In Uncategorized on April 18, 2010 at 7:48 pm

So drove down to the smelly place, and it really is very smelly, just all stinkbomb, all the time. It’s weird you get used to the smell and then you’ll be what’s that smell and you have to remind yourself that your in smelly town. But people live there all year round, was told by one of the attendants at the spa that rotorua has the most Maori in one place in new Zealand.

I end up going to hells gate, which proudly states it’s a Maori run site, which doesn’t mean that much as I walk around the beginnings of the place and let the heady stench of sulphur settle into my nostrils, still hearing the howl of cars on the roads behind the trees. But as I walk further along the path, there are numerous signs warning me not to stray from it, i see the steam erupting and drifting from dirty grey hillocks, the soft plip plop of thick mud moving, air slowing rising through it. The smell thickens, and I walk slowly, looking at each and every feature.

Each bit has its name, its distinctive feature, I am amazed by how little is actually happening, but how fascinated by it I still am. I walk over outcroppings, and lean forward to see better, getting more sulphurous whiffs as the breezer changes direction. A helicopter roars over, perilously close, over the tree lined edges of this desolate place. There is a lake in the center and steam rises from this. It feels volcanic, the amount of steam arising, and despite the wind, it feels warm, I expect my trainers to stick to the rocks, beneath my feet, but they don’t.

I’ve bought my trunks with me so that I can roll around in the mud bath. I have to shower first, then I sit in it and its kind of lukewarm, and the mud is just a soft squishy sensation under your arse, but I grip some between my fingers and rub it into my skin. The buoyancy in the bath is amazing, and I’m holding my weight on just the fingers of one hand as I stretch out in the bath. Its quite soothing, just lying there, floating, trying to hold my body down, occasionally rubbing mud into my arms, my thighs, my shoulder. After what seems forever, I’m called out, stand under a cold shower for what seems like an age and then a dip into another murky looking pool. This one is hotter than the one before, and sweat is quickly marking my brow. I lie there and contemplate the journey so far. Close my eyes and let the breeze attempt somewhat pathetically to cool my forehead.

Afterwards my skin is silky smooth, as if I’ve bathed in ass’ milk. Though I have no idea what bathing in ass’ milk feels like, but I itch for days following. Even writing this brings back the itching feeling.

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