Friday, February 5, 2016

Edited from todays post... sorry.. Lake Taupo, New Zealand .. Cliffhanger Swing and Geothermal pools...

Hello Everyone,

We arrived after an 8 hour drive down here to Lake Taupo.  With all of us shoved and crammed with our bags and backpacks and school books, it wasn't the most comfortable ride so we stopped In Pokeno, NZ because we were told that all the locals stop here for the ice cream store and of course the circus never passes up a chance for great ice cream.... Then we shoved our even bigger selves back in the car for another 2 hours of driving to the lake and we were really glad to finally arrive at our spacious rented house for the next few days.

After a good night sleep we got up first thing for our science field trip to Wai-O-Tapu for some geothermal pools and a geyser.. Walking through the pools you were constantly reminded Warned... to stay on the paths, the fact that they have to put this sign up constantly is really frighting because you know some idiot wandered off and got hurt with the 100 degree celsius, thats at least 212 degrees fahrenheit, water pools and craters that are all over the place.

Even after the all the signs as we were walking along, Tristan saw some guy reach in with his fingers into the water... I am guessing he didn't do the convergence from celsius to fahrenheit or he just didn't believe them... he realized after he touched the colorful brackish water that it indeed was hot but then what does he do... YES.. puts his fingers in his mouth to ease the pain... UGH!  Obviously he spits and spits.. what the heck was this guy thinking.. people are funny.

As you walk along smelling the sweet smell of sulfur, the kids with their sweatshirt sleeves over their noses grinning and running through the carbon dioxide steam that is everywhere... all I can say is thank goodness there was a little wind that day to give some reprieve to the smelly fog.

The geyser.. was discovered by a group of New Zealand prisoners back in the early 1900's.  It was an open farm prison thinking that if they tried to escape they would just die in the bush... Well they had stopped to wash themselves and their clothes in this little pool of hot water at the time and then all of a sudden the water started bubbling and over flowing they quickly ran to the bush and then saw it the geyser go off sending their clothes all over the nearby bushes.. a little startling for them at the time I would say.  
So in order to make it go off for us to see, because it is not like Old Faithful,  they pour laundry soap into the geyser and then the water reacts with the chemical in the soap and it breaks the surface tension and then the chamber below is released... it only lasts for about 30 seconds but it is fun to see and imagine how this geyser was actually discovered.

After the geyser we went to walk the paths of all the pools and craters of mud and sulfur..  The pools are majestic with the colors they show from all the minerals in coming out of the ground and the sounds of the boiling water and mud bubbling up from deep under ground... it is truly amazing to feel the power that you know is all around you and working underneath the ground as you walk over the surface.  I wish it wasn't cloudy so you could get a sense of the colors... the camera doesn't do it justice that is for sure.

Alina had raced ahead of us and when we walked by her this was her pose, straight faced and unmoving like she was all alone in the forest... I wonder if it is becoming a new thing.

 This is looking down into one of the streams.. it amazed me to see all the growth in the creek bed.  The water temp is about 212 Fahrenheit... I really need to study more of my sciences... it really is fascinating and the kids really got into it.. Can't you tell by the pictures.. I am sure they will remember it.

On our way home because in true Tzortzis fashion it was only 1pm and we didn't have enough of an adventure today we stopped at the Taupo Bungy stop.  Of course we were just going to check it out but after watching the Bungy and the Cliffhanger swing operate and how much fun it was ... the kids couldn't resist and were so excited to do something that Alexia and Tristan decided to do the swing first and then we will go back for Chris, Tristan and Alexia to Bungy...  It is truly a beautiful set for this operation.  The water in the river below is 144 meters below and when you drop on the swing you drop 34 meters... So the science field trip continues and the kids are running the conversions from meters to feet in their heads and obviously learning a lot about gravity and momentum..

I think this is the link to watch the swing video of the kids.... It really is pretty cool.

Now we are just catching up on some school work and getting ready for our next adventure to begin.  We are here in Taupo for another day and then off to Napier, NZ which is known for all their art deco, wineries and beaches.... mom and dads playground.  I think it is even suppose to be sunny for a change.  Crossing my fingers.

Hugs and love to all,


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