Strange Smells and Silly Sports
Trip Start Sep 09, 2004
394Trip End Ongoing
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Not half as much as everyone has made out, but it stinks. A stale, musty, sulphurous smell. You get used to it pretty quick but get a waft of it passing over you every now and again.
I'm still hobbling and I'm pleased to say I've got a semi-dry scab starting to form. I have to walk on the outside edge of my foot to stop it from tearing open, and it looks ridiculous when I walk, as I sort of 'weeble' along. It's still painful but fingers crossed, I'll get there.
The first night we got here we went to a Maori cultural evening of flax weaving, lessons in the art of the 'Haka' and indulged in a traditional 'Hangi' meal cooked in the ground. It was quite well put together and the Haka was pretty full on. A few of us were a little uneasy to start with but we soon got into it and gave it a bit of welly at the end while the women stood at the front giggling and laughing with their cameras.
The following morning I met up with 'Toshi' as I had promised him I would go 'Zorbing' with him. Just briefly, Zorbing is the daft activity where you climb in to a huge plastic sphere and get pushed over the edge of a steep hill, and bounce and bound all the way to the bottom. From what I'd heard it was going to be a lot of fun and we had agreed to do one at some point when we were both in Rotorua. You have the extensive choice of a dry Zorb or a wet one. You are 'fixed' in the dry one and get flung around like a lunatic as the ball bounces and crashes down the hill. The wet one you're not, but they fill it with warm soapy water and you spend most of the time giggling hysterically as you crash in to one another inside the 'washing machine'. I explained to 'Toshi' that I couldn't get my foot wet again after he had noticed I was still hobbling around feebly. So we agreed to do a fixed one (which looked better to be honest after watching and hearing the last girl go down). We paid up and sat in the back of the 4x4 ready to get taken to the top when one of the staff members came over, stuck his head in and said that the dry Zorbs were off the menu for today as the last one had gone far too fast and it was potentially dangerous now that the wind was starting to pick up. Fair do's, so I sat back and watched Toshi hurtle down in the washing machine!
Despite the bad stories I've heard about Rotorua, I quite like it and can certainly tolerate the smell. There is plenty of good cheap net access too so it's give me a chance to catch up a bit.
I've been sensible for once and stayed away from the silly adrenaline activities this time on account of my scabbed hoof. But I will be back.
As well as its adrenaline department, Rotorua is known for its geothermal activity (hence the smell), with hot pools, boiling mud and huge spurting geysers. Again, I didn't get to see much of it but will do at some point in the future.
I'm hanging with some good folk at the mo, in particular a Dutch chap by the odd name of 'Igno' (pron. 'Ickno'). He speaks just like 'Goldmember' and I just can't help laughing when I'm around him. If you've seen the film, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about - he's bang on. You know the old saying, 'there's always one'? Well Igno's the one. The character of the group. The 'mouth'. He's a good bloke and the sort that's not about to let anyone go quiet or sit out. He's infectious and I can see some good times ahead.
So yeah, there have been plenty of laughs and as I'm not partaking in too much activity and will be returning to Rotorua at some point, I'm gonna head off tomorrow further South.
For the first time in nearly three weeks my foot has started to feel better. It's scabbed still and occasionally dribbles, but I think it's on the mend.
I know this entry's more of a 'summary', but that's cos' so much has happened and I've had so little opportunity to write, plus, it's important to me to get 'something' down. And also because I'm hopeless - if I lose momentum with this, it'll all be lost.
Tomorrow, it's off to the biggest lake in New Zealand, and to the outskirts of some of the fine 'Lord of the Rings' country!