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Showing posts from November, 2017

The Mud of Rotorua

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Mud, Mud, Glorious Mud

I stood in the midst of a barren lunar landscape. The whole earth seemed to be bubbling and steaming. Pools of bubbling mud were all around, and sulphurous fumes filled the air. Many of the rocks were stained yellow.


At dawn I'd watched as the boat navigated New Zealand's Bay of Plenty. Yesterday had passed circling Mount White, watching the volcano's steam and smoke rise into the air. Now the boat had docked at Mount Maunganui, home to perhaps the best beach in NZ. From my deck I could see the trails winding up The Mount as the little calls often call it. I like the Maori, Macao, which translates as ‘caught by the dawn’. Unlike Mount White, this volcano is extinct, and several historical pa sites (or villages) have been built here.

Rotorua is an active volcanic area. In the town itself, geysers and steam erupt in back yards; houses occasionally disappear. At first the stench of sulphur tainted everything, but soon I barely noticed it. The pools are of …