I had a pretty chill day today, starting by going shopping around the corner for provisions and then making a good cheesy eggs and toast breakfast and then making some rice so I would be able to make some fried rice later. I soaked in some sun on my patio, caught up on some email until after lunch and headed out to do some hiking and to check out some of the local geothermal sites. First stop, the Redwoods- a nice reminder of home. Did I mention NZ has a lot of things that remind me of Northern California? Well the Redwoods grove and park was just wonderful and I hiked up and down hills for a few hours. Just perfect.

Then I headed into town to go to Kaipua Park- a public park in central Rotorua that is full of geothermal activity and that my driver from last night’s hangi (luau-like entertainment and feast) had told me I could go soak my feet. And my feet could really use some soaking! I walked around several steaming holes and a bubbly hole of mud and then found a nice thermal pool to soak my feet and calves in. I departed when the bus of Japanese tourists showed up (small pool!)

Some of my boat buddies (on a tour) were scheduled to arrive that day and since I was already in town, I figured I would stop at their hotel and say hi if they were there. They were just arriving after a day over on the WEST coast (probably a 3-4 hour drive). Within 10 minutes I was reminded why I don’t tour much (some of them will be together every day for 24 days). They were exhausted from constant activity (and were scheduled still for their hangi within an hour of arriving), negotiating about who would have to room with a certain person who apparently was rubbing them the wrong way, and bickering about what food to buy for their next few days’ provisions. They’ve been together 6 days and have 18 to go. 24 straight days with one person would be rough enough, but a bus of 15? EEK! I said my hi and byes and maybe I will cross paths with them again (they are going the same direction).