We had a lovely soak in the hot pools last night. Our internet connection was not so lovely. Trip Journal just stopped loading photos. And our connection had expired by this morning. So we packed up and left the campground.
Our first stop was Huka Falls. It is really not so much a falls as a gorge with a lot of water moving through a narrow channel, then dropping about 10 meters. But it is a lot of water, and it is a very pretty aqua color.
Our next stop was the Honey Hive. They had some active hives you could watch the bees, and a lot of info about bees—drones, workers, and queens. And of course they had honey, mead, cordials made with mead, and bee-related products for sale, including health and beauty products. Turned out to be very interesting. (Bees put a decisive end to the “nature versus nurture” conversation. The queen lays an egg, and the result will be a bee – nature! Depending on what the bee larva is fed, however, the result may be a female worker, a male drone, or another queen – nurture. “Both” wins! I do hope that we fed Evan, Darren, and Travis properly. ☺ L)
Then we headed up towards Rotorua, less than an hour up the road. But we stopped at a mud pool, part of a thermal area that was free and open to the public. It was a low area with standing water and boiling mud “islands.” Some of them just sat there, some “spat” regularly, and some varied between occasional belches and big belches that threw mud up in the air. Very interesting. Different than what we saw at Craters of the Moon yesterday. We also checked out the nearby commercial thermal area, and will probably go back there tomorrow morning.
It was time to find our campground, so we did, just north of Rotorua. We are staying at the Waiteti Trout Stream Holiday Park in Ngongotaha (good luck with that one). Larry even bought a fishing license and rented a fly rod. We spent a couple of hours working our way down the stream 300 meters to the lake. No luck, but he enjoyed learning to fish with a wet fly which he had not done before.
(Correction: I did catch a fish, on my third cast(!) – about the length my little finger. That’s OK, it will have grown substantially in the telling by the time we get back. L) And it was a nice evening to be along the stream and the edge of the lake. There were a lot of waterfowl on the lake—ducks, geese, a couple of black swans, gulls and terns.
Made it back to the van by dark, which is coming earlier and earlier these days. No internet tonight—the site they use wanted $6 for an hour and $22 for 24 hours – and we refuse to support highway robbery. Most places have charged $5-7 for 24 hours. So we will look for internet tomorrow in town—at the i-Site or a library. Tomorrow looks like another full day.