segunda-feira, 22 de setembro de 2014

First REAL Trip (Rotorua + Taupo & Coromandel) part 1


On this "3-part-post" you are going to see what a simple idea, nice people, 3 cars and some cash can make when you put them together. 

First, everything started when it was suggested on our Whatsapp Group that we should go on a trip. The first place that everyone wanted to go was Taupo - a beautiful city that I`ll describe for you later. But since we have got the entire weekend for ourselves we planed to see also another two places, Rotorua and Coromandel.

We scheduled that we should go out around 4 am of Saturday and drive straight to Taupo. When it was about 7 pm of Friday one our friends from Brazil, Leo, arrived earlier at the YMCA - where I`m staying, not permanently - so everyone got down at the Ground Floor just to chat some, and the first surprise happened. Outside, where the Car was parking, a truck was getting really close to it, and when we felt that it had touched the car we stepped outside to talk with the person who was driving the truck and it was actually an officer. He was about to squeal the car!! We tried our best to explain the situation - the fact that we did not know that there was a parking meter on the corner, very well hidden by the way. - but no vocabulary that could work, nor a "Brasil Way" that could save us, we had to pay NZD $100 dollars too release the car.

After that, with everything set up, all the 15 people got it into the YMCA, we told them about this brief history. Around 4:30am we've departed.

To go to Taupo from Auckland its a trip of almost 290 Km, and since it was raining - a lot - on the way, we spent 3:30 hours to get there, more then expected. The rain actually compromised almost everything that we could do in Taupo, and it was very cold - like freezing - so at the end we just looked at two people doing the Bungee Jumping - we will come back on that later. 

To don`t loose the trip, we changed the program, so first we went to Rotorua, because it was sunny over there, and we had plans to visit the Maori Village around 2pm.


From Taupo all way to Rotorua, it took only 1 hour. So by 9am we were there, with nothing to do until 14pm. We started to explore the city, and I would like to say it is a very beautiful one, very green, with Geothermic activity everywhere. You can see the steam coming from behind some places. But, it smells like Eggs our something - it didn't smelled good - because of the sulfur that exists on the thermal pools.

Riding a little with the car we passed a place where you can do Skyline and Kart, so we went there to spend some time, but instead it turned to be a fun activity. One of the most fun of the trip I would say.

You go all way up on this hill, where on the top you can see Rotorua city - and the lake!, and to go down you a ride a Kart that seriously goes 30 km/h our more in some parts of the track.

We payed for 3 rides on the Kart, in two different tracks. In the very first one I hit the wall 3 times, it was shameful, four kids pass me on the way down. Really, a shame. I didn`t understood how to ride that thing. But in the second one I got it, and also didn`t crash, on the third I was like a professional and even pass three or four friends of mine.


- I will try my best to describe my experience there, but our guide gave us a huge amount of information that was on a map, that unluckily I've lost. -


That is the name of the Village. Actually, this name is the second bigger word in Maori language. Just before we went trough our guide explain it to us a little of the history of the place, the names of important persons that have founded or lived once there. - I`ll make my best to go there and get again this information, the names for example!.

Above is the entrance of the Maori Village and just next to it there is a bridge that shows to be very important. You see, back in time there was nothing there, so to lead the tourist into the Village they have to carry then on the back, the firsts Britain tourist actually trow coins in the river that cross under the bridge and then Maori children collected them. Some real money was raised this way, so much that they afford a bridge!

As I said before, Rotorua is located on a place with geothermal activity. So, also inside the village, there was thermal pools that the Maori use to cook their food. Some of them are directly connected with the tectonic plates. For example, the second pool that he - the guide - showed to us it`s often changing its volume of water. Once, when a devastating earthquake happened in a place far away from New Zealand but stills in the Fire Ring, as we call, the water on that pool became very shallow.

You can see how they look:


Moving on, and as our guide explained a lot about the Maori`s culture - to speak more I have to visit that place again - we walked trough all the village. There are three more things that is important to show, one is where they cook their food, other is where they make the ceremonies including graving and the other is the Geyser point, where you can see the full geothermal activity of the place:

By the end of the tour our guide made himself a performance of a Maori song that is like a love song that the British have for Romeo and Juliet. I didn`t get the name, although.
At night, we stayed at Hot Spot “something” Hostel that was close to Lava`s bar. I did not think it was important to get the name, but if you are reading this post and you pretend travel to Rotorua in a large group with your friends I recommend you search for this one.

--------------------------------- OUR TRIP CONTINUES IN THE NEXT PART -----------------------------

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