Well as you can see from the picture this was our Maori cultural evening in Maketu! or else i had ended up with some very odd friends....after leaving raglan we headed to Waitomo where some of the group were going to do rafting/glowworm cave viewing but i wanted to leave this and do it next time i get to Waitomo so i had some lunch with Nads our driver and then went to Otorohanga to their kiwi house and as you can see from the pictures i saw some kiwi's but they were in the dark, obviously, as they are nocturnal. well at least i can say i have seen some now. i pottered around there for an hour or so looking at all the animals and stuff and then Nads picked me up again and we headed back into waitomo to collect everyone else. needless to say after a few days of lovely sun we had an absolute soaking, i mean it poured it down. So we ran to the relative safety of the shearing shed - which if u remember is run by Thumper's mum (he was my previous driver). If u have seen the pictures ur going to think this is really cruel but i promise its very safe and doesnt hurt the rabbits!
Now it all sounds really horrible tying the rabbits and then turning them like they are on a spit but its the only way that they can shear them - honest! i have to admit though it was rather comical...it had a few of us in stitches watching this rabbit being sheared. But they are regulated by some animal society thing and what they do is unique within New Zealand (take a look in the video section.......) So after leaving these poor bunnies to the torture chamber we drove on to our Cultural stop in Maketu and the house of Uncle Boy.
We basically stay in a Maori Marae (meeting house) and eat a traditional hangi meal cooked in the ground - chicken, pork, Kumara, salad, bread etc... it was really yum - and for some unknown reason New Zealand think that they created Pavlova so we had that too...i always thought it came from Russia but there u go. After dinner we were to experience the male and female dances (the Haka - if u have ever watched the NZ rugby team u know what im on about!) and for the girls it was the Poi - we're not allowed to learn the Haka as its some kind of Maori tradition. But it was a good laugh learning the dances and then watching the group sing and show us some of their traditional songs. After all the festivities we sat outside having a few beers and then slept in the Marae as a big group - plus a few jumping bug things that look like crickets but were as long as ur hand....it even had a few of the guys all freaked out.
it was a wicked evening and even though we were all krap at the dances it was a good laugh trying! Anyways off to Rotorua soon so will blog in a few days when i get to a computer, xxxxxx