Rotorua and Bay of Plenty, New Zealand

My last post while travelling in the South Pacific. Richard went home yesterday and I am driving around the North Island of New Zealand for 2 days. Today I went to Roturua. It is the home of a large lake in a volcanic region. Scalding hot mineral water from the earth's core oozes up in Rotorua and the Polynesia Day Spa has incredible pools. The actual location was founded by a catholic priest in 1878 who had severe arthritis, and after dipping in the natural pools was able to walk again. It turns out I had a second larger cut on my head from Samoa, diving in underwater caves. The blood was still caked in my hair and the mineral pools washed it all free and my head feels much better. I have two large bumps on my head now but the cuts seemed to be healing nicely without danger of infection (fingers crossed). Of course, the tetanus shot I got helps calm my nerves but made my arm and liver feel like crap for two days. I feel so stupid for diving in that cave when I knew it was likely I would freak out and hurt myself due to claustrophobia. It was a very vivid event and scared me so bad, I could in fact have drowned. It was reckless of me.

I left the spa to go north to the Bay of Plenty named so by Captain James Cook in laes 1700s because of its wealth of forests and resources. The pictures are from Mt Maunganui, Tauranga. The island full of pine trees (boat in foreground) you see is not set up for tourism as local tribes lives there and don't welcome tourists. It is called Matakana Island. I will be heading north to circle the Coromandel peninsula before flying home to Los Angeles late tomorrow.

I have never been so sad leaving a location as I felt leaving that mineral spa today!

Thanks for following the trip on my blog. I will post the videos in September and some educational posts about the countries as well as a intro by Richard, the producer.

The very last picture is from Fiji. We only spent one night and it was the most tourist friendly of all the islands. Even if I am one who loves off the beaten path locations, it was amazing nonetheless. The kind of place one would have a romantic holiday. Perhaps I will return one day if I ever get married.
























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