Very few people can leave Rotorua entirely unmoved by the force of nature. In every place you look and walk there is thermal activity, even the gutters steam! The area is the remains of a violent upheaval some millions of years ago, but somewhere beneath one’s feet volcanic activity is still bubbling away. The pools are hot enough to boil an egg, the hot mud plops gently in deep wells. The lake, which is warm, is lying in the large caldera left by the last eruption, and it is huge! When that blew its top, it must have made the ground shake a bit.
To remind you, the air is redolent with the smell of bad eggs and the breeze is warm, even though it is actually colder up in these hills than down on the coast.
We had lunch in “Eat Streat”, a longish thoroughfare full of restaurants of every description. We went to Relish. I strongly recommend anyone to go there, everything was freshly made on the premises, beautifully presented. Of the three of us we had an assortment of dishes, not one was a failure – three substantial corn fritters with chilli salsa and cream cheese, generously breaded calamari with hand cut chips, also with chilli sauce. There was also a cheese and onion toasted sandwich on brown bread – also remarkably not ready sliced, but cut on the premises (quite a doorstopper, but well filled) and I had a vegetarian Greek Salad with a lovely lemon and thyme dressing that certainly had not come from a bottle. We all came away well fed!
I thought I would mention here a little about Maori pronunciation. Every vowel and each syllable is mouthed in full; ‘wh’ acts like the English ‘ph’: