Monday, May 31, 2010



Te Puia



Te Puia Entrance Guard







The Gods






Eventually the roads traveled leads me to Te Puia – New Zealand Maori Arts And Crafts Institute. A NZ$40 entrance fee and I wait with others for a guided tour.


FaKaOur tour begins with a quick Maori language lesson and soon it sounds like a group of forty people are repeatedly saying “The F-Word”.


Wh = F pronunciation and it seems the Maori tribes used “Wh” on a frequent basis.

Minutes later I am touching nose to nose and forehead to forehead twice with a stranger. Kia ora, now we not strangers anymore. We have learned a typical Maori greeting. Try it sometime.

If you are in Texas be sure to take your hat off first!



Skirt Next we experience ancient Maori practices still being carried on by their descendants as we tour a wood carving and weaving school.




Into a darken exhibit and we get a glimpse of a real live Kiwi. In my short time here it should be proud of the people it represents.

Mud Pool The grounds of Te Puia is populated with numerous hot mud pools and a few active geysers.





Cool Geyser “I am not a crook, I am a cool geyser”






Close Up “Me too”






Distant Geyser “Me trees”






Today an active Maori community lives just outside the boundary of Te Puia and still use these mud pools and geysers on a daily basis.

For vegetables five minutes is sufficient in the geyser steam while meat take about an hour to cook in its natural juices. All this is done with no sulfur after taste.


Lake Rotorua Leaving Te Puia, I fill up on petrol about US$6 per gallon and drive to the shores of Lake Rotoura. Black swans glide by as a seaplane ties up for the night.



A youth rugby practice is finishing up as I stroll towards the downtown area in search of dinner. Up one side and down another of Tutanekai Street I am confronted with a smorgasbord of dining options as a band entertains on the blocked off street.

Solace Solace Cafe and Restaurant is offering a NZ$25 fish basket special that sounds delicious.




Solace Fish Basket

My dinner arrives, grilled sea scallops with an orange tail that's full of flavor, grilled shrimp, mussels, calamari, salad and John Dory (a local fish). I am not disappointed.

Darkness falls and I am on the road again not sure where my night will end. When it is available the radio provides entertainment otherwise it's my thoughts and reflections from the day.


Pokeno Bacon Sleep finds me in Pokeno, a town I believe that is somehow famous for bacon.

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