the land of the green and blue lakes
there were a few places in new zealand, i wished we had the luxury of time to stay a little longer and rotorua was one of it. many years ago, i watched this documentary about places that are considered energy vortexes such as glastonbury and sedona. i am not sure if rotorua make this list but i feel that it should.
there are things that are distinctly rotorua which you cannot help but notice the moment you drive into the city. first of all the smell hits you like bad revenge. rotorua is like a friend with a bad farting problem. there is literally the smell of sulphur everywhere. famous for geothermal activities, a lot of the infrastructure is built around the hot pools. i find it very much a novelty when i see gas emitting out of the ground.
many people who come to rotorua will try out the spas. the most popular one is probably the polynesian spa that is located right in the heart of the city next to the botanical garden. we didn’t try that because a friend had recommended us to go to hell’s gate instead.
first of all the name hell’s gate did not appeal to me and when i looked at the website – i didn’t think it was very well designed. but i must say, it surpassed all of my expectation and we had a great time there.
the maori people consider hell’s gate a “taonga”( treasure) and all throughout the reserve – there are many different types of pools. our tour guide pearl taught us so much about the reserve, the healing properties of the different types of mud.
i tried the mud spa for the first time as well.maybe it’s pyschological but my skin felt really soft after the dip. i secretly wanted my own mud pool at home too but i think it may be too much maintenance.
after the mud spa, we got ready for our massage was surprised to see pearl our tour guide earlier at the reserve walk as my assigned masseur.
i said – ” are you a therapist as well?”
she laughed and said they do almost everything. sometimes she is a cashier, sometimes she is a guide and that is what i find cool about the new zealanders. unlike corporate america – where job functions are streamlined, people in new zealand seem to understand business from a holistic point of view.you can quiz them about the most intimate details of a business and they can tell you. i like that. it gives everyone a form of ownership.
she asked me, what do you think of the reserve walk?
i kept quiet for a minute. i was struggling to find the right word. i then said, you know pearl, it struck me as very odd to find in the middle of all these hot boiling pools a bush walk.
earlier on while she was taking us to the various pools, there was this “green reserve” with a waterfall nestled right in the middle. the waterfall known as the kakahi falls is the largest hot waterfall in the southern hemisphere. the maori warriors used to bathe themselves in the fall, cleaning battle wounds and because sulphur is so acidic it was then used as a form of antiseptic.
pearl looked at me as i continued speaking. i said – i think the green reserve is enchanted. there is an energy there, i felt something.
she said, you are right and from her eyes – i knew immediately i said enough. something unspoken was exchanged between us.
maybe there is magic in this world. somehow right, after coming back from my trip. i became somewhat intrigued with the healing powers of plants. maybe it is in line with my resolution this year of wanting to eat better. maybe our ancestors knew better than us about the healing power of certain things. we just forgot about it along the way.maybe….
sometimes i think we focus too much on what lies on the surface level, we don’t care about what is within. we spend so much money on using expensive skincare but not what we eat. a lot of us are broken inside. i have been struggling with nasal complications for years and none of that – allergy medication is helping me. i think it’s time for me to look elsewhere.
i like the maori people. every single maori i spoke to – they tell you stories about their ancestors. i have enjoyed their stories. when you speak to enough maoris, you’d gather that the eruption of mount tarawera on 10th june 1886 changed maori history forever. i cannot help but to think that rotorua is a good representation about life in general. in life, there is always duality. the land of rotorua is beautiful yet so deadly. so fertile yet so destructive.
i hope to go back someday. until then, like what the maori people say. we are the ” kaitaiki” ( guardians). we need to good care of the environment.