Hobbiton and the Haka

Hey Dad,

Really great day today! After a slow start, which was really needed by all in the group, I wandered into town. I had not really seen much of the town, and some of the architecture looked really cool, so I went to explore. The town is set up in a block system, which it turns out can be really disorientating. I found my way back ok though, it just maybe was not the shortest route. 

The afternoon was spent going to see Hobbiton. The location where the film ‘The Hobbit’ was made. It was amazing! I am not a massive fan of the films, but walking around it was something else. Most of the set is made to a 90% scale, to give the impression of size. Then some other hobbit houses were at 60% scale, so with some clever camera trickery and forced perspective, people looked huge in comparison.  I kind of felt at home. A world at 90% is like the perfect size for me! We got to see this amazing tree above Bilbo Baggins  (I think) house, which was completely artifical. Other then it looking so imperfectly perfect, you could not tell. On then to the hobbit pub, where we had their specialist brewed cider. – it wasn’t bad actually. 

Back on the bus to the hotel, where dinner was laid on for us. We watched a traditional Maori ceremony, which included the Haka, dancing and native songs. It doesn’t sound like your kind of thing, but I think you would have enjoyed it. The Haka was amazing, it created so much energy. All the lads got up and joined in. The woman have a dance with poi. These poi had really short strings, and you had to spin and catch them. I ended up on stage to learn how to do it with a handful of other people. It was not that easy. I kind of now also want to learn how to do it. 

After the ceremony, we had two options – drink at the bar, or go to the thermal spa. The spa won! This spa had six different baths, all geothermally naturally heated. The hottest claimed to be 42°c, but it felt much hotter. The temperature changed all the time, but it was never cold! It was so relaxing. The group of us chilled out for like two hours just floating around. The sky was also unbelievably clear. With little artificial light from the town, there was no light pollution to block the stars. It was awesome. 

We got back at like 11pm, to find out we need to be up and out by 8:15. Which means we all now need to shower and pack! 

Night dad x


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