My Favourite Window

March 5, 2013

Around Rotorua

So little time these days to honour Lady Mondegreen's Secret Garden: to make interesting blog posts ... and sad to have lost the ability to Comment on most of my favourite blogs.

But this morning - a real letter in the mail, with even more remarkably, photographic prints enclosed! Memories of a January holiday; of friends gathered together: was it really less than two months ago? Whatever, a letter in an envelope is always a treat to read. And just by chance, I had been out early and returned home with a delicious pain au chocolate for my breakfast. Reasons to relax for awhile and remember:

The pleasure of dancing with, and to the music of friends from around the country, and from around the World, during the NZ annual Morris Dancing Tour held this year, in and around Rotorua ...

The realisation that other tourists can provide as much novelty as the local sights ...

 which are spectacular, at every turn, from the Colonial grandeur of the Bath House in the Government Gardens 

to the remarkable harnessing of geothemal energy by the Wairekei Power Station, near Taupo.

Rotorua's tourist industry dates back to the 19th century, 

but the Amorangi Museum at Holden's Bay seems to be a well-guarded secret: a superb small enthusiast run heritage park, where curatorial excellence is combined with a trusting openess, to entice visitors into a disconcertingly familiar past. (Am I really that old?).

What a thrill to make a new friend - entirely as a result of this blog - and to go fishing with him.  

Ernie Skudder, the great-grandson of Thomas Skudder, who built my childhood home, runs a tourist fishing operation in Rotorua, and treated Kitty and me to a trip - a first for both of us - with impressive results.

Kitty caught most of those fish, while Ernie and I discussed his family and my house. 

Cooking the rainbow trout, became a social business that evening in the holiday park kitchen, as fellow-campers contributed onions and seasoning, and David rescued it from the barbecue. It was perfect, with plenty to go around all the helpers.

After a few more days sight-seeing, notably taking in the Wai-o-Tapu thermal reserve,

It was time to head home to the Secret Garden and Earthquake repairs.

Thanks for the photos David!

Breakfast china: Avondale Selection (Crown Lynn) 'Camelot'