This just in: Vacation still awesome.


Day 13:
Day of rest. We lounged around the holiday park in the morning and spent the afternoon in the cafe recovering from our previous day. In the evening we enjoyed The Simpsons Movie. Not much to say about that. You don't come to New Zealand to watch movies but the theater was warm and the movie was as good as most Simpsons episodes.


Day 14:
Injury day. Finally, a day without a cloud in the sky. Glorious, glorious sun and no showers all day. We planned an afternoon mountain biking excursion to the Whakarewarewa forest area, or whacky forest as I call it. I'm not sure if Prince likes to mountain bike but I'm pretty sure he had a hand in naming the trails here. They all have names like b rude not 2, luv 2 luv u, mad if u don't, and the 4nicator. Okay, I made that last one up. Anyway, the New Power Generation plays a set at the bottom of the mountain every day.


I think if asked to describe my mountain biking style I'd have to say George of the Jungle. Usually, I'm swinging along and everything is going fine but after a while, watch out for that tree. Today, I slipped in a giant mud puddle, stepped in a sinkhole and then cut my knee open when I hit it on the handlebars. In fact, I had more than a few crashes today but mountain biking just isn't as fun if you don't do it semi-recklessly. This time I got some action pictures.

After our trek we got a hotel room to nurse my wounds in and ate a wonderful italian dinner at Zanelli's restaurant.

Day 15:
Tramped around the Blue and Green lakes area just south of Rotorua. It was a very beautiful day with very few clouds. After the hike Shaleah visited the Buried Village (the Pompeii of the southern hemisphere). I did not join her because I had already read the whole story of the Mt. Tarawera explosion of 1886 when we were at the Rotorua museum.

Shaleah is having lots of back pain after our strenuous ride so we went back to the hotel room at a late lunch/early supper of crackers, cheese, and salami and watched TV until bedtime. Okay, not our most exciting day.

Day 16:
Drove to south to Taupo but stopped on the way at the Waiotapu thermal area where we saw the Lady Knox geyser go off at 10:15 am (because they pour soap in it). Walked around the park and took some cool pictures and saw some beautiful scenery, particularly the green hued lakes and pools.


Continued on south to Huka Falls (the Niagara Falls of New Zealand) and ate our lunch. Had to pay 20 cents to use the bathroom and wash our dishes in the sink. Probably worth it. We then drove through Taupo and availed ourselves of some of the local mountain biking trail maps. Satisfied with our haul we did a short in-town bike trek through the botanical gardens and down along the lake. Lake Taupo is the largest lake in New Zealand and is the result of a volcanic eruption. They say it was orders of magnitude larger than Krakatoa. Of course, there is no recorded history of the even since it happened 26,000 years ago so it's probably all supposition.

Ate dinner at a forgettable restaurant, thus far our only gustatory failure. Tomorrow is a new chance to eat too much.