Day 15: Rotorua, rest day

I came across this café on the way back from dinner last night and knew I had to come back. The name says it all.

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It was even cooler on the inside; beautiful photographs on the wall, rainbow coloured leather couches and so many pictures of Fat Dog. I took a seat and wrote in my journal for a while, just reflecting on all the cool stuff and kind people I’ve met so far.

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Before I left I had to take this picture, it’s one of my favourite things, animals who think they’re people.

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On the way back to the hostel, I saw my dorm mate, Daisy, who was waiting for her 1pm bus. We sat and chatted for two hours and it was so cool to get to know her and talk about our ambitions. We exchanged details, so I’m looking forward to seeing where she travels next.

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I headed into town too, I was getting picked up for Hells Gate to try their mud bath and sulfur spa. After two weeks of being in NZ I finally made my first Maori friend, Joseph, the bus driver. I learnt a lot about his family, Maori land and Rotorua too. It reminded me of being in Tonga, where people are filled with smiles, laughter and the ability to see humour in everything.

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When I arrived, I wandered around the site, and this was by far my favourite thing.

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Largest hot waterfall in the southern hemisphere

Shortly after, I had my first mud bath, which was an absolute treat. I soaked in the sulfur spa too, and now my skin is super soft and shiny. It’s supposed to last up to 6 weeks, so that’s a bonus.

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Joseph dropped me off at the hostel and suggested that I visit the night markets (another one of my favourite things!). Despite the weather still being rainy, the turn out was quite good. I feasted on venison ravioli and a cronut for dessert (half donut, half croissant,  custard on the inside and cinnamon sugar on the outside).

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Then I started to pack my stuff for tomorrow’s ride and plan the two weeks after Auckland. Although I was excited to go to the Bay of Islands (highly recommended by everyone so far), I felt a bit down. I realised I was sad it (the trip and my total cycling distance) was half way through. I haven’t left yet but I’m already missing it.

It’s okay though, the best thing about my bike is that it can go anywhere. It’s up to me to decide where to go next. Perhaps Europe?

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