Happy Hangi in my belly!

Trip Start Apr 21, 2010
Trip End May 31, 2010

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Flag of New Zealand  , North Island,
Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Good thing we didn't eat much for lunch, because we STUFFED OURSELVES TONIGHT!

Went for a drive up up towards Whakatane to the Blue and Green lakes. There's a location that you can stand on, where you can see both! It was incredibly beautiful. And then we drove around Rotorua to some of the thermal hotspots, saw some steamy stinky things that nature makes, ducks, etc. We had reserved an evening at Mitai Maori Village. They picked us up from the hotel via bus, where we got entertained by an incredible culture show, saw Maori warriors paddle a waka down the stream, saw the women do an incredible demonstration of the poi dance, and a whole show of waita and kanikani (singing and dancing), and, of course, the haka. It was very moving, and very powerful. And very scary. Those boys sure do know how to manipulate their tongues, I tell you. Especially when they're just wearing loin cloths and leaves.

Then we got to partake in eating the hangi, which was a meal of lamb, chicken, kumara, potatoes (and stuffing), that's cooked in a big earth oven, which consists of a big hole with rocks in it, heated up, and then the food is placed on top, with potato sacks covering it. Then covered with dirt, and left to cook for 4 hours. And it's bloody delicious. To Canada: You get the shovels. I'll acquire some rocks and wood.

Then we all were given blankets and flashlights, and walked into the forest, where we got guided by the Rainbow forest tour guides, to see all of the local plant life and animal life! Glow worms, Trout, natural water springs, NOISY EFFIN KEAS.... okay, so Jenny the local Kea female, was quite obnoxious and vocal while we were there. We also got to hear why she was in her pen all alone... because after 2 mates that they introduced to her that she MURDERED, they determined she liked flying solo, so to speak. She also apparently got a chance to hang out in a camper van for a few hours, and in 4 hours she had completely destroyed it. She's one tough broad. Also got to see Tuatara lizards, Kaaka birds, and other avian friends.

And then to the kiwi pen! They're so effin cute. They're the size of my head if not bigger... so about the size of Chopz's head.. (hehe), with useless wings that you can't even see, big feet, no tail and super-long orange beaks. PRECIOUS, and they're fast little bastards too. One of them was just waddling along the wall where we were standing, and as soon as he got to Shenan, he craned his neck up, and sniffed his sleeve of his hoodie. I think Shenan was packing himself a little, that he was gonna peck him, but once he touched his beak to his sleeve and sniffed him good, he seemed content and waddled away. LOL I just said he was trying to give him a hongi (nose to nose maori greeting), but Shenan seemed displeased at the notion of getting his beak that close to a kiwi's beak.


So it was quite the exciting evening for us! At the Mitai Village, it ended up that in a room full of about 100 people, there were 13 different countries represented (I wasn't the only Canadian!), and there were only 2 New Zealanders. LMFAO! Chopz was a minority in his own country, it was great! And it ended up that the only other kiwi there was sitting at our table... and she was just in NZ visiting after 10 years because she lives in England. LOL! Beauty.
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