good 2 hours). I was impressed that Connor and Aidan managed it all without a fuss but with an occasional …. “Errrr Goooey”.
As the weather forecast said that things were going to turn colder and rainy in the land of the smelly egg (pronounced smully iig) we decided to come home. The boys constantly asking if Mummy was going to be at home and if they could go back to the backpackers. It was a hit, hard work but a hit. Roll on the next big adventure

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