Wai O Tapu

Wai O Tapu – What to do, how to get there, costs

I’m no longer used to waking up early or perhaps in the weeks I’ve spent here in New Zealand, where after 7pm there’s nothing left to do, I’ve simply become unaccustomed to going to sleep late.

Also since my arrival in Australia, with the passage to Fiji with associated cyclonic storms the internet was a sort of chimera.
This for me means rare connections, sometimes bad ones and therefore little online work, and let’s face it also fewer distractions.
In fact, for the last 2 months, more or less, I have gone to sleep early enough to wake up just as early. A healthy and online-detoxified life. Every now and then it’s necessary and I’m always happy to have had some free time without having the obsession of checking emails or the ranking of my sites every 40 minutes.

However, it didn’t take long for me to go back to doing all-nighters and then having difficulty waking up before 8.
Being on the road and not having to go to any office in the morning I can afford to wake up a little later, I generally don’t have alarm clocks and my days pass slowly and peacefully following the rhythms I decide to set day by day. But it happens that either you have to catch a bus very early, or a plane or there is a tour to do that the hours for sleeping decrease drastically from 9/10 to 5.

When these early morning wake-ups happen I become the quietest person on earth, to some this might sound more like a divine gift rather than a drama, the real problem comes when I become intolerant. Intolerant of queues, heat, cold, noise and people in general and it takes me hours to get back to behaving like a normal social animal.

I had the same reaction to Anchor Wat in Cambodia when the alarm went off at 4.30 in the morning, same bad mood when I had to take, I say had to because I had the barbaric courage to miss it, the bus from Queenstown to go to Franz Josef and when I went to Abel Tasman without have a drop of caffeine in your body.
I can count the day at Holy Way like one of those days.

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I went to sleep at 4 in the morning, due to work which forces me to stay up until dawn given the time zone and the latest Google update which created quite a few problems for me, I should have woken up at 7. The kind manager of the hostel literally broke down the door since he didn’t see me around when I should have been ready with my backpack. I hadn’t heard any of the 3 alarm clocks.

In 20 minutes I’m ready, or almost I noticed the different socks after 2 hours, toast and coffee included. The bus arrives early and I am forced to get on without having time to finish the coffee which is still a little too hot.
During the twenty minute drive I fell asleep intermittently, the driver woke me up and invited us to get out to watch the eruption of one of Rotorua’s most famous geysers: the Lady Knox geyser.
5 minutes later I return to my seat even more tired than before and very disappointed, not only for the size but also for the eruption procedure and the way in which this sort of show lasting 5 minutes, or perhaps less, which was natural and There wasn’t much that was exciting about it.

I waited for the geyser to erupt as if we were in a theater waiting for the performance to begin. Buses of tourists all arrived together because the “show” is held every day at 10.15.
Why always at that time? Because the geyser comes voluntarily stimulated throwing a bag of soap into the cone. Within a few minutes the white foam begins to come out and then the jet of water starts which could reach 30 meters but which in this case will not have exceeded 10. Nothing impressive especially after having seen the natural one of Te Puia which is always active, does not require soap, is larger and definitely more powerful.

For us to then talk about the other tourists who are 95% Chinese. I haven’t been to China but I wonder if they really never stop talking, if it weren’t to breathe.
Respect aside, but on balance the occasions in which I was very annoyed during shows, sunrises, sunsets, events… the fault was always of groups of 60 Chinese who always have many important and interesting things to say to each other, given that they don’t they keep quiet even when explicitly asked to do so.
Thanks to them I will remember the sunrise at Angor Wat more as an annoyance rather than a pleasure.
From this uninteresting geyser we proceed by minibus towards the real attraction of the day: The park Wai O Tapu – the Thermal Wonderland.

a large body of water surrounded by a forest

The ideal would be to come here with your own vehicle since the Tours give you about an hour and a half of time to visit it which from my point of view is just enough to cover the 3 routes. But if you don’t have it international driving license or a car the organized tour is the only solution. Well the other would be not to go.
Despite the beauty of the park, this rush that was put in my mind made me think more about checking the time rather than stopping and sitting in front of some boiling crater or counting and identifying the numerous colors in the pools, craters, quarries. .
The Champagne Pool it is perhaps what attracted my/our attention the most (the feeling was common). This is a huge pool of water (65 meters in diameter by 62 deep) at 75 degrees right in the middle of the park. In this sort of vaporous lake you can distinguish numerous patches in the water with the most disparate colours: orange, green, yellow. The water also “fizzes”.
I cross this enormous steaming pool, stopping halfway across the little bridge that crosses it and while I take the necessary souvenir photos, I think that if there had not been the sun and the blue sky that scene could have acquired ghostly tones.

The temperature of the water in the various quarries and lakes varies between 75 and 100 degrees but above all it acquires some of the brightest and in some cases unpredictable colours.
In fact, different chemical elements mix here, including sulfur, manganase, antimony, silica, which color the surfaces giving colors ranging from orange to the incredible acid green of the crater called Devil’s Bath.

The devil appears several times in the names of these craters, the house of the devilil devil’s bathroomil crater of hell.
How to blame? It seems to be in open-air hell, I perceive something infernal in the air, perhaps it will be the strong smell of sulfur or seeing this mud boil making a noise which in the most total silence brings to mind the idea of ​​the underworld that I always have had since I was a child.

Heat, silence, deep craters that take you to the center of the earth where our fate is decided without us knowing.

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