Thursday, January 24, 2013

Rotorua and Napier

After the very dream like visit to Hobbiton, we started on the down to earth, geothermal stuff. Our motel room faced a huge mud pool and bubbled through the night, letting off a smell that reminded me of rotten eggs. Strangely, by the second night, I found that the bubbling and the smell put me to sleep very peacefully. Still, we had fun calling the place Rottenrua. Aaron couldn't help telling us, repeatedly, that it was place that he could create other smells, and not be caught.

This is the mud pool that we woke up to every morning.

The kids found the idea of the formation of craters, mud pools and geysers interesting but they're still kids and could only take so much of walking around. I overestimated their attention span here and stretched them a little too far on a visit to the Waimangu Volcanic Valley. It was nearly a 3 hour walk from one end of the park to the point where the bus would take us back to the start.

I thought the sulphur lake at the Waimangu Volcanic Valley, called Inferno Crater, was very pretty with that light blue. It was a 90 minute walk to get there though...

To keep things interesting for Aaron, I told him that we would try to make the Prince of Wales geyser at Te Puia shoot out his ears.

From Rotorua, we drove to Napier. This is supposedly the Art Deco Capital of the world. The town was destroyed by an earthquake in the 1930s and when it was rebuilt, it was done in the Art Deco style of the day and the main part of the town has remained this way since then. We weren't there for architecture though. It was the bike ride that I was looking forward too. This was probably the second most anticipated part of the trip, after the dolphins, for me. It didn't disappoint.

We hired bikes for everyone except Adrian, he got a seat that attached to the front of Richard's bike. There are trails that hug the water, go through the vineyards or harder, off road ones that went all over the place. We chose the water trail. It was perfectly flat, with no need to share the road with cars and went for about 25kms one way. I had an awesome day. Everything was perfect.

 Adrian was a little grumpy at the start but he soon fell asleep and woke up a much happier boy.

Aaron couldn't have been happier. He wasn't very confident to start off because we haven't had a whole lot of practice with the training wheels off but once he realized that he could do it, he was showing off whenever he could. 

That's where we had to ride back to! 

But, it wasn't hard because the views were incredible...

The day of riding could have easily turned into a disastrous day with whiny kids so I am very thankful that it worked out so well and everybody enjoyed themselves.

I think I'll leave the final leg of our journey for my next post. One last easy post before I have to start looking around for interesting blog topics again.


Mike said...

I don't think I've seen a childs' bike seat like that before. That's a good idea to keep him right in front of you where you can see him instead of trailing behind.

Amanda said...

It was the first time for us too. Worked very well as you can see.

Bilbo said...

I loved Aaron's ear geyser! The big thing here in DC is people framing the Washington Monument between their hands, or pushing the sides of the Martin Luther King Memorial apart. Good pictures, as always!