This one’s for Will, who came up with the brilliant idea of combining the themes of our 2020 most popular/most liked posts: my review of Neal Asher’s The Line of Polity and Piotrek’s report from his Sicilian Vacation. So I took my trusty Asher with me, and here we are :D. Don’t worry, I will write a proper review of The Technician in due time 😉
The lake above lies near a still active volcano; its shores are made of pumice and sand, and the waters cover chunks of obsidian. Bhind us by the lake is Tarawera – the volcano responsible for the destruction of a natural wonder called Pink and White Terraces in the late 19th century. I suspect the obsidian and pumice present in the lake might be remnants of that historical eruption, which dramatically altered the entire landscape around the volcano.
This is a West Coast beach – you can recognize it easily due to the black volcanic sand which is much finer-grained than the regular white sand prevalent on Eastern beaches. The winds eased, the sun came out, and Asher and I were able to go for a short walk. White cliffs, black sand – very dramatic! Lots of sea life fossils there, too!
Above, Taranaki in all his glory. In Maori mythology, volcanoes are male and mountains/hills female. According to legend, Taranaki is a spurned lover who lost his fight for a shapely wooded hill called Pihanga with the mighty volcano Tongariro and as a result, wandered off to the western part of the island where he rules alone and unchallenged. Taranaki is an amazing sight because he just seemingly grows straight from the flat ground around him. Usually, he has a cloud on his head, and it’s said at times like these that he hides, crying for his lost love. Fortunately for us, when we got there, Taranaki was in an exuberant mood.
On this trip we visited the central part of NZ’s North Island, stopping at Rotorua, Taupo, Whanganui (Wanganui), Waverley, and Taumarunui. We visit the far North and Coromandel every year, these parts are just amazingly, heart-stoppingly beautiful, and in November last year we went to Tauranga, Whakatane and Bay of Plenty. We still have Gisborne, Hastings and Napier to see. And of course the South Island! But that’s for another time, and with another book ;).