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(and another race for Jayne)

rain 17 °C
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Day 15

Booked the bus from Waitomo to Rotorua for 11am to give us a bit of a lay in after our exhausting cave adventure. We walked about 2k to town and waited ages for the bus. It ended up being 30 mins late but atleast it arrived. It was a Great Sights bus which we thought would be fun because its a sightseeing bus so lots of useful information and stop offs - or so we thought.
The coach driver was the most annoying coach driver in the world. He said the word 'there' after almost every other word, I actually counted 20 in 2 minutes before I got bored! He liked pointing out every sheep, house and hill that we passed so there was never a moments silence. The tourists on the coach were constantly taking pictures and videoing EVERYTHING. Although I did chuckle when he pointed out a tin hut shaped like sheep. lol Rotorua_020.jpg
Glad when we finally arrived the driver explained that Rotorua is basically one big thermal activity zone so every hole deeper than about a foot has steam coming out of it or bubbling mud. Stepping off the coach we were smacked in the face by a rotten egg smell like badly gone off sandwiches and we all thought hmmm welcome to Rotorua! We checked into a YHA and went for a walk around the lake which is full of sulphur and gives it a milky look.
Also found a VERY smelly hole called the coffee pot, full of black mud that stinks worst than death! Rotorua_025.jpg.
We were suprised to see lots of black swans with their babies which had been introduced from Australia as ornamental water fowl.
After the walk we made our customery almost daily trip to 'Pack n Save' and treated ourselves to a steak and salad. We fired up the barbecue and had a delicious meal with beer as well (hmmm what a treat!). I also had to explain why there were so many fireworks going off to our french friend Ben as apparently they no nothing of this tradition in France!?

DAY 16
Decided to stay another day in the delightfully stinky town of Rotorua as it would make it easier for Jayne to do her half marathon and give her somewhere to doze afterwards. Jayne did the half marathon and came 3rd, but decided to give her prize back of entrance to an ultramarathon in January as we would be somewhere near Singapore. The guy giving out the prizes seemed happy enough to take it back as he could raffle it off and bring some much needed money back to the organisers.
Ben and I decided not to take the 7am coach to the other side of Rotorua to watch Jayne as it was
a)expensive and
b)too bloody early!
So we instead spent a very productive 4 hours trying to figure out how to get my global sim to work in my Iphone (as Jaynes phone has decided it doesnt like travelling and is now refusing to charge). We downloaded Jailbreak software, watched videos on YouTube of how to do it, got all prepared and then had an idea of just synching the phone with Itunes with the new card inserted. Hey Presto, it worked straight away, DOH! not such a good use of 4 hours after all! But atleast now my international number is working so you can call us anytime (anytime I'm awake that is!).
After all the excitement of staring at a computer for 4 hours for no reason we ventured outside in the rain and walked around the thermal park areas near the hostel. We saw some truly impressive holes (both in their size and stench factor!).
Rotorua_004.jpg Rotorua_012.jpg
Also visited a small Mauri village which was quaint and looked eary covered in the never ending steam of the thermal pools.

Another rather soggy trip to 'Pack n Save' this time for the ingredients to Spag bol for our last night with Ben as he has decided to stay on while we continue south. (Must be something to do with the French and smelly things?)
We had a lovely last supper with Ben, including mint timtams for desert. I also tried translating jokes into french which didnt work too well. Including the ever popular 2 fish in a tank and one says to the other how do you drive this thing? The only problem is they dont call a fish tank a tank in France so trying to explain why fish were asking how to drive an aquarium lost some of its hilarity!
A late night skype call to me mum was appreciated, nice to touch base and see how cold it is back home!!
Also booked next few days travel which is going to involve a LOT of coach time :-(
Get set for some particualrly boring blogs for a few days .. sorry !!

Posted by Chris_Jayne_RTW 02:13 Archived in New Zealand

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