Monday, June 11, 2012

NZ Adventures 8: Rotorua

After a fall she took the day before, Dolly and Gene decided they wanted to rest and not come on the last group adventure together.

We decided on Rotorua. When we got there it was pouring. The one day we had a massive amount of rain during NZ’s supposed “rainy” season.

We decided to play mini golf. As with any game where math is even slightly involved there’s no point in aiming to win, instead the goal becomes beat Dan. I managed to do it on one hole – I got a lower score! Don’t let this fool you too much though – I probably got double or triple Dan’s score in the entire game!

With as much rain as was coming down, we were basically mini golfing out of small lakes. Holes like the one below were almost impossible.

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The group after spending a good hour or so in the rain.

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After getting entirely soaked, Dan and I decided to go down the hill in a Zorb. It seemed like something that should be a bit scary, but I was surprised at how not scary it was – it was like going down the hill in a huge water slide.

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There we are!

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After a morning of zorb-ing and mini golfing it was time for lunch. We ended up at a weird part of town in a little strip mall with a meat pie shop, sushi shop, Subway (there were TONS of Subways in NZ) and Domino’s Pizza. I was firmly against Japanese food when I could eat so many things that I can’t get in my tiny town. So we chose Domino’s.

Domino’s had a deal on for two large pizzas and some sides. As Americans, we were quite surprised at how small the large pizzas were.

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Rotorua is a hot spring town. Luckily, after lunch the weather cleared up so we were able to walk through a hot spring park and enjoy the much warmer weather – and slowly dry off.

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So much steam!

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I wasn’t missing Japanese Onsen too much until we found the hot water pools for soaking your feet. After a cold, wet morning a soak in the onsen sounded kind of nice.

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I liked the signs on the garbage cans. Isn’t the penguin cute?

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This was a super-forest-y bit of the drive on the way home.

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The next few photos are for all of you Lord of the Rings fans . . .

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The sisters hanging out outside the information center/gift shop.

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Unlike Japan, I hadn’t felt the need to take a photo of the bathroom until I found this sign.

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On the way home an absolutely gorgeous sunset broke out. It was a bit of a challenge to capture the light as I saw it, but Dan managed to stop the car at the perfect time to get it exactly as we were seeing it.

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Look at all those light beams.

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Dan and I decided we needed to make sure to get a picture of sheep since the sheep population is larger than the human population.

They posed perfectly for me – I wondered if they were sheep models.

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When we got back to Paeroa, we thought we’d better do the last of the tourist things we hadn’t done yet and get our photos with the enormous L&P bottle.

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Then it was dinner time. We went to a fun pizza shop where the guy almost has more hats than wall space.

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I got ginger beer. Probably a year ago I wouldn’t have liked it at all, but a friend here has gotten me hooked on honey-ginger for tea in the winter and it felt so good on my throat that I’ve recently found myself really liking ginger things. This was DELICOUS.

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I got Spankopata for dinner. I think it’s Greek, but it was delicious and so full of garlic that I probably could have kept vampires away for a week – but I haven’t had anything with that much garlic in a long time, so it made me really happy.

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After dinner, it was back to pack for our departure from the B&B the next morning.