Monday, January 7, 2013

heading back to town

but not quite yet.... Mike has another surprise in store for us... the best mud pools ever-

the place was incredibly fun- the bubbling mud was so quick it was almost impossible to capture in a still photo- but I have a couple of shots worth checking out-

I have identified the erupting mud where I can:

this photo is fun because in one shot I got the up and coming eruption (green) the ones that are just finishing (yellow) and the one that is truly done (red)

lots of action in this one:

and here is one bubble just starting to pop up...

clearly the environment did not stop the beautiful flowers from blooming right next to the mud pools:

then it was back into town- lunch was a quick stop at the museum cafe because Mike has arranged for our free time to be filled with a museum tour- the three of us gladly go for it because this is the heart of Maori NZ and the Museum also has this amazing spa history thing going on- so we grab a bite and then go for the museum tour-

The Bath House which houses the museum was once a famous spa which offered "therapeutic" treatments.  water from nearby thermal springs was piped to private bathrooms and larger Aix-douche massage room.  There were a number of deep pools for treatment of chronic disorders.  The north wing accommodated male patients while the women were treated in the south wing.



the waters used were of two types - the Rachel (a skin softener and sedative water which was alkaline) and the Priest, which was a free acid water with sulfuric acid which was considered stimulating and tonic in its reaction with skin- it was highly valued in the treatment of arthritis and "nervous debility" LOL-

I might add that there are photos of all sorts of electrical things that clearly should not be used by water which they were "torturing" their "patients' with- quite horrific if you look back on it from today- which leads me to believe that people in the future will look back on some of our current medical treatments in the same way...chemotherapy anyone?

continuing in the Museum - the Maori things were off limits to photography but they had a wonderful collection and the guide had some thoughtful insights into Maori culture:

we were whisked back to the hotel and in a half hour left for our Te Puia visit - always skeptical of "folkloric shows" I was not expecting much.

the deal was tour of area (much like we had seen today- geyser- mud pool- terraces) - then weaving and wood carving then a show and then dinner at a buffet.  normally I would find this horrifying and probably would have gone with TB for the train ride he took but I was interested in the weaving so I gave in against my better judgement and went.

here are the photos- comments will follow:




so as you can see- we saw one guy carving and NO ONE weaving at all- the gift shop did sell mud and the show was fun and not too hokey - the highlight of the evening was Phil learning the Haka Maori war dance that is done before every "All Blacks" rugby match...

and by the way- the buffet was really good- incredibly good pavlova and some really good dal--- all in all I would call it a wash but mostly that was because so much of it was either "closed"(weaving and carving) or delayed (geyser blew thirty minutes late) - in the best of all possible worlds I would have done the train and joined in for the buffet (the last thing of the evening anyway)  but you never know....

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