Odorous Rotorua

We smelled Rotorua before we saw it. Driving up the Thermal Explorer Highway, plumes of yellow-gray vapor intermittently bubbling up from either side of the road, we had no idea, even then, of the sulphuric assault that was soon to overwhelm our senses. Imagine buying a dozen eggs, then forgetting them in the back of … Continue reading Odorous Rotorua

Hiking Through Mordor

Probably the single coolest thing we’ve done in New Zealand was the one-day, 19.4-kilometer Tongariro Alpine Crossing. This tremendous “day walk” weaves its way between two active volcanoes, past jewel-colored lakes made famous by their mineral deposits, to a summit of over 1800 meters from which you descend through patches of snow and reddish-tinged alpine plants with … Continue reading Hiking Through Mordor

Review: Marshland (La isla mínima)

In a now hopefully less-rare cinematic outing, we decided to go see Marshland [Spanish: La isla mínima] based on the three reviews posted on Rotten Tomatoes. Encouraged by its comparison to (presumably season one) of True Detective, I expected a hollow, aching murder-mystery involving female victms and two conflicted male detectives. I was not disappointed. In fact, in … Continue reading Review: Marshland (La isla mínima)

Lovely Lake Taupo

Somewhat to our surprise, Taupo ended up being our favorite place on the North Island — surprising because we hadn’t really heard much about it. With a population of 23,400, Taupo is one of the larger towns in New Zealand (in fact, it’s apparently the 20th largest urban area), and is situated alongside the glimmering, … Continue reading Lovely Lake Taupo

The Shire in Spring

Wednesday, October 29th was the fateful day we visited Hobbiton. The Hobbiton movie set is located roughly equidistantly between Lake Rotorua and Mount Maunganui, so either place is a good jumping off point for a visit to The Shire (Matamata is a very small town, and I’m not sure what the accommodations are like there). Apart … Continue reading The Shire in Spring