09 march Rotorua (NEW ZEALAND)

On a boat, this morning, we reached the small island of Front Beach. While browsing I chatted with a Danish girl who told me to be traveling for a month and a half... the same happened with a Polish in the hostel that told me the same thing... How much I admire them and perhaps even a little envied them... I saw them so far by the classics Italian girls... These backpackers, even on their own, go around the world...
Around the island, I was impressed by a cemetery situated on a hill: simple, clear, no statues or sculptures, so far from our own, just gave you a feeling of tranquility and peace...
It reminded me of the one of Cap Malheureux or Caye Caulker. I'm more and more aware that the simple things are the most real!

 

 

On the way, Bruno told the story of Front Beach, this beach is famous because here landed in the second half of 1700 the famous English navigator James Cook. Unlike the Dutch Abel Tasman, (a sea and an Australian island are named in this way too), Cook was able, thanks to his diplomatic skill, to weave good relations with indigenous peoples and to conquer this remote island .
His predecessor, 100 years before did not have good fortune, the fleet halved as a result of fighting with the natives, led several unsuccessful attempts to conquer the waiver on the ground: "The population is wild and there are no raw materials of particular relevance, then not worth it ... "

In Waihi we stop for lunch along the edge of a huge spiral hole in the ground that descended down to 650 meters and we find to be a gold mine... Never seen one in full swing ...

Mimmo is driving, I'm the navigator and the journey continues...
Before reaching our destination (Rotorua) we stop at Ohinemutu. A large church red and white and adorned with Maori statues and drawings immediately attracts our attention. Fumes arising from the wells of sulphurous water also made the environment even more characteristic...
Stroll and admire the various statues of the gods worshiped by the Maori to a small cemetery located on the beach...

 

Our hostel in Rotorua looked like an English college, it was full of Germans and Chinese students here to study English... What a great experience for them! We dive into the swimming pool with water at 34 ° to relax a little...
Bruna is cooking, she wants to delight us tonight with her horse battle: spaghetti with a sauce of pine nuts and candied fruit!

 

 

10 march Rotorua (NEW ZEALAND)

Wai-O-Tapu. It's covered with collapsed craters, pools of mud and cold water, boiling and fumaroles. The water is poured out of the area in the stream Waiotapu that enters in the Waikato River. In the stream, due to the presence of chemicals from numerous hot springs in the area, there are no fish.
Wai-O-Tapu is also the name of the most famous geyser in New Zealand. A bit disappointing, we expected breathtaking water jets instead of 5-6 meters viewed...
Very impressive, though, the path inside the park, you were surrounded by pools of water with the bubbles that departed from the lower depths and then explode on the surface...

The "Bath of the devil", a crater by the jagged contours, has a green body of water that seemed almost fluorescent painted...

In late morning we visit the Rotorua Museum where more than artefacts and objects preserved and put on display what impressed me were two movies, one told the story of Rotorua since it was inhabited by the indigenous Maori till the advent of British colonizers, to the beginning of the economic gains till the terrible earthquake of 1886 and the present days... The other movie was dedicated to the legendary 28th Maori Battalion in 1939, which hauled voluntarily next to England to take part in the Great War.
"...the face of Cassino in 1944. A division of New Zealand for a week unsuccessfully attacked a hill defended by the Germans. One morning at dawn, the men left the trenches and started dancing nude a Haka, the ancient dance of the Maori warriors. Frightening screams, hands flying on the mighty legs, tongues displayed to the enemy, struck eyes. Half an hour later on the German trenches the white flag was waving... "

"Ka mate? Ka mate? Ka ora! Tene te tanga puhuru Huru. Nana nei i tiki mai. Whakawhiti te ra. A upa ne! A white upane kaupan te ra." (I die? I die? I live! This is the man with long hair. The one that has persuaded the sun. And he convinced him to shine again. One step up. A another step up. One step up, another ... the sun shines ")

“I’d never been further North than Franktown Junction and here I was on my way to the other side of the world” (Kuru Waaka)

Terrible images of the 3500 kids who were leaving to those places so far from their most fervent imaginations ... 640 never returned in their beloved island; 1200: maimed. Strenuously fought in Greece, Egypt, Libya, landed at Taranto to fight in Cassino...
Moving when a father was informed that his son had died at El Alamein, but could not even guarantee him a burial if not its name in the sad and long list of Egyptian military shrine, he told the story again with the tears eyes!
Again, a lady who was narrating the story of the lives of those who had remained at home that was hard and painful. Every day there was the arrival of the tragic postman and they wondered with horror: "Today will be the turn of whom?"
At least many of those brave managed to return to the island and to bring effective help to the mother colony: England!

 

We leave again, destination: Te Wairoa, a town become famous because it is considered the kiwi Pompeii.

On 10 June 1886, at dawn, violent and unexpected, there was the eruption of Mount Tarawera, the largest natural disaster in New Zealand. For more than four terrifying hours, rocks, ash and mud bombed the peaceful village of Te Wairoa. The eruption destroyed the eighth wonder of the world - the magnificent Pink and White Terraces and buried everything it met under two meters of volcanic material.

To conclude this very interesting day wewent to a beautiful Maori show: the impressive "haka"! Wonderful! Those eyes of terror, language and witty eye while fighting the fists on the body. It's admirable their desire not make their traditions and Maori language die.

The New Zealanders are curious, maybe because they live so far away from all the world but every time you encounter them, their first question is: "Where are you from?" Always!

 

 

11 march Tongariro (NEW ZEALAND)

After leaving Rotorua we head to Lake Taupo. There, we admired the waterfall Huka by the very clear water and then at Karapiti we decided to do some trekking inside the majestic crater of the moon, a stretching for the great day of tomorrow.
After purchasing the supplies for the next three days we stopped to visit a very special zoo: you could even enter the cages where the poor bird were watching, resigned, at you while they were eating their seeds almost to say: "come on, take this photos and let us in peace..." The main attraction however, was represented by the famous kiwi. Being animals that move only at night, they had created a habitat for them, that's why it was not easy to admire them.... But we succeeded!

The supplies shopping of today has been made for the trekking of tomorrow. All stores have been chosen with great knowledge of the facts: dried fruit, energy bars, bottles of water for the small backpacks, sandwiches etc..
In the afternoon begins the ascent towards the Tongariro National Park where we will stay for the next two days... We are in the land of the "Lord of the Rings"!

Mount Tongariro is 1967 meters high and tomorrow, weather permitting, along the 19.4 km, we will climb it in nine hours of walking... Unfortunately, the forecast for tomorrow is very bad, but only at seven o'clock in the morning, we will know if we can leave for the shipment or not... In the meantime we are preparing our technical backpack and our minds.
It's my first real and hard trekking and I'm very excited. I hope to manage! Meanwhile Paolino walks in front of me with his backpack just closed, checking the balancing weights...

It's 22.00 and everybody are sleeping, tomorrow the alarm will sound at 5 a.m. and the sad thing is that there are few opportunities to leave... But we will try all the same...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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