BAC New Zealand - 2015
February 4 - Rotorua Rest Day
We slept in for an extra 30 minutes. Breakfast was not an option at The Alpin Motel , so we went across the street to Pepper's Cafe . I had some crepes with jam and bacon. Ann had eggs. We both had some real coffee. Others from our group wandered in while we were there. Paul Ciano and Germain Berube joined us.
Back at the hotel, Ann did some laundry and took a swim in the motel's pool while I did my internet tasks. She reported that the pool was not very clean but the swim was refreshing. For lunch, we went down the street to The Pavillion Restaurent and Cafe . Ann had high tea and I had the most ridiculous hamburger that I have ever seen. It had two patties of beef, a fried egg, cheese, slices of beets, lettuce, tomatoes all on ciabatta bread. Chips (fries) came with it. I couldn't eat it all.
Ann puttered around planning for the next day's social hour. I read one of my ebooks - Lee Child's first Jack Reacher novel. It sets up the whole series of which I have read most. I did not know that Lee Child is a Brit.
At 6:00 we were picked up by a bus that took us to Te Puia's Maori evening cultural experience. It is a feast of cultural story telling, entertainment and Maori cuisine. We were in a big crowd of tourists. We were guided over to a cooking pit much like luaus where chicken, lamb and pork are roasted underground along with potatoes and pumpkins. They uncovered the food while we watched. Then we had a welcoming ceremony where a fierce Mauri challenged our group's chief (a guest was selected as a volunteer). We entered the Meeting House where the warriors and their women entertained us with songs, dances and stories. There was some audience participation as well. Ann and I hid when they were choosing volunteers. After the entertainment was finished, we were ushered into the dining hall for a good buffet dinner. I am not going to tell you what we ate because it would take too long. We were at a table for ten. We sat next to a young couple from Dallas and had a nice chat with them.
When dinner was over, we were driven in a little train to the thermal area. There was lots of steam and a couple of small geysers. The sulfur smell was intense. Now I know what I was smelling from the motel.