Last night, and day in Rotorua. I spent most of the day hiding indoors due to all the rain. I did however manage to have a walk around the town-not that there was much to it, but some intersting things to see on the way.
I started at Rotorua Museum, which used to be an old bath house, govered by some bathologist (there really are such people) sent over from Bath, UK to make people in NZ better. It later became a night club, then caberet spot before being taken over by the cultural people at the museum, and restored to its former, mock tudor glory. It was intersting going through imagining all the treaments taking place and how the people must have suffered (being elctrocuted ina bath of spring water was apperently thought to be good for you back in those days!)
After the museum I walked to the lake, and then onto a Maori Village, and the site of the first Anglican church in the country (I think)...quite pretty.
I then finished my walk around Kaori Park, basically like walking around Jesus green and Christs Pieces, but with steam coming out of the ground as well-very cool!
That evening I went to a Hangi at the Maroi vilalge of the Maitai people. A hangi is a meal prepared underground in the steam from thermal activity in the ground. We got shown how the warriors of thier tribe used to dance and sing, and how they would approach thier enemies with ferosious moves and expressions (haka included) to try to indimidate them...really it was an hour of free perving on the nice looking Maori guys! We also got to learn about where the Moku come from- the patterns drawn on the male and females faces to symbolise an owl, parrott, kiwi and bat-all of which mean various things about talking, protection, travel, etc-and you only acquire these patterns when you have a solid knowledge of each subject.
After all the leanring and singing and dancing we had a huge meal-complete with trifle..good old Enlgish fare...a good night, if a little cheesy.