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Drove from Auckland to Hamilton for
a pub gig,
then next day after a breakfast in Town, wanted to relax and do the tourist thing with Aimee and so we
drove to the thermal region of Lake Rotarua,
the lake and surrounding area is alive
and sulphurous steam
rises from places in the ground.
Out at Whakarewararewa is the largest thermal
zone and a Maori cultural area.
The places real name is
Te Whakarewarewatngaoteopetauaawahiao,
meaning the
gathering together of the war
forces of Wahiao.
There are geysers here,
one called Pohutu which means
'big Splash' spurting like a whale,
hot water and steam 20 meters
into the air,
The colours of the minerals form
crystalline curtains, yellow,
orange, pink and some blues appear.
you have to stay on the footpaths
the ground around can look solid but
it can be hollow with boiling mud or
water underneath a thin crust!
People have fallen in and died.
The boiling mud bubbles and hisses
like porridge and spurts of mud leap
like frogs or dark fluid fish.
"The Fishes are jumping." The ground
is like some animal spitting, burping,
roaring and swallowing itself!
Saw some Kiwi, the nocturnal bird
cannot fly, its wings too small to
lift its heavy body.
Bone carving, jade, weaving from Flax,
grasses, and wood carving rich details
of past gods, ancestors.
showing the stories, oral history,
legends of the past.

You can cook steam food over
the hot steam, or boil veggies in
the pools in baskets or cloths dipped in,
some grounds get so hot you can fry an egg.
Lots of Tee Tree plants grow very
happily amongst the heat and
sulphurous steam, smelling like
bad eggs.
Fire pits are dug and large stones
are heated in the pit, food in baskets
covered with wet cloths buried with
the earth and steamed to perfection.
This is called a Hangi.
Went to take a dip in the thermal pools,
Polynesian pools connected to the lake.
Different pools some hotter, some less hot, relaxing and healing, then under the cold shower!
it energizes you and wakes you up again.
Great soaking there with a view of the
lake, sunset and birds flying off and
the steam from the ground around.

Maori song and dance,
War dances are scary, grimacing,
defiance poking the tongues out to
look fierce, stamping feet like they
are breaking your arm over their knee!

Warriors, seafaring, navigators in the past.
Huge, bouncers in Australian night clubs
are all Maori, huge big boned
people, no wonder the all blacks are
champion rugby team,
they go into war when they play!

Missionaries brought the guitar,
and songs sound like 50s doo wop music.
I saw them dance for us Tourists, Native Stick dances, and the women bouncing poi balls on the
end of strings spinning and oscillating like birds, or
butterflies wings.

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