So after a week in Raglan I was sad to leave my new friends but I have so much to see. Sponge was our driver and first stop were the caves at Waitomo to see the glow worms. I decided to take the sedate route (there is always an extreme option here) and it occured to me that glow worms look alot like LED lights....could this be a scam?? After leaving the caves we were taken to The Shearing Shed for a demonstration on how to shear and angora rabbit (always handy to know). They arrived with a big ball of fluff and attached it to what looked like a torture rack before turning it like a rotissary chicken and shaving its furr off...Ahhhh! The rabbit didnt seem to mind too much though!
Having completed the days activities we headed for Rotorua, famous for its geothermal activity and its high Maori population. This place is amazing, a walk in the park is like entering another world with steam rising off lakes, bubbling mud, the sound of boiling water and of course the distinct smell of rotten eggs. I decided that Rotorua was the place to see a cultural show and have a traditional Maori Hangi (meal cooked in a pit on hot rocks...delicious). The evening was great, first we had to elect a chief who would be challenged by Maori warriors before being presented with a peace offering. If he accepted we would be allowed in to the village. We were entertained with traditional dance including of course the Haka. Finally there was a traditional Hangi meal complete with steam pudding and custard (this may have been a more recent addition). The evening ended and we all got back on our buses in the car park. On the way back to the town we had to sing a song that most represented our country before the whole bus sung 'she'll be coming round the mountains when she comes' while all of the buses drove round and round a round about. A few of us decided to go for a drink and I was chatted up by a lesbian, which made a change from the weirdos....not better, just different!
I decided I would visit Mount Maunganui for a couple of days (North of Rotorua) and happened to bump in to a couple of bus drivers in the bar (Scoobs and Prince) the night before I was due to depart. Coincidentally they were going to a wedding in exactly the opposite direction from where I was going so they offered me a lift. Brilliant!!! I celebrated by having a few more drinks before staggering back to my dorm. In the morning I thought they would have forgotten but the hostel receptionist had a message to say that my lift to the mount was on and just go up to the drivers room. I knocked on the door and Scoobs was rustling up a fry up and berrocca (he will make someone a lovely wife) so I sat down and had some breakfast /hang over cure. The drive to the mount was lovely and the sun was warm ,everything was going swimmingly until a little light appeared on the dash board. One quick phone call to the office and we discovered there was water in the deisel and we needed a mechanic. Oh No! We left the car at the garage and went in search of 'fush and chups' (fish and chips) which we ate on a grass verge by the side of the road. These boys showed me all the sites! Once fixed they dropped me at Mount Maunganui, a gorgeous surfie town with lots of cafe's and restaurants along the streets. Prince was up for staying the night and going out to play but Scoobs had his sensible head on so they left.
At the mount I shared a room with Bagpuss (he did nothing but sleep) and had a chilled couple of days on the beach. I did climb the mount which reminded me of how unfit I am and then fell asleep on the beach before waking myself up snoring (hope no-one heard). After a couple of days I headed back to Rotorua on the bus...not as much of an adventure as a trip with Scoobs and Prince!