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Zorbing

We got up and hopped the bus to the Zorb place. We were the first zorbers of the day. For those of you who don't know what zorbing is, basically, you dive head first into a giant plastic hamster ball, they throw in some water, and then you run down a hill in it. It is soooo freaking much fun. I need to set up my own place around here so that I can go zorbing all of the time. I wish that instead of paying per ride, you could just pay a ton of money and get an all day pass. It would so be worth it. Check out the video to see me zorb. Then we hopped the bus over to Rainbow Springs. The bus wandered around town for a while before dropping us off. I'm pretty sure that you can flag the bus down whenever, wherever, just by waving at it he right way. There doesn't seem to need to actually be a bus stop anywhere. Same with getting off. I don't think there are official stopping places. Whenever you hit the button, the driver goes to the next corner and lets you off. Also, the driver seems to know everybody in town. Our various drivers were waving to people left and right and honking at people. I have surmised that in Rotorua, people don't honk to say "get the crap out of my way," they honk to say "hi." Nobody seemed fazed at all last night when Mark was honking away. The other drivers must have just assumed that he knew a ton of people and not been worried that he was trying to tell them something about the road. At Rainbow Springs, we took the sky gondola to the top of a mountain that overlooked the city and lake. I don't think we saw a single building in the city that could have been more than about 5 stories. It's short and flat and cute. From the top of the mountain, we took these "luge" carts down. There were some decent views, but a lot of the view was blocked by trees. It was fun though. The right way to do it would be to get a multiple luge pass and try the different courses. Unfortunately, we didn't really have the time for that. We had to catch the bus back to the hotel so we could eat lunch and go. The rest of the fam went to Pizza Hut. I had made it this far without having to resort to American restaurant chains, and I wasn't about to ruin it now. I walked down the street our hotel was on because I knew it was gravid with locally-owned restaurants. I noticed a specials board at a Turkish place that listed a vegetarian mezze platter, so I went in and ordered it. The restaurant itself was nice, but the food was awesome. The hummus had just the right acidic kick to make it flavorful enough that you could eat tons of it without getting bored. The orange dip (mostly pepper, or capsicum as NZ calls it) had just the right amount of heat so that you knew it was there, but almost anybody could handle it as it was so subtle. The falafel had the perfect flavor and a good texture too. The cheese on the salad was the second best cheese I've had on this trip (the first being the King Island Brie in Melbourne), and was perfect for the salad itself. The other dips and pieces were excellent as well. The best part was the dolma. Ephesus on Tutanekai street in Rotorua has the best dolmas I have ever tasted in my entire life, and I've had tons of dolmas. Unlike a lot of the ones you get in the US, the rice was perfectly cooked and soft, but not mushy. The inside had tons of flavor and was just the right balance of sweet and tangy. It melted in your mouth and just flowed because it was much looser than anything you get in the US, yet the dolma didn't fall apart at any time. The grape leaves were soft, supple, and not stringy at all. It is definitely in my top 3 things I ate on this trip. So, if you're ever in Rotorua, go to Ephesus on Tutanekai St. and get dolmas. Had I not been completely full because the plate was more than enough food, I would have ordered a whole order of just dolmas on the spot. Then, it was time to come home. We boarded a 20 seat propeller plane in Rotorua and took off for Auckland. I think they're changing it so they can have international flights to Oz, but as of now, the Rotorua airport doesn't have security for you to go through before you get on the plane. It reminds me of my teenage years at the Duluth airport, except much, much smaller. Just the trust that shows makes you feel good about being there. I was sad to go and very not ready to go home.

carting

carting


inside our Rotorua plane

inside our Rotorua plane


View from the cart

View from the cart


View from the gondola

View from the gondola

Posted by spsadventures 16:00 Archived in New Zealand

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