I am actually back home now, from my fantastic trip to New Zealand. I loved every minute, it was soooo good for my soul! I was so well cared for by my hosts, I had warm and friendly students in every class. The air was so clean and fresh, the water so soft, I could move to NZ just for taking showers! and the colors of the landscape were so beautiful, I completely understand why New Zealand quilters use such colorful palettes in their quilts, glorious color is every where you look.
Things were so busy towards the end of my trip I didn't have time to write any blog posts so I will continue to share photos from my trip over the next week or two while I adjust to real life again and attend to the many tasks that have piled up while I was away.
Across from my hotel in Rotorua were the Government Gardens with a gate of Maori design.
This is a Pukeko, a large iridescent blue-black bird with a red beak that you see every where in New Zealand usually pecking in the grass.
The bush below is a Manuka (tea tree), these are prevalent as well and the honey that the bees make from it has amazing healing benefits. There are many lotions and skin products made with this special honey for sale in NZ. On our way south, my host from Palmerston North, Erilyn and I stopped in a shop in Taupo dedicated to Manuka honey products. There were loads of skin products, candies, special creamed honeys to eat, alcoholic and non-alcohol honey based drinks and they even had a tasting bar to try the liqueurs, mead and flavored honeys.
While in Rotorua Erilyn and I also went to the Polynesian spa just a few blocks from the hotel. This is the large lap pool filled with warm mineral water pumped from the geothermal waters below ground. The water is supposed to be very healing for a number of ailments.