I got up early this morning to see the sunrise over the national park volcanoes. I crossed the street, walked down the road a little way to a guardrail, scraped off the frost, and took my seat for the show. I wish I'd been there about 10 minutes sooner to see the pre-dawn light. It was really cool from where I was sitting through because I could see the volcanoes at the same time in one view. The sun was partially blocked by some trees which was perfect because then it didn't blind me as it rose.
It was amazing to see the light change across the big volcano ( the little one never really got any light) and across the field. You could even hear the ice crack as the sun slowly warmed things up. On my walk back to the hostel I realized that there was a giant driftwood kiwi too that I'd been hanging out with.
We left the National Park, stopped for lunch, and then went to Whitehall Settlers Hall nearby where Stuart Kneebone from the Waikato Regional Council spoke to us about water allocation from the local aquifer. From there we drove to our hostels in Hamilton. All the girls are at the Microtel YHA and the boys are somewhere else downt he road. Everyone went grocery shopping and we made a mass taco meal for 13 of us. One girl, bought a container of instant noodles and put them in the microwave for her dinner. A few of us started smelling smoke and when I turned around it was pouring out of the microwave! I ran over, stopped the microwave, and opened the window. We were all coughing and someone managed to grab the smoldering noodles and throw them out the window into the parking lot.
We spent the next half hour with the kitchen door close, the oven vent on, a fan on, and the window open in an attempt to air out the acrid smell. The hostel owner was very relaxed about the event and we had quite a laugh over it all. The lesson of the night: always add water to your noodles!