Thursday, 29 March 2007

In Which Mr Knitbert Has a Trying Time and We Visit a Maori Village

I am writing this post from Franz Josef, a little village nestling at the foot of the Franz Josef Glacier. Our journey is not quite over yet, but we fly home at the weekend, so there are only a few more days to go. Catbert and DSoK are walking on the glacier today, but I have a dreadful cold and did not feel up to being on the ice, so Mr Knitbert and I took a nice walk out to the face of the glacier instead. We took some nice photos, but they are still in the camera, so I can't show them to you yet.

Poor Mr Knitbert has had a trying time these last few days! As you may remember, he is a vegetarian, in fact he has been a vegetarian since birth and until a few days ago he was able to say that he has only eaten meat once in his life, by mistake when he was about eight years old. Now he has tasted meat four times in total, and three of them were on this holiday! The first time was in Hong Kong, where he was offered a snack while I was having a manicure, which he thought was toffee, but which turned out to be pork. He spotted it straight away, luckily. Then three days ago he ordered an omelette with tomato and cheese, and it turned up with ham in it, which he bit into before realising, and then the day before yesterday he ordered vegetarian pasta at a restaurant in Hokitika and it came with bits of chorizo sausage in it! He got a free beer out of that one, though.
He is now so traumatised that I am having to cook for him for a few days while he recovers.

Where were we in our travels? Oh yes, we were heading from Auckland to Rotorua. On the way, we stopped to visit the Waitoma Glow Worm caves, recommended by Catbert's Rough Guide to New Zealand, which were well worth the detour. There are no photos, as flash photography would upset the glow worms, but all I can say is that it is a wonderful and atmospheric experience and I recommend it if you are ever in New Zealand. We also visited the Aranui Cave in the same area and here is a photograph of some of the lovely formations to be seen inside.

While in Rotorua we did two things. Well, alright, maybe three - or was that four? We walked around the Kuirau Park, which is a thermal park on the outskirts of the city. I discovered that our camera can record short videos, so I recorded one of a boiling mud pool, which I think shows it better than a static photograph.

Next, here we all are beside beautiful Lake Rotorua:
Then we decided that we would like a relaxing day, so we went to the Polynesian Spa and opted to spend the day in the Lakeside Retreat. I had a honey and manuka (the NZ name for Tea Tree) wrap and Catbert had a facial, and we all had access to four mineral pools, one at 36 degrees and the hottest at 42 degrees. Here we are after a day of this! I think we look relaxed...

In the evening we had booked a trip to the Tamaki Maori Village and Hangi. Mr Knitbert and I had been to this on our previous trip to New Zealand, and it is absolutely fabulous. You really feel as if you were an early European explorer standing outside a Maori village for the first time. When the Maori warrior comes out to issue the challenge to the visitors a shiver runs down my spine. Inside the village, by firelight, you can see traditional Maori crafts and activities, such as tattooing, which is practised here, and which is a very traditional form of body art for Maori, even today.
On the knitting front, I have very little progress to report on Mr Knitbert's socks, but I have bought some lovely Merino Possum yarn in a pale purple, and some gorgeous natural felted merino in a natural brown colour. I am embarrassed to report that my yarn purchases are now so bulky that we will have to buy another suitcase to transport them on the return journey.


Knitbert said...

Thank you all for your kind comments on my photos. Last time we came I thought that we had taken a lot of photos, but then realised there were loads of things we had done which I had no record of. Having the blog has helped to motivate me to take lots of photos but I also have access to Catbert's and DSoK's photos which makes for a more complete set.
Clarabelle, I do think that the shawl pins are based on Maori symbols, one of them looks like the wave symbol to me.

Seahorse said...

More fabulous stuff!

A whole new suitcase for yarn purchases? I like your style!!!

Christina said...

another suitcase - don't you mean plane!!!! ;)

Lovely photos, I'm so jealous, can I come next time???? :)

poor mr knitbert, I hope he's recovered from the shock.