Thursday, December 15, 2005

roses and volcanoes

ok, so I'm sure you've been checking out fran's blog (which is great btw) by now, but I'm stealing some of his photos (some are mine too, honest) and finally getting round to posting.

first, some proof we are in NZ. this pic was taken at 'kiwi country', a whole tourist attraction devoted to the blessed kiwi fruit. we only stopped for coffee, but it was an odd experience with little kiwi trailers to take you on a tour of the kiwi farm and kiwi muffins and kiwi toiletries, clothes, sweets... you get the picture. we stopped in the middle of this amazing downpour which kind of reflects the weather we've had so far. the day will start great with sun and I'll slap on the factor 60, then by the afternoon there's a downpour and maybe even some thunder and lightening if you're lucky.

the mount

my favorite place by far has been mount maunganui. we've seen a fair bit of the north island and it's just a bit too warm and sweet for me - there's no ruggedness to it. at mount maunganui we camped at the foot of a 800m extinct volcano next to a big sandy bay with rocks in the water and drifts of seashells gathered in little inlets. very scottish feeling, it was beautiful and really spoke to my spirit.

'champagne pool' at wai-o-tapu thermal reserve

we're on our way south to the ferry and christmas in christchurch in the south island with em & dan andrews, neil & nat shepherd and matt & jo parkins and we're really looking forward to some company other than our own! today we visited wai-o-tapu, a thermal area near rotorua. it had a soap-sud induced geyser and some amazing coloured geo-thermal stuff to see - mud pools, mineral deposits, steaming lakes. we've picked up the pace a bit with the touristing, and are doing some more extreme things. we went on a free-fall simulator, which is basically lying on a huge fan and it getting turned up 'til it picks you up. fran was much better than me at 'staying on', but I did have a few airborne moments...

I'm flying!

so that's it really. we've learned a few bits about how to travel as ourselves - which for fran is doing something crazy in a place, and for me is chilling out and absorbing the place - it's really helped us to plan our time to keep us both happy and being ourselves rather than following what the guide book says to do. I'll leave you with a picture of rose soaking up a lovely sunset. at this bay I saw the dark side of the moon for the first time - the sky was so clear of light pollution the whole circle of the moon was visible even though on a quarter or so was lit up. amazing.

our rose. aaah.