Monday, December 26, 2011

Around the World: Rotorua

December 26, 1991

After a breakfast of granola and coffee, I went for a relaxing soak in the jacuzzi. Gail headed off on a tour of spouting geysers and steam pools while I hitched a ride to New Zealand's biggest hedge maze. It's a huge circular maze, complete with clear and blocked paths, the goal being to get to the center. After successfully completing the hedge maze, I made my way to the nearby 3D maze.  This one is constructed of wood and is considerably bigger than the hedge maze.  It's also much more complicated, the object being to arrive at each of the four corners before exiting out the same entrance I went in. I wasn't as successful with this one and before the claustrophobic panic set in, I crawled under a few walls to find my way out.

3D Maze, Rotorua

Met up with Gail back at the hostel and we headed off to the Polynesian Spa. All the pools are thermally heated, but at different temperatures. We spent a couple of hours playing Goldilocks, pool hopping until we found one that was just right, until it became too hot or too cool to be comfortable anymore.  It doesn't take long to acclimatise to the stench of sulphur, although it is recommended to remove any silver jewelry, which of course, I forgot to do, and now my silver necklace is black.  Thankfully, it's not permanent. 

The spa claims the pools are hygienic because the sulfur acts as a powerful cleanser for the water. There's another spa just a few steps away from this one that caters specifically to sufferers of arthritis.

Polynesian Spa's hot thermal pools, Rotorua

After the spa pool soak, it is recommended to bathe oneself in the huge pool, filled with an unknown substance that feels very much like baby oil. Even after a shower, I can still smell sulfur on my skin.

Sue, our Christmas dinner hostess, came by the hostel to drop off mince meat pies and Christmas cake.

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"Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude."
~Denis Waitley

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