After shopping for groceries and a new bicycle tube, I met up with Andy to visit Whakarewarewa, a Maori village.
I have yet to adapt to tourist prices in NZ. In Europe, most attractions are $8-$18 USD, with the spectacular ones ~$25 to $30. $30 is the general baseline in NZ. Whakarewarewa falls above that baseline, and still fails. The hot springs were interesting (some hot enough the locals cook in them), but the “village” is simply battered modern houses from the 1940s or so, and the native dance and music felt contrived (accompanied by a guitar!). It reminded me of the Cherokee presentations in NC – a sad representation of a crushed earlier culture. NZ has done better in honoring that heritage with Maori names everywhere.
Andy and I returned to confirm bus schedules, him to the airport, and me to Taupo or Napier. After some misguided advice I spoke with a more experienced advisor. With the bike not in a box, loading the bicycle on the bus is at the driver’s discretion. Three buses tomorrow to try, starting at 11. If that won’t work I can get the bicycle boxed at one of the dozen bicycle shops in town.
On the other hand, the rain is forecast to stop by 10 am, and I found what looks to be a great route to Taupo! Will see what the morning brings.
Deadpool 2 was the movie tonight.