Current Location: Rotorua, New Zealand
Branden requested new pictures so I’ve added a few more from the last week of travels. The highlight of which was I went to Matamata yesterday. You may ask what is in Matamata, to which I might reply they are known for several things. One of which is their thoroughbred horses they raise, or perhaps that they are a major producer of milk, finally I might say that this is the location where Peter Jackson felt fit to film the Shire scenes for the LOTR series. It would be the latter that drew me to this location, 60km and 499m out of the way of the proposed path. It was a fun ride into Matamata, especially the 7km downhill after climbing the beast of a hill. I must say that I had a lot of fun on the tour, even though the facade from the hobbit holes are now gone (as they belong to New Line Cinema.) It was fun to use my imagination though and to learn a lot about why and how the set was used. It rests on private property which belongs to a family of sheep farmers and the reason it was chosen was due to the fact that it had a lake and a tall tree next to the lake which was to be used in the party scene (they found it while flying over the lake.) I got to see a sheep shorn for the first time (it’s part of the tour for some reason) which was kinda neat, and feed a lamb (they know what the bottle is for and how to use it.)
On getting back to camp that night I found a fellow tourer in camp as well, he’s from Wisconsin, and i’ll link his blog when I remember to have his contact info around. He’s here for a few weeks and cycled to Rotorua a little earlier than I did. It was nice to talk to a tourer, as it always is. I cycled into Rotorua today at about 1pm after a 10km downhill (I think the high point today was about 630m) which ended up being a lot of fun. I found a hostel that’s called the Funky Green Voyager, pretty nice place for a few days I reckon.
I’m liking Rotorua, it’s a chill place that still has life to it. Though I must say it does smell like rotten eggs at times when the wind dies down (due to the geothermal activity in the area.) I’ll probably be here a few days as there is talk of the storm that hit Christchurch in Australia has moved over to this neck of the woods.
Addendum: The fellow I met at Oasis Springs Park in Matamata is named Michael and I’ve linked his blog. The story behind him is kinda a neat one that I forgot to add earlier. I’ll try to rely the story now. One of the first questions normally asked is where you are from. Usually I answer Hawaii (dunno if thats wrong of me, since most people answer with their country.) He then goes on to ask which island (he understood Hawai’i without a problem.) It ends up he’s going to Maui after NZ for a wedding. Now this is where I need Maui peeps help because I know the first name of the girl getting married (Wisa) and I know we went to highschool together but I can’t remember for the life of me if it was through band or something else. I do remember she was a few years older than we were. So yeah, if anyone can remember please let me know. The other thing he mentioned is that her parents were teachers, but the last name didn’t ring any bells for me.