Feb. 8th, 2017

amazonv: (TARDIS)
Tuesday
Feb 7
Woke 430
Had oatmeal purchased day before, and tea from the room. It was sad tea.
Took Uber to tour area, got in way early, go paranoia

Stopped by a coffee shop, cute place, remedy coffee
Got Earl grey tea with lemon in a cup that said red rabbit coffee co $4

Headed back to tour bus
Got fruit breakfast, wasn't expecting that

Headed to waitomo glow worm caves
Jen would be amused, caving for indoor cats. They added walkways, lighting, railing, and put ropes over entries that would be too small further on. Took two years I think I heard to map the caves.

Then got lunch on the bus to next stop.
Note picnic lunch is code for box lunch on bus.

The large group of Canadians and Indians are trouble. Always talking, not listening, running late. The Chinese bunch of pushy :(

Lots of cow
Lots of lamb
Some alpaca
They farm deer
The fields seem separated by hedgerow not fences

Cooler than Australia

Apparently big on selling racing horses?

Have not seen a kiwi yet (bird)

Saw kiwi fruit orchard

Apparently there is green, gold, red fruit

Air on buss broken :(

Checked into cute boutique hotel, The Princes Gate Hotel. No air (old building) luckily it gets much cooler at night

after check in was the Rotorua duck tour! the water was so amazingly clear, apparently you can just drink it....

the area smells of rotten eggs due to the sulphur - there is hot springs and mud pools

i wish i had time to try the spa - perhaps another country has similar and i can add that to the list - natural hot spring silica spa and mud

thats the bad thing you go on all these tours and you see things you want to spend more time on but there is a schedule, rush rush :( on the other hand i see lots of things

after duck tour was freaking out b/c called enterprise and they didn't have my car reservation - so found another (thrifty) - days later i actually get email from enterprise i had a rental but the person i called and spoke with insisted i didn't have a reservation.

then was dinner - Tamaki Maori Village
cultural information, presentations and feast.
it was interesting but too interactive too many people for me i was peopled out and hate being on the spot

got back, it was late, showered and collapsed

vacation is exhausting, and too much light pollution to see the sky so far, at night, but i doubt i'll notice the difference anyway

Fi not working well
had to reload ekit/jt travel $30
amazonv: (TARDIS)
2/8/17
Feb 8th
I woke up at or before 6 and had breakfast at hotel. I had arranged the night before what I wanted as my tour picked me up at 7:20 and breakfast started at 7. The hotel was very accommodating.

The great sights tour bus came and took me to Te puia geysers, thermal pools, and hot mud puddles. They also had a kiwi bird.
Next was Agrodome agriculture show, sheep, cows, dogs, not very exciting, a bit of comedy in there but really wasn’t in the mood. It did make me think of Mary.

Last on the tour bus was rainbow springs bird (kiwi) and fish sanctuary - i got some honey candy (manuka honey is a big thing here) and a small change purse since so much money is coins here. $15.4

I got dropped off at the Hobbiton shop, but had some time, so I went to get lunch at art cafe - porridge and smoothie $17.7. it was a HUGE bowl with sugar and bananas and cream. I enjoyed it.

Then hobbiton!
Apparently, Peter Jackson approached this sheep farmer to use the land, and the first time they did disposable / temporary hobbit holes. People still came to visit. So when they had to rebuild, they made them permanent. There is a staff that cares for them, sadly it’s a lead tour and so you can’t go at your own pace. I think I would need to go a dozen times to get a good look at all the holes. There are 44 different holes? Each has such attention to detail – it makes me think of the harry potter set tour – things in the window, each hobbit’s things hinting at a job (bee keeper, gardener, cheese monger etc). I very much enjoyed it. The tree over top bag end is fake, everything else is real, they planted real flowers and squash and fruit trees!
The tour finishes with a free cider or beer or ginger beer at the dragon’s inn – which is ADORABLE. I wish you could just go there, or they franchised replicas!
Apparently, in the film where they watched sunset, well it was sunrise (bag end points the wrong way) so it was an extra early morning on set to film it, and then use it in reverse.
The fruit trees were not plums, so peter Jackson had the trees stripped of leaves and fruit and put plum leaves and fruit on for some scenes!
The Shades of green on the fake tree were not to peter jackson’s liking – so they were repainted before filming, very close to, and there are thousands of leaves!
The inn was expanded twice so far for the tours as it is popular! They also seem to host events, and people apparently come there for pictures etc after they are married (we got to see one woman in her beautiful dress)
They are expanding – a new tour bus parking area and bathroom center, built into/under a hill (they pulled the hill down, built, then put it back on!), and there is talk of ripping down bag end and rebuilding it as a walk through.
All the hobbit holes are, as much of Hollywood, just space behind them for people to step into or out of. The interior buildings are on studio film lots.
Also - they got permission to knock down a hay barn that was behind either the party or green dragon scene, if they rebuilt it. but in the end the art department just disguised it as a tree!
After the hobbiton bus took us to a place to meet the Auckland bus.

then back to Auckland, got there at 8 or 9 pm? There was traffic and other nonsense.

I took a taxi $33 to my hotel, greenlane manor again.

I then popped off for dinner - post house again, ginger beer and chicken $22

no grocery open so back to room to do computer things.

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