One thing I have noticed in my first week is that all the beds I have slept in have been extremely comfortable with lovely down comforters…now to let you into a little secret and I can imagine what my male readers are going to think of me but here goes it is my blog and as always I can write what I want….after my divorce in 1983 and I was living in the tiny Ukrainian town of Smoky Lake, Albert Canada..I had my own convenience store and outside of town there was a large Hutterite colony(Google them) and they used to shop in my store they have a false in my opinion reputation for stealing….I always welcomed them and I got friendly with one man and his family Danny Stahl, I even remember his name..he was very good to me and would bring me in fresh veggies from theirs farms..they had the best land and of course the best produce…Danny also used to invite me out to the colony and to have tea at his house it was an unwritten rule between us that when I went I would always take a few DVD’s for him to watch….the sect does not allow their members to do this but Danny was always a rebel. Three things stick in my memory about Danny and his family and their kindness…..I was always the only non sect member to attend their Christmas concerts…..he always invited my Mum and Dad out to visit the colony when they used to come see me and finally all those years ago he gave me a wonderful down filled pillow…so where am I going with this you are beginning to ask yourselves….well that pillow travels with me and has done thousands of miles and where is that pillow today…..right behind me on my bed!!!!!!
Anyway took it easy over breakfast as my first item on the agenda was not till 10am and it was in town and boy what an experience it was.
I wanted to learn some of the history and culture of the Maori people and there were three options for me and yesterday I booked a morning at a small settlement that looked the least touristy and this is where I was this morning..
This is the second longest name in NZ!!!!
We were met by our guide Maria who was so proud of her heritage and very knowledgeable
There was about 30 tourists so not a really large crowd and she walked us through the village and explained everything to us…
The whole area is active and it is amazing how they have channelled the water for their daily uses.
This pool was very hot and very clear.
a lid goes over this oven and the steam does the rest!!
In this pool they place a bag of corn in cheese cloth and leave it in the water for a few minutes
The end result…delicious!!!
There are about 170 people living in the village and this is one of two natural bath springs they still use…
and still active…
The tour was about 90 minutes and very very informative..afterwards we were treated to a native dance, storytelling and of course the famous Haka…if you do not know what this is go to you tube and enter New Zealand all blacks rugby haka and sit back and watch…..
On the cruise ship(boy that seems a long time ago) I learned some of the moves of the Haka and also how to say hello and thankyou in Māori and of course their handshake which is almost like an Eskimo tradition but the Maoris just touch the tip of their noses to each other…enjoyed the show and also the sticking of the tongue is very important in their culture..when it comes straight out it is a sign of intimidation..but to the side it is a sign of affection…..the show was very authentic….
Doesn’t intimidate me..how about you!!!!
This was a wonderful way to spend a morning!!!
I then drove north a short while to a small waterfall
I waited about 30 minutes but no rafters or kayakers came through…
Back on the road I passed through this small village…notice anything on the side of the road??
Yes a sombrero!!!!
I was feeling a bit tired and it was around 3pm and I was planning to go on a waterfall hike but decided not to do it today but will in the morning so I stopped in the town of Matamata to look for a room and did not know it but it was packed with tourists because it is the
The Lord of the rings and Hobbit were filmed here…..at the Visitors centre
they again directed me to a place to stay and boy what a winner this one was!!!!
A mum and Pop operation with 7 rooms
The room has everything including fridge, toaster, micro even electric blanket on the beds
The owner even gave me some milk for my tea.
The grounds are just like a show garden..the smells of the roses was magnificent…
The cost for the night was 85 dollars which is about 73 Canadian true value!!!
I have seen this tree all over
It blooms this time of the year and is called a Christmas tree or a bottle brush tree…see why
There was a spa pool close by so I went and soaked in the pool it was not really very picturesque
With the main pool under construction but for the senior rate of 6 dollars i enjoyed the long soak…
Came back and heated up the two lovely mince pies i had bought and then showered and did the blog..it takes me around 90 minutes to do the blog and I enjoy it and of course it passes the evenings for me that is when I am not jiving in the local disco!!!!
Exciting day tomorrow I am going to meet Serena and Scott…..they lived in the apartment below me in SMA..they are in NZ touring in a camper van and I have not seen them for over 18 months…will be great to see them.