Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Lake Aniwhenua and Taupo!

So we set off for Lake Aniwhenua at midday and we rejoined with our first driver, who took us to Raglan and such, Heemi, which was rather strange!

We as we joined another large group us east bro-ers decided to stick together until Taupo where we would be hopping off. We did a few random stops like the Mãori carvings where we stopped in the middle of the road and picked up a Mãori guide who talked and talked and talked and loved talking about eels. After about 5mins we all got bored and put in our earphones. We also went to see a waterfall when we arrived in Lake Aniwhenua which was not interesting at all. In fact we had more fun poking fun at the poor tour guide lol.

Once we got to our accommodation we were met by Nadia, our host for the night. She was half Mãori and had married into another Mãori tribe and inherited this cultural exchange which is helping the local community which is very poor.

We had awesome rooms looking out onto the lake. We had again wanted to do Kayaking but there wasn't enough kayaks so decided to all just make use of the happy hour later.

Before happy hour we helped put down the Haangi, which is a traditional Mãori way of cooking. You place the meat (chicken and pork), plus potatoes, Kumara (a type of sweet potato), veggies and stuffing under the ground on top of hot stones where it slow cooks for around 3hours. You then cover it with clothes and it comes out as a perfect smoky roast dinner - yum!

We made use of happy hour wine and beer and had a fun couple of hours chatting and getting to know each other. Then it was dinner time, by which point we were quite drunk so we all piled our plates high but then couldn't eat it all - it was AMAZING though. All the leftovers normally get given to the local community like the schools, elderly etc. And Nadia told us all about what the project was about and why it's important that Stray does this cultural stop.

Normally you get to visit a school the next day but because it was the school holidays unfortunately we wouldn't be able to.

We then continued to stay up for a while drinking and chatting then we all decided to go to bed as there wasn't really much else to do.

The next day we woke and had a breakfast provided for us and then we left around 9am towards Taupo. We stopped along the way at a viewpoint in Taupo and then the Huka Falls - basically a kind of horizontal waterfall that was monstrous! It was also an amazing baby blue colour. It's called Huka because it looks like foam/sugar as it falls.

We then said our goodbyes to everyone as we got dropped off here to commence some WWOOFing up in Hastings in the Hawkes Bay region. We had 3hours to kill before our bus so we stored our luggage, had lunch and had a nap/wrote my blog before we caught an intercity bus to Hastings arriving at 8pm where our new hosts James and Penny picked us up, fed us omlette and another great experience commenced!

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