Lazy days and muffins

Trip Start Sep 01, 2010
Trip End Jun 18, 2011

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Flag of New Zealand  , North Island,
Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Today we decided to have a lazy day around town just getting our bearings and relaxing. We headed into town but on the way we noticed huge plumes of steam coming from the park. We stopped the van and had a bit of a walk around. The park was quite small but in it were about 20 fenced off pools of boiling mud and water with clouds of steam coming from them. The smell was quite strong from some of them and every now and then you could hear a bubbling and hissing sound coming from under your feet. It was quite funny because, despite the fences around the boiling pools, you would quite often come across small little ditches only a couple of inches big with spitting boiling water coming out of them. Most of these little ditches had no protection around them to stop you burning yourself on them, but a couple did have little rings of warning tape around them... funnily enough the tape didn't stop the boiling water from splattering all over your feet! We stayed for an hour or just wandering around the park and taking photos, it was so strange because you could see clouds of steam coming from people's back gardens and you knew that there were probably bubbling pits of mud sitting just outside their back doors.
After that we parked up in town and spent the rest of the day wandering around the shops. We went to the tourist info centre to find out what activites we could do and came out with (another) armful of leaflets. Apart from talking to a nice lady in a shop, who told us a lovely story about how her boss was robbed at knife-point while on holiday in Australia (thanks for that great little tale!) and eating mystery muffins (we still don't know what flavour they were), we didn't really get up to much. Tonight we were staying at our first backpackers accomodation and we were really looking forward to it because lots of the campsites we had stayed in so far had been really quiet and we were looking forward to meeting some fellow backpackers. However when we actually got to the site there was no-one around, just one guy asleep on the sofa in the TV room! Ahh well there goes our night of crazy backpacker fun...
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