October 5, 2008
A few photos of the visit of the thermal lakes around Rotorua. Not much time to comment and muse on them, unfortunately. The thermal lakes were interesting, mud ponds spewing gas from the depths of the earth, a small reminder that New Zealand, while pictured as a paradise, actually has active volcanoes, some of which have erupted in the last decade…
The photos really don’t do justice to the magical colors of the place. Reds and greens and sulfuric yellows and silver browns of volcanic mud… and smoke rising from everywhere. The hydrogen sulfide in the smoke is stronger even than in downtown Rotorua, hard as it may be to imagine. And because of the light breeze, I had the dubious honor of walking through one of the devil’s own farts. It was… Interesting. In the words of Guybrush Threepwood, “I can hold my breath for ten minutes!”
I also got to do a little geocaching during a walk along a beautiful river snaking out from Taupo. It was a great walk, and finding the cache was most gratifying, even though in retrospect it was a fairly easy find. It’s a sort of cherry on the cake of a nice walk through what honestly looked like a European forest. And this is only 24 hours out of what looked like a cross between a British and American metropolis, and 2 hours out of an active volcanic region. Already the sudden scenery changes of New Zealand are hitting me.