I took 20 pictures of mud in a New Zealand town called Rotorua to get this photo. I erased most of the twenty, but still have about five excellent mud action shots in the camera. "Mud?", you ask? But behold, this is not normal mud. This is bubbling mud, found in the Rotorua city park. The park would be an average park with grass and benches and ducks, except for the fact that it erupts now and then. The duck pond bubbles. And the whole place steams and smells of sulfur. The last park eruption was in 2003 when mud was spewed up to 200 meters into the air. I want to live here.
I have been in the north island of New Zealand for 2 weeks now, and it has been great. I spent the first week with Clare in Aukland and the weekend with Tracey in Hamilton, we were all mates in Japan. I also met their moms and dads and sisters and brothers and cousins and friends and flatmates---I feel like I've joined in on a New Zealand family sitcom! Lots of laughs. Tracey took me to her mom's house in Rotorua where we went around to the lakes and the volcanic Kuirau Park, then she's lent me her 1985 Honda Accord, a.k.a. the "Golden Bullet" for the week. I have not yet crashed or bumped into anything, hurrah!
I waited 3 days to get on a tour boat to the White Island, NZ's only active marine volcano. You can only get there by guided tour boat as the island is privately owned and is 50km away by sea. The sun finally came out, but the water was still so rocky that most of us spent the trip filling motion sickness bags. I tried to not notice, but you should have seen the swells out there, swell after swell, rising, crashing, rising...swelling...urghxxxhxhf!!!! We had to use hard hats and gas masks, and the volcano was incredible. Well worth the seasickness.
There is so much to write about NZ, but I will leave off here for now. Pics later!
Take care, all!