Wednesday, 11/10/93, 8pm
Back to Tuesday: Up again for another fantastic breakfast, this time it was cereal, fruit salad, poached eggs, coffee, homemade bread and more. After saying our good-byes, we took a brief detour to the southeast to see Oakura Bay. This was one of the most picturesque places so far. It reminded me of some of the northern California/Oregon coastline, but in a slightly warmer climate.
We continued south back past Auckland, in the land of pronounceable places, through Hamilton, Cambridge and finally to a crater lake called Rotorua. During the long drive, we both got a good laugh out of remembering lines and scenes Monte Python’s Holy Grail movie. Bill has never seen Life of Brian, so I told him that I’d put it in here so hed remember to rent it. We came into the town of Rotorua itself, parked the car at the local AA (Automobile Association, not Alcoholics Anonymous), and started walking around town. We wandered over to the Queens Park, where there were stinking sulphur pools, immaculate lawn bowling greens, and unbelievable gardens. A quick side note about lawn bowling: I never knew that the lawn bowling balls aren’t spherical. They are kind of oblong, and you bowl with the ball arching towards the target. There were steam vents all over the park, and a huge public bath house which was very ornate. The whole thing presented a very pretty postcard view, as long as you could forget what it all smelled like.
We worked our way out to Lake Tarawera, and the Pilmer’s house (Tony and Heather). This was our next homestay location. The Pilmer’s were fantastic people. They had just got back from a three month trip to Nepal and we loved talking about that trip. We had a downstairs, fully furnished, two-bedroom apartment for $20NZ/night! Boy, are these Bed-n-Breakfasts ever nice! We sampled Tony’s light beer which was very nice, and headed off to an early bed time. They had a very nice house overlooking Lake Tarawera and the recently ex-volcano Mt. Tarawara. It blew it’s top in 1886, and changed all kinds of lakes and nearby mountains in the process. There are even before & after paintings and pictures. The re-landscaping was AWESOME! I’m just glad it stayed dormant while we were there.