We’d arranged to meet Mike at his place again to have breakfast, prior to setting out on a walk recommended by the Information Centre. As usual, of course, Val + I were late getting up, + since we also intended packing up + moving, lock, stock + barrel to Taupo cabins, where Mike was, that made us even later. However, we were there, eaten, + gone again by 11.
The walk followed the course of the river, + was attractive, especially at the beginning, where hot springs poured in, + at the end, where the water thundered thro’ the Huka Falls. After our recent experience, wHuka Fallse view every stretch of water as a potential rafting course, + the Huka Falls looked exciting but not too difficult, apart from the drop at the end, of course. And then back towards town via the Craters of the Moon, a thermal area. They were about 2 kms off the main road, a fair little trek, + when we arrived we were very disappointed, since the Craters of the Moon seemed to be nothing more than a barren field with a lot of steam coming out of the ground. When we ventured down to take a closer look, however, it was much more interesting, the first + biggest pool (the only one we visited, because of the pressures of time + the recommendations of others) being a seething, bubbling cauldron, sometimes throwing up splashes of water 5 or 6 feet into the air. The place was aided rather than hindered by the clouds of sulphurous steam which issued forth almost constantly, so that only for brief moments, with a gust of wind, could anything be seen at all. However, with the lateness of our start, we couldn’t linger – we still had to visit the Honey Centre + do all our shopping before the shops shut.
In an attempt to save time, we did venture at a cross-country shortcut, under Mike’s leadership, but this proved to be an entirely fruitless exercise, spending about half an hour tramping thro’ bush + up + down gulley, dressed in shorts + sandals, ending up about 15 yards from our starting point. We stuck to the road from then on, longer but shorter, especially since we got a lift after a time right to the Honey Centre. A disappointing place tho’ – not really anything more than a giftshop with a single theme. About the only interesting spot was the tasting table, where one could help oneself to spoons of the various types of the stuff, plus other concoctions such as honey with kiwi fruit, honey with apricot, honey with peanut butter, etc. My verdict was the same for all of them – quite revolting. A long walk back into town from here, shopped, + then a weary plod back to the cabins. We lived it up in the evening with a roast lamb dinner with all the necessaries, + a big bottle of wine. Cards to finish off the evening.
The usual sort of sight-seeing day, once we’d finally got moving. That really does appear tpo e a common theme, our inability to get moving in the morning. PLus making time for breakfast, of course.
I have no idea why we thought the Honey Centre would be more interesting than it was, since all the clues were there as to its true purpose.
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