Its an interesting combination of travelers – this group. Current location of participants range from the San Juan’s off Seattle to Florida. Except for one woman who is in Salt Lake City (don’t ask, it has to do with her grandchildren) it is the usual places where OAT/GC runs regular seminars/sales pitches (east coast, California, DC). And unlike the last crew this time we aren’t weighed heavily to New England.
We boarded our bus at a decent hour this morning, bags loaded and us ready to go, headed to Rotorua. Besides the home-hosted lunch, we made a most interesting stop –
to their original state. An interesting project – this mountain is returning to its pre-invasive species state. As you might not be aware, mammals are not native. The original Pacific Island immigrants (Maori) were the first along with those critters deliberately (boar) or otherwise (rats) which joined them on their journey. Each successive wave added new species of flora and fauna along with their loads of bacteria, parasites and insects.
The fence which completely surrounds the mountain is the length of 3000 people holding hands. The regular staff is small and they rely heavily on volunteers.
without mammals to tear down and eat everything, regrowth has been rapid.
plants and ‘shrooms
and then we traveled on to Rotorua with a stop in town to see a couple of buildings, gardens and one of the local geothermal sites.