I really started this blog to write about Korea. I would love more people to think about Korea and care about the country as much as I do. However, I have noticed something recently. That is that I just don't have anything to write about. The problem is since I came back to Aotearoa it is hard to write about Korea as it is now, but rather I am caught writing about Korea as it was when I was there. This just won't do. I am therefore stuck with writing about more than just Korea and if you can bear it, something about New Zealand... I know there are not a lot of people out there who know anything about New Zealand or even care. That's ok, I think the best thing about living here is that no one thinks about us meaning Mr Osama doesn't think about us and neither does Mr Bush. When the shit hits the fan, I reckon we will be nice and isolated... There is a blog I visit every once and a while which doesn't update too often. I haven't linked to it for that reason. Anyway, there was an arguement going on in the comments section about white people messing with Korea. Some English teachers over there were baiting a Korean American about race issues and the like. I stayed out of it, but watched the debate. Suddenly the Korean American started abusing New Zealand. What has New Zealand ever done for the world? What use is it? And the like... it was so out of the blue, I was quite surprised. I stayed out of it, because it wasn't worth fighting for. To be fair, compared to a lot of countries we probably haven't done very much, but at the same time we don't rock the boat either. We just exist. It is a nice place to visit, so if you ever make it down this far I would be happy to show you around. I figure most people wouldn't want to live here, but that's fine too. Just don't see the point of laying into a little country like this one...
However, this post isn't really about that. It is about my last trip before the impending visit of our life changing guest. I took my digital camera and thought I would post something about my actual recent experiences, if you can believe that.
Don't ask me how, but I won a night in a flash hotel chain. There were a lot to choose from, but I chose one about three hours drive from Auckland, in a place called Rotorua. Rotorua is an amazing town, populated almost exclusively with people involved with the tourist industry. The reason is that Rotorua sits smack bang on a whole lot of thermal activity. This means that everywhere you look there are boiling pools of water, bubbling mud and steam covering the town. The smell of sulphur is quite strong, but you do get used to it.
It is also the home of a lot of our native people, the Maori, and there is a strong cultural aspect to the town. The tourist love this and Rotorua is probably one place in Aotearoa where Maori can make money out of their culture.
Next to the flash hotel we stayed was a Maori village. The village is about 100 years old and the people living there use the boiling water in their everyday lives. They bathe in it, they cook with it and they use it to heat their homes. For a fee, you can take a tour through the village and see how they live in harmony with Gaia. Always on the edge of danger.
A quick walk past the main gate took us to the largest mudpool in the village. The mud is amazing to look at and I could probably stare at if for ages... Yes, I am that sad! The way it moves is amazing. I have an mpeg of it, but not sure how that fits in the blog.
We then walked about the outside of the village to look at the thermal activity they lived in the
middle of. The rocks were steaming and the water, while looking lovely and inviting, was over 100 degrees celcius, that's 240 fahrenheit. There is even one pool where the temperature reaches 400 degrees C! You are warned to stay to the paths as the ground, while looking safe, is
often just a thin crust with boiling death beneath.
The landscape around the hot water and mud is quite eerie, almost moon like. I am not sure if the photos really do justice to what we saw. Damn! I deleted a photo of the geyser by mistake and now I can't load it back on... What's up with that?
There are two churches in the village of 65 people. This one here is the Catholic one and is the oldest. It is interesting for the graves around it. Because the ground is so hot they have to bury their dead above ground surrounded by concrete. So that the concrete doesn't disintergrate they put little chimneys around the graveyard so the ground can let off steam. Weird!
There were these little statues all around the village. If you rub their heads, then you will get good luck. I rubbed a lot of heads... Where's my good luck?
I just like this one's teeth!
There are other photos, but they just don't want to load for some reason.
It was a great trip. Sometimes people look too far for interesting places to travel when really your own back yard can have some amazing things.
There you go, my first personal photo blog post... only 3 more posts for 200!
San Nakji for President!