Sunday, January 31, 2016

New Zealand 2016 Day 3. Lakes Rotorua and Taupo.

The following day we drove through Lake Rotorua, had lunch, and visited the Whakarewarewa Thermal Village, which from time immemorial has been inhabited by Maoris who built their homes among the plumes of steam and bubbling pools. Of course they figured out that the boiling water could be used to cook their veggies, and boxes cut into the steaming ground provide communal pressure cookers for the more sophisticated dishes. We also got to see a demonstration of Maori song and dance, including the intimidating display of horrible gestures, tongue waggling, and chest slapping with which the Maori warriors intimidate their opponents. Alas, that didn’t stop the British from conquering the island, and from 1840 to 1948 the Maoris and their lands were under  trusteeship of the British. Now, however, they have successfully regain some of their land back, and the rents they receive make for a tidy sum.

In the afternoon we drove around Lake Taupo, which is a beautiful and enormous caldera lake, and pushed into the foothills of Tongariro National Park, where we spent a chilly night.

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