Evacuating “Hell On Earth” In New Zealand (Part Two)

Warning signs were everywhere at Wai-O-Tapu, an active geothermal area within the Taupo Volcanic Zone, New Zealand. This area is often referred to as Hell on Earth.”

Version 2
“Artist’s Palette”   There is no rope or barrier along the walkway.

 One sign warns us “if you hear a siren for more than 30 seconds, evacuate the area immediately.”

We walked ninety minutes to reach this part of the geothermal reserve.  

How long would it take us to evacuate this area?

Another sign clearly indicates in a simply drawn picture, “do not step beyond the barrier.  This barrier is often only a rope or there is no barrier at all.

We saw people ignore these signs, possibly for the photo opportunity, just not thinking, or wanting to defy boundaries.  Accidents can happen.  Unfortunately, people have been seriously hurt and some have lost their lives falling into the hot mud bogs.  Weblink – nzherald/rotorua

 

 

We spent our day exploring the spectacular, colourful, diverse mud pools.  The bright, unique water derives its colour from the minerals in the water. The geothermal chemistry often makes the area look unnatural.

Version 2
“Devil’s Bath”

The temperature outside was at least 35 degrees celsius. We were surrounded by steaming, bubbling, pools of boiling water.  We could not find much cover or shelter. 

We were definitely hot and tired.

How long would it have taken us to evacuate this area if we now heard the warning siren?

               Thankfully, we did not have to find out.

 

Version 2
“Artist’s Palette”

 

Epilogue:  I wrote two parts to this story when we returned home from New Zealand last year.  In June, 2019, I published   Unusual Activity For An Erupting Geyser (Part One)  This story was about our visit to Te Puia, a large geothermal reserve in the North Island of New Zealand.

I kept this second part to the story in a file planning to publish it on the one year anniversary of our trip.

On December 9, 2019, the volcanic island, White Island/Whakaari erupted. A release of steam and volcanic gases caused an explosion, launching rock and ash into the air.  People were seriously injured and died.

        Unfortunately, there was no time to evacuate the area!

I had a sinking feeling we had been travelling and exploring close to this Island.  Google maps says Wai-O-Tapu is 117 kilometres from White Island/Whakaari.  

 I have a great respect for the powerful forces that shape our Planet Earth.    

 

Have you been saving blog posts in your draft folder, planning to click publish at a later date?  Why?

 

 

Sources:    Wai-O-Tapu, Wikipedia      Wai-O-Tapu, New Zealand

114 thoughts on “Evacuating “Hell On Earth” In New Zealand (Part Two)

  1. Beautiful pictures Erica! This part of the world seems to be quite hazardous yet people visit it! Amazing! Strange are the ways of nature! I would like to read more about Wai- O-Tapu. Thanks for the inspiration.

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    1. Balroop, I was surprised on minimal barriers or no barriers and narrow boardwalks. It was a fascinating place to visit. Yes, strange ways of nature! Thank you for visiting and sharing your thoughts.

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    1. You are right, Betsy, fascinating and frightening. Also, surreal. It hit close to home when I read about the volcanic island erupting near there in December. I have a lot of respect for the forces of nature. Thank you for visiting and sharing your thoughts.🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Janis, New Zealand was a life changing experience for us. I am glad we had the opportunity to travel last year. We were there for two months and we could easily have stayed longer. (And you know how much I love and miss my family 🙂) You and Paul will have the opportunity to travel again.💕

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  2. My husband’s cousin who has lived in New Zealand for maybe 35 years now, phoned my husband this morning on Facetime as it is his birthday. It was lovely to have a chat with them. We were saying about Jacinda Ahern the NZ Prime Minister and how amazing she is. She had that awful volcano story to contend with, the mosque shooting, she gave birth and today, there is not a single infection of covid-19 in NZ. A woman to be admired for sure!

    As to your question Erica about blogs in drafts, yes I have quite a few. All unfinished I have to say. Will I ever? I don’t know!

    Your photos are lovely!

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    1. Huge Happy Birthday wishes to your husband, Susan! You are right, Jacinda Ahern is amazing! We have been following her story and all of New Zealand since our visit there last year. She is a true leader.

      Thank you for your kind comment about the photos. We were very fortunate to have the opportunity to visit and experience New Zealand last year.

      With our time change, you likely have finished the birthday cake and wine by now.🙂 I hope you and your loved ones are well!

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  3. The colors and images are wonderful. What a neat place to visit.

    I have a few in the draft folder. Mostly I delete the posts that I start and don’t like for one reason or another. Mostly, I want to tell the story behind the image, but don’t feel like typing it out, or don’t know what to say so say and publish nothing. So they’re marinating in the draft folder. 😀

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    1. Deborah, I am always in awe of your creative talents, your painting, photography, artwork! 💕 I have a few posts in a draft folder wondering whether the timing is right. Life and circumstances change. Especially now. I love your word “marinating.”🙂

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    1. Nancy, I have never been to Yellowstone. I hear it is a fascinating place to visit. Yes, staying on the walkways is a good idea. 🙂 I find sometimes the Earth even sounds hollow in places. Thanks for visiting and sharing your thoughts.

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  4. Wow, I definitely remember the explosion last year. The news of it was incredibly scary because at an earlier point in my life when I actually traveled, I realized I could have been one of those people. Your thoughts about safety from all this time are all too real, Erica. Very beautiful science, though. – Marty

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    1. Marty, I definitely had goosebumps reading about the volcanic explosion last December. It was surreal visiting that area, hearing and smelling the bubbling around us. The ground even sounded hollow in areas. I am still very glad we the opportunity to travel there. I hope you and Gorgeous are well as we watch some restrictions slowing lifting.

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  5. When the 6’3″ guide jumps on the ground to demonstrate how thin the crust is and then leaves the area ostensibly because it’s the end of the tour……….just saying. Remember the quarantined hotel which had to be evacuated because the mud pit was expanding………just saying. Feeling the water gushing under the crust heading to the geyser…….just saying. This is a sacred Maori cultural site and we are privileged that they allowed us to share it. A picture perfect place to RESPECT Mother Nature.

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    1. I am very thankful we had the opportunity to visit all of New Zealand last year. As you know, we could have stayed longer than two months. You are right about a privilege and respecting the sacred Maori cultural site. And respecting Mother Nature!💕

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  6. These types of phenomena almost feel like it’s a different planet than earth. I imagine these types of mud and mineral pools to be here before civilization existed, because this isn’t something you see every day. Very cool that you got to experience this.

    I have several drafts in my queue that I haven’t posted, but not because I’m waiting for a specific date. I’m just not sure I should post them. Sometimes I worry my subjects go too deep or may lean on the controversial end, which I’d rather keep to a bare minimum.

    Thanks for sharing your photos and experience.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lori, You are totally right on a different planet. We had a similar experience in Iceland a few years ago. Areas that resemble Mars. I recently read how Astronauts trained in areas in Iceland.

      I also wonder whether posts are relevant or appropriate. Reading your comment, Lori, makes me realize this is our creative playing field and possibly no right or wrong. I find the blogging community generally kind, supportive and accepting🙂

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  7. Hi Erica/ Erika, Thank you for sharing your photos and the stunning colours at Wai-O-Tapu. I’m glad you didn’t have to evacuate. We do take risks when we travel, from the minute we leave home to the minute we return. My desire to travel is still strong and New Zealand is on my list 🙂

    I did have concerns in the back of my mind when I was in Antigua, Guatemala. I saw an active volcano with ash spewing, lots of destruction from a previous eruption, and signs of the evacuation route. That city is hauntingly beautiful. Every corner is a historic site. Thankfully I didn’t have to evacuate either.

    You’re way more organized than me to save your blog posts in the Draft folder to publish at a later date. I usually type up my ideas, edit, spell check, attach photos I like, and publish.

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    1. I totally agree with you, Natalie. Everything we do has some form of risks. Still worth the adventure of exploring all life has to offer. Ergo, “Natalie the Explorer.” 🙂 An exceptionally interesting and scary experience for you to be close to an active volcano. Your photos to Guatemala were beautiful! That area is on our list when we have a chance to travel again. Thank you for visiting and sharing your kind comment!

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  8. Talk about a close call. We were visiting the Big Island of Hawaii once when I was a kid, and the day after we left, Kilauea volcano erupted. My dad was so bummed to have missed it!

    Yes, I save things in my draft folder. I recently wrote a blog post about why, which I’m pretty sure you read!

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    1. Mark, Wow, on the volcano erupting the following day! If you were at a safe distance, it would have been fascinating to watch. You are likely aware Mount St. Helens was recently in the news again. My Father was near Mt. Baker when it erupted. Memorable for our family.

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    1. I wondered about the title, Donna, and I tossed around a few ideas. I had a lame, lengthy title at first. I know you and I have discussed titles for our posts in the past.

      I am thankful we had the opportunity to visit New Zealand last year. Thank you for your very kind comment. 💕

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  9. Powerful forces indeed! It’s frightening to think of potential accidents like that tragic eruption that killed so many. I’m glad you got to experience this incredible beauty without drama.
    It’s weird though, even had there been barriers there are still people that defy the rules. I see it a lot when we go to the mountains and people jump the rails. Here’s to staying safe and playing sensibly.
    I’ve got a tonne of draft posts that I’ve never published! Glad you shared yours. Amazing colours in your pictures and wonderful words! Thank you! 😊

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    1. Thank you for sharing your kind, thoughtful comment, Miriam. Like you know, a post is always a good way to share some photos and recall some favourite memories. I hope you and your loved ones are well.💕

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  10. The place looks so unusual. The colors are so unique and sort of creepy looking. We have Yellowstone over here in the US that has similar (but different) geothermal wonders. I don’t have a backlog of posts, Erica. I prepare them the day before they go live! Lol. I wish I was more organized and prepared, but no such luck! Have a lovely, peaceful day. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Diana, I have never been to Yellowstone and it has always been on our travel list. Hopefully, one day. I am learning there is no right or wrong way with sharing posts. You are very creative, Diana, and you likely have many projects on the go. Thank you for visiting and enjoy the rest of your weekend. 💕

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  11. This is an amazing part of the world – we re-visited in March last year. A few years before that I was over there with Sarah on a girls road trip. We stayed at Whakatane and were going to head over to White Island from there but the weather was bad so we had an extra night at Rotorua instead. It’s like watching the world as it forms.

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    1. Hi Jo, I have seen some of the beautiful photos of when you and your Sarah were visiting New Zealand (I say “your Sarah” because I have “my Sara”) Wow, the White Island eruption hit close to home for you. You say it well, watching the world as it forms. I am glad we had the opportunity.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Suzanne, Thinking about you today and how you would have been in Vancouver. Hopefully, you will have this opportunity again soon.

      We didn’t think too much about the hazards when we were exploring this area in New Zealand. Part of it is we were just too busy watching our footing, taking photos and in awe of everything. It was afterwards when I sat down to make notes and look up some of the news articles, I became more aware of the “hell on Earth.”

      I hope you and your loved ones are well. Have a good rest of the weekend.💕

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  12. These geothermal places are amazing – whether they’re in New Zealand, Iceland, or Yellowstone NP. Mother Nature is an artist and deserves respect, indeed! I’m glad you didn’t really have to evacuate. Beautiful photos of incredible colors and chemical reactions, Erica!

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    1. Forgot to mention – no backlog of blog posts for me. I might have some early 1/4 drafts or notes of ideas on my computer, but nothing completely written. I usually decide on and write my post the day it goes live.

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    2. Hi Liesbet, We have not been to Yellowstone and that area is definitely on our list. The Earth felt and sounded very hollow in some of these areas in New Zealand and Iceland. It is like our planet is still forming and transforming. Thank you for your very kind and thoughtful comment. I hope all is well for you and your loved ones. You likely watched the SpaceX launch today. Fascinating! Take care.💕

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    1. Thinking about this afterwards, Antoinette, we were too busy watching our footing, taking photos and in awe of our surroundings to be concerned about the hazards at the time. Possibly a good thing. Thank you for visiting. Have a great rest of your weekend.🙂

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    1. Hi Amanda, Your word “fragile” is perfect and always a good reminder with all going on in the world and on our planet. You are right, enjoy and respect nature. Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts.

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    1. We were always watching our footing, taking photos and in awe of our surroundings. Afterwards, I read some of the news articles about this area and I realized more of the dangers. Then, when I reviewed the photos, I saw how we did not have many barriers. I am glad to had the opportunity to travel here. A fascinating place! Hope you and your loved ones are well, Norah.

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  13. Beautiful photos. Your trip was memorable but perhaps not in the way you intended? Still it all goes into making you who you are today, so that’s good.

    [It’s funny you ask the question about blogging that you do. Today I cleared out all my drafts that I’ve never published, deleting them instead of publishing them. I am at this moment without one idea about what to write about. Maybe a first for me.]

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    1. Hi Ally, I know the new Editor will be here in a couple of days. I did not know whether I would have to redo my existing post in my draft folder. I also did not know an appropriate time to publish with all of the recent news. I have to remember this should be just a fun, creative outlet. No right or wrong. I am great at dishing it out although, I don’t always take my own advice.🙂

      Thank you for kind, supportive comment on the photos today and always. Have a good rest of your weekend. The highlight for us so far was watching the SpaceX launch. Fascinating. 🙂

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  14. Hi Erica – 90 minutes of walking in that heat … I’d have not done it – so admire you for venturing forth … must have been amazing to see in real life – nothing like reality. Sometimes people are incredibly stupid … our white chalk cliffs tempt people to the edge – do they know they’re on an overhang … no – but they don’t notice the signs. It’s the luck of the draw though … as some others have said – a bus is another alternative … but there are fewer to go under recently! Fantastic trip to have made … gorgeous to see – thank you! That volcanic eruption was so sad – no warning … we just never know what’s going on beneath our feet: thank fully fairly stable here – me thinks!! stay safe – Hilary

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    1. Hi Hilary, Even the words “chalk cliffs” does not sound stable, especially at the edge. We do see people just not thinking. We are glad we had the opportunity to travel and see this area. Hollow sounding, gurgling, the planet still transforming. Fascinating. I hope all is well with you and your loved ones. One day at a time for all of us. Take care.🙂

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  15. What an experience, Erica, and I’m glad you were safe. Your photos are fabulous and no barriers on the walkways? Yikes! I’m always saddened when tourists take chances for a selfie, stepping out of bounds, and falling to their death in some cases. Thank you for taking us along on this fascinating trip. Continue to stay safe! ❤😊

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    1. Hi Lauren, We were busy watching our footing, taking photos and in awe of our surroundings when we were there. Afterwards, I read some of the news articles about some of the accidents. We are glad we had the opportunity to travel, explore and learn about New Zealand. Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts. Take care and have a good rest of the weekend.💕

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  16. Really astonishing photos. It is hard to believe the colors, they are so bright and so intense. I always get a bit nervous at those kind of sites… due to the unexplained unexpected happenings and also the people that take ridiculous risks just to get that one photo!

    Thanks for sharing Erica. Seems like quite the adventure.

    Peta

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    1. Peta, You and Ben have seen many beautiful and unique parts of our planet. We are glad we had the opportunity to travel and visit some of these sites. We were watching our footing and in awe of the scenery. It is afterwards I read about some of the accidents that happened in the area. I do wonder about some of the risks people take where they totally ignore the signs and no common sense when taking photos. Especially selfies. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I hope you and Ben and your three legged companion are safe and well.🙂

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    1. Hi Miriam, Thank you for the link. I look forward to reading about Yellowstone. I have heard amazing things and this area is on our travel list. New Zealand and Iceland were tops for us and life changing. We were planning to return to Iceland yet it may be more challenging to travel for the next while. I hope all is well with you and your loved ones. Especially the ‘little loved ones.’ Have a good rest of the weekend, Miriam.

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      1. You’re welcome, Erica! My daughter and her husband went to Iceland in June 2018 and I babysat Autumn (one year nine months) all by myself. I didn’t ask my husband to go with me. They had a wonderful time and sent me lots of photos and sent them photos of Autumn every day through WhatsApp.

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    1. Hi Anabel, I have not been to Yellowstone and on my travel list. I still have Scotland number one on my list when it is safe to travel again on our planet.

      I am waiting for the new block editor to appear in the next couple of days. I will then practice a post with it. Always some new. The only constant is change. I hope you and your loved ones are well, Anabel.🙂

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    1. Hi Robbie, We explored a few different geothermal sites in Rotorua. Te Puia also has the Maori cultural activities and seemed to have more barriers. Still ropes in some cases. Wai-o-tapu did not have many barriers of any kind. It was especially obvious in the narrow boardwalk crossing the “Artist’s Palette.” Still fascinating. Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts. Take care.

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  17. Those colors are amazing, Erica!! What a fascinating place to explore. I’d be worried about the alarm as well. I’m glad you didn’t get a chance to find out.

    As for me, I have no posts sitting in drafts. I write many posts in my head that never make it out of my fingertips. I’ve thought I should just get them down and put them into drafts, but that hasn’t happened so far.

    I hope that you and your family are well!! xx

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    1. Hi Amy, We were too busy exploring and taking photos to think about alarms. Until afterwards.

      Next step for me will be to play around with the new Block Editor. I hope you and your loved ones are well.🙂

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  18. Hi Erica,
    I new right away that you were thinking back to your New Zealand trip. How awe-inspiring is nature? And I can’t get over some of the colors in the geothermal pools… we expect to see something like this when we go to Yellowstone next year. As restrictions ease we are again beginning to plan our cross-country trip. Hoping the border will be open so we can come to Vancouver…

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    1. Hi Nancy, I have never been to Yellowstone and we would love to travel there. We have cancelled any travel plans (they have been cancelled for us) except for the Long Beach, on the Island, camping trip in the Fall. The Federal parks are waiting to hear whether we will be able to camp there at that time. We are trying to do the right things. We definitely count our blessings. Everyone in our family is still healthy. I hope you and your loved ones are well. Take care. 🙂

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  19. We are hoping to maybe get there this year (in our travel bubble…). The white island events were just terrible, I think because we’ve all been near volcanoes and realise it is just timing…lovely pictures #MLSTL

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    1. I have heard about the travel bubble, Lydia. All of New Zealand was fascinating for us and we are very glad we had the opportunity to visit. You are right about timing. Around here it is earthquakes. We are (sort of) prepared although hope a big one never happens. Thank you for your kind comment. Take care.

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    1. Hi 3Sisters, There are a few geothermal parks in the area. Wai-0-tapu did not have barriers in many areas. One of the photos shows a narrow boardwalk crossing one area called “Artist’s Palette.” There are designated paths to follow depending on the length of your walks. A fascinating place to visit. Thank you for reading and sharing your kind comment. I just finished reading one of your posts about Spain. Also a fascinating place to visit.

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  20. I love New Zealand, Erica and because it is so close to Australia, we have visited several times. Rotorua is something unique isn’t it and I enjoyed revisiting through your photography. It always amazes me how people just don’t take notice of safety signs, they are there for a reason. Thanks for sharing with us at #MLSTL and have a beautiful week. xx

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    1. Hi Sue, I loved all of New Zealand. I am glad we had the opportunity to visit last year. I am hearing something about a bubble with Australia and New Zealand in the near future? Everything is still day by day.

      I am thrilled I had a visit with the grandchildren and I think you also had this opportunity. I am excited to hear more about your upcoming plans with your blog and some of your personal goals.

      Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts. Take care. xx

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  21. I grew up in Rotorua, very close to WaioTapu. It is one of my favourite geothermal areas to take people when I’m giving them a “tiki tour” of my homeland. It’s not as well known as some of the other tourist areas, but I love it for the striking coloured lakes and geysers and mudpools. We grew up not thinking much of the fact that there were boiling hot pools and geysers within a few hundred metres of our house. The smell of rotten eggs is very powerful but it smells like home when we drive over the Mamakus after being away. Earthquakes are a common occurrence there too. I do get homesick for our beautiful country but I have always taken my sons there regularly, and they consider it their second home. My second husband loves it now as well, after many trips back home to see my family. Thanks for the story, it reminded me of home

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    1. Hi Christina, I have been reading through your interesting posts and I have subscribed to your blog and left you a note at that end.

      You know first hand all about Rotorua. It was a fascinating place for us. We stayed in the area for over a week. Aside from the fascinating geothermal and volcanic areas, the people were very friendly and kind. Wow, boiling hot pools within a short distance from your house. New Zealand is a beautiful country. Our trip was life changing. Around our place, it is earthquakes. I am somewhat prepared and also in denial. Thank you for visiting and sharing your thoughts.

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  22. Hi Erica – nature is majestic isn’t it? But with majesty comes might and a degree of danger. I think we often assume we’re bulletproof and the signs don’t apply to us – when we should be realizing they’re there for a reason and pay a little bit more attention. The White Island incident was horrific and woke a lot of people up to things like this.
    As far as draft blog posts go – I always have several posts in transition – some waiting for more thought, some waiting for a great picture, some deferred til later – my blog dashboard is probably a bit like the internal workings of my brain!
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 😊

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    1. Hi Leanne, I think I have been hearing about a bubble opening up between New Zealand and Australia? New concepts and likely taking it day by day. We are lucky since we live on an Island and unnecessary travel is highly discouraged right now.

      I had this specific post on hold and the timing never seemed quite right with all that has been going on. The new WP Block Editor will be here now, supposedly June 1st. I did not know whether I would have to redo the entire post after that.

      One of your recent posts with photos of your family warmed my heart, Leanne. I hope all is well. Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts. xx 🙂

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  23. That eruption was devastating and I can’t even imagine what it was like for those caught there.

    And yes, I’ve certainly written drafts and then seen something similar or heard about something that related!

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    1. Hi again, Deb (or do you prefer Deborah? Or Debbish?)I just finished reading your About page and your recent story. You are obviously speaking from your heart. I also hope all goes well with your tests.
      I have been sitting on this story planning to click publish a few months ago. As you know life has changed significantly. The new WP Block Editor arrived on June 1st and I did not know whether I would have to redo the post. Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts.

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  24. I loved visiting the geothermal areas in NZ and then again in Iceland. Your photos are stunning, it’s an amazing world we live in. I can relate so much in your post and when I heard about that eruption I felt sick. I am hoping we can get back to NZ one day soon as there is so much to see and do and it’s just over the ditch from Aus! I’m sharing for #mlstl

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    1. Hi Deb, Same on the NZ and Iceland geothermal areas. We have not been to Yellowstone, and many people recommend visiting the area. I recall your Iceland trip with your daughter. Your photos are breathtaking! I am hearing about the possibility of opening a “bubble” between NZ and Australia? It will be interesting how travel areas are opened up. Thank you for reading and sharing your kind comment. xx

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      1. Yes we are hearing that an Aus/NZ bubble could open up quite soon, given the way restrictions are lifting in our part of the world. I’m so glad we both got to see NZ and Iceland before all the pandemic issues. I think we are both very lucky! I love reading your posts and we have a lot in common 🙂

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  25. Amazing pictures, and to me scary, yet beautiful. I would want more than a rope barrier. Yet this shows the tremendous depth, variety, diversity of creation in all it’s power, wildness and beauty. Thanks for sharing this with us. Some who remember being there and some like me who will only travel through other’s writings and photos.

    Blessings, Michele

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    1. Wow, well said, Michele. “….tremendous depth, variety, diversity of creation in all it’s power, wildness and beauty.” ❤️ Most of the time I travel vicariously through stories and photos. I am glad we had the opportunity to explore New Zealand last year. Thank you for your kind, thoughtful comment.

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  26. Amazing countryside in New Zealand. I’d like to go back someday, when we can trust being in enclosed spaces (jet airplane cabins) for extended periods of time again. And if I can convince the wife all that travel time is worth it. (I failed the last time I tried.)

    It’s sobering to realize there’s a supervolcano percolating underneath Yellowstone as well – much closer than New Zealand. And Mt. Hood, which we can see from town on a clear day, is still considered active…

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    1. Hi Dave, I am thankful we had the opportunity to travel to New Zealand last year. My husband talked me into a two month trip. I was very hesitant to stay away longer than one month. At the end of two months we could have stayed longer. We would have to purchase a motel there and possibly have our family join us. I do miss our children.

      We have not been to Yellowstone and that area is definitely on our list. Mount St. Helens was recently in the news. I am not sure if you lived close to there during the eruption and earthquake. My Father was close to there and I still recall the vivid stories. Interesting about Mr. Hood. I was not aware it is considered active.

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      1. Many folks don’t realize there were multiple eruptions from Mt. St. Helens. It’s about 60 miles NE of us. The day of the main eruption the wind was blowing west to east so we weren’t impacted. But we did get some ash on later eruptions. I’d sometimes wear a mask back then too…

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  27. NZ is on my bucket list of places I so want to visit. Our son spent a semester abroad there and told us that when we saw the place, we’d probably stay and live there forever. Your posts on NZ are fascinating.

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    1. Hi Pam, Your son is spot on. My husband had to talk me into a two month trip. I was hesitant to stay away for more than one month. I always miss the children. At the end of two months in NZ we easily could have stayed longer. We were at the very North tip of the North Island. For a few seconds we contemplated buying a motel there so the children would have a place to stay when they visited us. 🙂 The scenery and the people are wonderful! Where did your son stay?

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I hope you and your loved ones are well.💕

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  28. Mother Earth is truly awesome in her beauty and power. I’m glad you got to experience Hell on Earth without having to evacuate. My husband and I watched the lava from the volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii oozing into the ocean, creating plumes of steam. Several years later, that volcano erupted, destroying everything in its path. There but for the grace of God go I, huh? Thanks for sharing these lovely photos with us. (To answer your question, I sometimes have one post waiting to go a week or so in advance, but none that I am saving for a much later date.) Enjoy your week!

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    1. Hi Christie, I have never been close to actual lava. I am in awe as to how our planet Earth continues to transform. I saw photos of the volcano erupting on the Big Island of Hawaii. I am glad you had the opportunity to see it beforehand. We often use that saying around the house “there but for the grace of God go I.”

      I was aware the new Block Editor for WP was arriving and I did not know if I would have to redo the post in my draft folder. Always learning something new around here. Thank you for making me smile every week, Christie. Take care.

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    1. Nice to meet you Markus and Micah! Thank you for your lovely and kind comment. I am thankful we had the opportunity and privilege to visit New Zealand last year. I just visited your fun, entertaining, interesting and beautiful blog site. I plan to read more. Take care.🙂

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    1. Thank you Mark for your sharing your thoughts and your kind comment on the photos. I am glad we had the opportunity and privilege to visit New Zealand last year. The geothermal areas were surreal. We could hear, smell and sometimes feel the earth rumbling underneath us. Like you say, beauty and danger.

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  29. Phenomenal area and photographs, Erica. Amazing to be so close to the bubbling forces within this weird old world of ours. It must have shaken you up to read about the eruptions. Nothing smouldering away in my drafts folder. I write them and tip them straight out into the world. Thanks for taking me somewhere I shall never have the opportunity to go. And very beautifully too 🙂 🙂 Wishing you a great week!

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  30. What a beautiful place! I would love to be able to travel to New Zealand sometime in the future when travel is allowed again. I think I would have been worried about the time it would take to evacuate the area too.

    I have one piece that I have put off the publication date many times (I think I now have it scheduled for December 2020!). It’s about a controversial topic that I am not sure I really want to publish and risk alienating readers and/or getting into discussions about. It may be the best post I ever wrote because it’s a topic I have dep feelings about. Just not sure if it will ever see the light of day.

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    1. Laurie, We were very lucky to visit New Zealand when we did last year. Now I am intrigued on this post you are describing. I could say all sorts of things like there is no right or wrong. It is your blog and you are entitled to your feelings and opinions. You always seem very kind, thoughtful and diplomatic, Laurie. 🙂 Yet, I also understand. I hold onto certain topics and stories for various reasons. Not sure whether I want to put them “out there.” Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Have a great week!

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    1. We have not been to Yellowstone and hopefully we will get an opportunity to visit. I agree with you, Bette, on how I enjoy reading and seeing the photos online. I am glad we had the opportunity to visit New Zealand last year. Thank you for your lovely comment.

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