Rotorua, Hotsprings and steaming vents all around. The Te Paui was the "event/place" that sounded the most fulfilling. I arrived with a few minutes to spare so wandered briefly, taking a few pictures. I loved the boulder of nephryte/jade out front and the invitation to take some of the water and pour it over the rock, rubbing it in as a reminder/blessings of the earthly connection.I should have taken notes. It was surrounded by 12 poles with carvings representing the 12 gods/heavens of Maori belief. A brief history of Maori arrival on Aotearoa "land of the long white cloud" and mention of Captain Cook and his perspective(from a Maori perspective) This place is set up a a school/training for Maori in the arts,crafts and history of Maori settlement. Out beyond the geyser (rhymes with miser not geezer) the Maori had fortification a 'Pa' the terrain is well suited for it. Apparently on occasion the captives (headless) were thrown into the boiling mud pools to discourage misbehavior or similar actions. Nearby are some pools where food is still cooked in the traditional way inside woven baskets and immersed till done. We were shown the woodcarving area and a weaving studio where I saw a short demo on preparing the native flax using an exacto knife and a mussel shell. How's that for mixed media. The gift shop had stuff, books I had seen numerous other places much cheaper... oh well, think I will save my money. Then the major event began, with a traditional greeting outside the Marea: horn blowing and singing, lots of posturing and the handshake nose rub. Off go the shoes and in we went to receive the blessings of the tribe in splendour and ceremony. A lot more elaborate than the previous experince up at Waitangi. Afterwards a huge meal ; eel, mussels , oysters, chicken,pork potato, sweet potato and pumpkin cooked in steaming pits. Oh salad and dessert too. The woman next to me had about 4 helpings of oysters, I began to wonder .... I kept my thoughts to myself. Unfortunately it wasn't quite dark so the geyser wasn't all that spectacular in the lights. I walked around taking pictures of the sulphur deposits, the glowing red rocks and the steam rising over everything.
I managed to find a campground and bonus, they had hotpools so had a good soak before I lay my weary (full tummied ) body down for a good nights sleep. What is it with the rain? Folowing me around or what? Again a major downpour awakens me in the night, right I left my bathing suit hanging on the mirror to "dry". Time to do laundry.