I thought Germany was pretty nice when I visited it last year. Great beer, interesting people, spectacular bread. Oh, and the scenery was rather fine too. I am starting to come to the conclusion however that this is not necessarily a view shared by many Germans, as I think they have all left Germany and are roaming the world. This part of the world at least, as on any given night at least 50% of the hostel is occupied by said nationality.
This is no bad thing of course. It just puzzles me slightly as to what has happened to the rest of the travelling public. We get the odd Brit and the sprinkling of French, Danish and Swedish folks. Italians rock up from time to time. But day in day out, the German accent appears on the other side of the desk, usually bemoaning the number of Germans who are also travelling. I have heard that the Australian working holiday visa scheme has closed the doors to Germany for the year, inundated with applications.
Anyway, the purpose of this post was not to ramble on about Germany, I did that in spades last year. Rather, I thought I would bring up the topic of the nearby Polynesian Spa – rated as one of the top ten spas in the world – which I frequented a couple of nights ago, accompanied by three rather lovely young ladies.
I would say that I am not entirely a spa sort of person. When I go in water I usually prefer it to be the salty version, preferably full of waves and fringed with swaying palm trees. However, I am not averse to the idea of lying in a hot pool under the stars watching steam drift lazily across a lake.
Which makes the Polynesian spa an experience which is right up my street. There are seven pools to choose from, ranging in heat from 38 degrees to 42 degrees centigrade. They are all outdoors, and on a cool night such as the one we visited, the steam gently rises from them into the dark star filled sky.
We moved from pool to pool – a four degree difference being quite a remarkable change in heat – and I concluded that my optimal spa temperature was around 41 degrees. This may have had something to do with that particular pool being mere metres from the lapping lake edge, where the lights of the far shore twinkled lazily in the dark water.
There are a few downsides to a naturally heated geothermal spa, the main one being that the water does have a fairly sulphurous odour. Then again, pretty much every activity in Rotorua comes with a fairly sulphurous odour, so there’s not much you can do about it.
Beyond spas all is going well. I am discovering all manner of new fruits that I had not known to exist, and have tried at least three of these recently. I think the topic of my next blog will cover these alien beings, as well as some thoughts on why free is never actually free. Until then!