Sunday, July 15, 2007

Hobbiton, Hell & Hotpools

My 3 days at Vaughn Park passed with me spending most of the time in bed sick in bed with a bad cold, but it says in the good book that "He gives his beloved rest" so I took this to heart. I did manage to emerge for a lovely walk on Long Bay when the sun did decide to emerge and a good spiritual direction session discussing Spiritual Vocation vs. Calling.

I was feeling so rough that I almost turned down my invitation to join a few folks from BCNZ on a tour of Roturra and the East of the South Island. But after some convincing that it was a trip not to miss I broke down and took some heavy duty meds and my fever finally broke and I had the strenght to say yes. And I am so glad I did. We travelled from Auckland to "Middle Earth" to visit Hobbiton, the only set from the Lord of the Rings trilogy left partially undismantled by New Line Cinemas at the end of their filming. The set is 10 acres amidst a large sheep farm and we hugged the party tree, walked through the shire got to look out of Bilbo's home and enjoy the amizing fiew of the rolling hills and even "Mordor" in the distance.

"AH, let's not get coffee, let's just go to Hell!"- Craig Bloomburg on our touring options in Roterrua

After a lovely lunch outside and a quick visit to a dairy farm where I got to pet calves not even a day old we went straight to Hell... via Roterrua that is, a town know for it sulfurous hot springs and thermal spas. We took a quick visit to Hell's gate (so the theologians amongst us could see where the Devil actually lives...) and then checked in for the night to enjoy a lovely meal and evening at the Polynesial Spa warming our weary bones.

The next day we arose early and headed for a Wai-o-Tapu park to see a natural the Lady Knox Geyers (which thought seeded with soap erupted for well over 40 min in front of us) and then do a casual hike around thermal sacred waters where we saw the Devil's home a tick broigh sulfur yell and the Devin's bath's a vivid neo pea green colour. After getting our sulfur fill we then headed to Lake Taupo for a quick visit to the Huka Falls and a late lunch before heading back to Auckland.

Now I am busily packing for a week in the South Island with yet undetermined plans...


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