Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Rotorua & Tewairoa

Every time I smell a fart now I will be reminded of the bad egg sulphurous stench that hangs over Rotorua. It is one of the worlds most active geo-thermal areas and we saw great gushing Geysers spouting high in the air, boiling mud pools and there was steam everywhere. It was very other worldy.

Just outside Rotorua is the site of a buried village known as Tewairoa. This was covered by a 2 metre layer of mud and ash when Mount Tarawera erupted in 1886. 150 lives were lost and it destroyed what has been called the 8th wonder of the world - the pink and white silica terraces which held hot pools of water and were a very early New Zealand tourist attraction - until 1886 of course!

We were shown round the museum by a descendant of one of the survivors which made it rather poignant. He would like to see the remains of the original Maori village meeting house bought by an English Governor for £50 to take back to a park in Guildford returned. There is not a lot to see at the site of the village, I think I was expecting excavations on the scale of Pompeii! It is a lovely peaceful area, you could understand why the Seymours, the Methodist missionaries who first settled there, picked the spot to build their church (they had to build 2 as one was burnt down) and village buildings and we had an hours stroll in what was reminiscent of a grand Victorian garden - complete with boulders, rushing brook, fernery, waterfall, and spectacular views to the lake and beyond.

Now we are holed up in a motel in Rotorua, windows firmly shut to keep out the stench, but its a lost cause and we are so used to it now we don't notice it, unless there is a particularly malodorous waft released. There is a sign in our motel kitchenette - they all have cooking facilities, usually a two ring hob, microwave, toaster, kettle etc.- that asks guests not to cook seafoods (mussels etc), curries or spicy foods as the smells are hard to remove from the room. It makes us laugh.


PMM&L said...

A smell you (and poor old chap) are well used to!!!

axx said...

Yes grandsons are particularly smelly!! :-) Of course grand daughters never do, they are like the sweetest roses in the garden!