Another day, another Stray bus. This one was to be our home for 5 days; those poor poor people.
The trip to Lake Aniwhenia was broken up by a tour of the oldest rock carvings in New Zealand, made by Maori’s hundreds of years ago. The charm of the carvings in the middle of a forest was slightly lost as we stood shivering, inwardly pleading to get back to the bus and out of the freezing cold.
We were greeted by the lovely Nads when we arrived at our accommodation for the night, Kohutapu Lodge and welcomed into her whānau (family) pronounced fāno. After settling into our rooms we joined happy hour at the outdoor bar and had a perfect view of the sunset over the lake, even if we were huddled around a heat lamp.
Before dinner we had a cooking class, learning how to make traditional Maori fried bread. Gorgeous Nads ended up doing all the clearing up while we all enjoyed making a huge mess along with the dough. After frying it was time for samples; one option with jam and cream, one with butter and golden syrup. Low fat is not an option in Maori cooking.
For dinner the boys at the lodge at prepared a hangi where food is cooked underground. It was divine. Maoris are famous for their hospitality so once again more food than we could ever eat was put in front of us. And of course once again it was delicious.
The rest of the evening was spent around the fire with our new whānau listening to old Maori tales of war, violence and cannibalism…a mildly disturbing end to yet another amazing day.