Tuesday, October 13, 2009

There and back again


Sorry for being so lazy on the updates lately. Lots has happened and I haven't felt like writing at all. I still don't, but I figure a few of you might wonder if I fell off the edge of the Earth or something... so here goes.

I left Waihi Beach and picked up the Stray bus again in Rotorua on the 29th of September. From there we went to Taupo. Along the way we stopped at these really cool pools of boiling mud. There's a ton of geothermal activity in the area so there's a ton of cool, free spots to stop. The weather was terrible though, so the Tongariro Crossing was canceled. From Taupo we went to National Park, which would have been really beautiful if the mountains weren't covered with clouds. I did get to see the mountains (including Mt. Doom (see picture)) on the way back up to Taupo, though (keep reading). We had beautiful weather then. But on the way to National Park we stopped and had a "picnic" lunch in a traditional Maori hangi. We got fish, kumara, sausages, pipis (little shellfish), asparagus, and mushrooms and cooked it all in this pit in the ground that's heated by the geothermal activity. It was pretty awesome. After spending the night in National Park we went to Wellington.

As I said in my earlier blogs, the original plan was to look for work in Wellington which I spent approximately one day doing before I decided that wasn't what I wanted to do. I think some combination of the gross hostel I was staying in, not having any friends, going from a tiny town to a huge foreign city, and looking for jobs being my least favorite thing to do in the world just kind of made me miserable. So I found an ad for a wwoofing place that sounded really cool and replied to that. So here I am back up in Taupo! Well, outside of Taupo, but close enough.

But before I left Wellington and after I decided not to look for a job, I actually had a pretty good time. I got to explore the city a bit and did even make some friends from the hostel. The first day there I explores the Te Papa museum. It's means "our place" and has a whole geological and cultural history of New Zealand. You could definitely spend a few days there. One day I took the cable car to the botanical gardens which were cool. I think they will be much more picturesque when things start blooming more, but it was still nice. Another day I walked up to the government buildings and a really old cathedral. The main government building is called the beehive (see picture) and is pretty interesting architecturally. Other than that I just walked around a lot and got to know the city a little bit. Enough to know that I do want to come back and try to find a job there still. It's a pretty cool place. Definitely very artsy. So hopefully I will be able to find a job when I get back.

The place where I'm wwoofing is called the Tauhara Center. It's basically like a conference center, but it's very spiritually oriented and whatnot. They have a meditation room and everyone here is very hippy. It's cool though. It has a great vibe and everyone is super nice. There's about 10 wwoofers here. We do all sorts of different jobs like working in the kitchen preparing meals, housekeeping, and gardening. Right now there is a conference group of about 60 people staying here so we've pretty much all been working in the kitchen. We work a lot actually. Either from 9-3 or 2-8ish. It's a lot of work for just accomodation and food, but it's just a really great place to be so it's worth it, at least for a little while anyway. I think after the group leaves things will calm down a lot too.

I'm not sure how long I'll be here exactly. Probably another week or so. After that I will head back down to Welly to try again with the job search!! So wish me luck!! I will try to be better about updating here too.

Love, Laura

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