Page:Picturesque New Zealand, 1913.djvu/180

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112
PICTURESQUE NEW ZEALAND

sluiced cleft banked high with volcanic mud. In many of these mud crevices, while exploring without a guide, I came suddenly and unexpectedly upon steam vents, and in the creek bed itself I saw two hot-water splashers that mingled their waters with those of the creek.

Rotomahana is one of the so-called hot lakes. There, in a Government launch, I steamed in a hot "sea." Only a small part of the lake was heated, but enough of it was thermal to provide a novel experience. Before the vari-colored cliffs where the Pink Terrace lies buried, the launch ran where geysers vainly tried to lift the water beneath its keel, and where hot springs played and fumaroles hissed and roared. Here the guide drew a pail of water from the lake.

"Put in your hands," said he.

"Oh!"

"Ouch!"

"How hot it is!"

It was a fervent chorus from the class in thermology.

Ashore rose clouds of steam. At the water's edge there was simmering and sputtering, and on the slopes above hot streams ran, broken surfaces sang, small openings steamed like boiling kettles, and the hot breath of shifting, enwrapping vapor caused me to ponder flight.

A few miles south of Rotomahana lies Waiotapu Valley, guarded by steaming mountains. So many sights are there in this vale that it would require days to see them all. Over its scrubby surface run hot-water