I’m still heading further west. Follow my travels to Auckland on a more esoteric journey; experiencing my faith in a different country; trying to understand my need for exploring new places; and checking out Hobbit Town..or at least the movie set.
New Zealand Trekby Athena Christodoulou
Back in the U.S. of A
A six-hour layover in LA prompted me to check out the USO. After my long flight it was absolutely delicious to take a shower. As a Navy retiree, I have taken little advantage of those services.
Rotorua + August 11 Polynesian Spa
The town takes advantage of the natural hot mineral springs. They soak in it, keep warm with it, and power their electronics from it. This particular spa claims to be in the top ten. I do believe NM Pagosa Springs can hold its own. Aaah, excuse me while I unwind.
Rotorua + August 10- Maori village
We spent the evening learning about the native culture, being entertained and chowing down.
Rotorua + August 10
Made it to Middle Earth!! The Hobbit was my favorite novel as a teenager so many decades ago.
Waiheke Island Aug 8 zipline
Found something to do! Ooh my.. First of three.
Waiheke Island Aug 8
We took the ferry. Then looked for something to do.
My. Eden volcanic crater
I wanted to slide down until I got close and saw the ridges
My. Eden with Emma
It trained but we persevered to the top. Found a tea room cafe for lease. I could go back into the restaurant business!
Rainbow at the end of the day
My day at the museum began sunny, but as I trekked back to home base I encountered "rain". More like a heavy mist. I enjoyed the rainbow resulting, even as I ducked for shelter. I learned the hard way.. Don't leave home without your umbrella!
Day 4 Memorial Museum
This one packs it all in. I learned Kiwi History, Maori culture, New Zealand war stats, natural history, and learned what to do in the case of a volcano eruption! New Zealand is on top of several volcanos and bisected by the edges of two tectonic plates pulling away from each other. The last volcanic eruption was 600 years ago, but they are not extinct.
Reconnecting with Presvytera K. was the sweetest reason for choosing New Zealand. For goodness sake it's winter here! We had a delightful lunch on the pier. Calamari, kumara fries, and polenta fries. Kumara is a variety of the sweet potato. The next day I learned how New Zealand considers it a native plant. It's unknown whether the Polynesians gave it to South America or vice versa. I'm sure there is local pride involved.
Last Fowl, I promise!
There were chickens as well! Apparently one animal common to most Polynesian islands and New Zealand is the chicken. I saw them while visiting Hawaii and they run free here as well.
I wasn't very good at getting the different types in one picture. Mostly because they were on soggy grass and I tended to stay on the pathway.
So much fowl! In a wonderful lake setting with walkways and little bridges. The birds just continue on the business of foraging. Unless a human offers free and easy handouts, them you hear quite a ruckus. Great Ingress tramping ground.
Winter day around Auckland
I had fine weather for my first day. We took a ferry to Devonport, climbed their "mountain", and enjoyed spectacular views. After which we plopped down in a wonderful cafe for vegetable tart with chutney, delicious seafood chowder, and and a most surprising, but satisfying mixed up salad.
Paul and I hit the town
Paul has flown on a few days before from LA. Thank goodness he already has the public transportation figured out. No car rental!
Made it to Auckland.
Made it to Auckland at 7am Monday, August 3. I missed Sunday altogether.