Published: February 26th 2010February 25th 2010
Kai Ora! or Welcome! as they say in Maori.. which I found out can be pronounced like moldy.. as in moldy bread.. so... either (mow as in cow ree) or (mold ee).... either way... HEY!
I left off with us wandering around the Northern tip of NZ, and the horrendous outdoor showers... Did I mention the hike we took was supposed to last max 2 hours, but ended up taking about 7 1/2? haha.. oh well though, it was beautiful, even if I thought we were stranded. :) 2 nights back in Taputaputa Bay and back to the road.
No destination in sight, or even in mind. We were driving... back down the only road that brings you up, trying to get off the tip end of the peninsula... we stopped in Ahipara, to check the surf. In order to stay, we were going to have to first- drive onto the beach in Chooky Blue (not a good idea) and second- pay 25 bucks or something ridiculous to set up a tent. We decided to keep going.. we still had a lot of daylight left. Instead of making our way back to the State Highway, which Eliza and I
took that winded us around and around and around, we stuck to the "main road". Smith is driving, of course, and I am in charge of the map. Simple enough. Well, not so much. Roads are really simple in New Zealand, until you realize you're on the wrong one, or missed the easy turnoff. In my defense, I told him I wasn't sure if it was the correct way, but he, too, was a bit turned around on the map, whether he would admit to that or not!
So... that being said.. we have been traveling together for a while now.. just us, same car, same tent, same space, hour after hour, day after day... and no fight or even slight argument. It was time. haha, the tension was building and after "leading" us off the correct path (mind you we had no destination) we were about to blow. We kept going down this road that neither of us thought was the right road, continuing on nonetheless, until we came to a gate that read MAORI LAND - KEEP OUT... and that we did. However, they had the two cutest little calves tied up outside, just chewing the cud
(isn't that what you say?)... I had to get out and pet them. Cuties. After that, down hill. We didn't know where we were going, it was my fault and the tension began to intensify. We finally got back on track after turning around about 343308 times. At one of these turn arounds, I poured a nice green plastic mug full of wine. The lighter the cup, the more I spoke. The more I spoke, the more intense the tension. Yes, you see where this is going. We were almost at each others throats in the car. Smith pulls down this random road and all of a sudden there is a campground, of course, and right on a river.. somewhere in the Puketi Forest. How I hated he lucked into that, ugh! :) I don't think I was talking so much anymore, just in a rage. Set up the tent, then we split ways to "shower" and have some time to breathe. I walked down the river "showered" and felt a little better. I came back and Smith was making dinner, being hardheaded, I didn't eat. What a girl, I know. To make matters worse, it was that time of
the month and Smith was already worried that I was going to be one of those girls who wig out. I assured him I wasn't. LOL. I hate this so much, because now it all falls back on that.. it wasn't that. It just "happened to coincide"! Mind you, we were about as far from the bathroom (using that term lightly nowadays) aka drop toilet as possible. Anyway... I will spare you the details of the night, but basically, I ended up wanting him to leave me there. I was so sick of dealing with the day in and day out of him. Always being right, always thinking he knew better than me, with everything. He, just as furious and annoyed, if not more, with me... didn't leave me there. Which, yes of course, I am thankful he didn't, but at that moment.. we wanted to be far away from each other. The next morning came and it was awful. Call me Connie Chung (sorry, little insider for those who get the joke)! We made "ammends" and were on the road.
Thank the Good Lord, we were meeting two of his friends from home that day. We drove, in
silence I'm sure, up to the teeny town of Kaeo - stopping to eat fish and chips in Paihia. There is one street that runs through Kaeo, so we were sure to spot the guys. Ben and Josh- two brothers, each of whom have lived with Smith at some point in time. We were supposed to meet them earlier, but they bought a van in Auckland, and a day later, the engine blew up. haha so things could have been worse for Karlene Jean! They had to spend a week and a grand fixing it. Meeting up with them could not have come at a better time. Smith and I were sick of each other.
They wanted to surf, so we made our way up to a little place called Taupo Bay. We got there, checked it out, and coincidentally ran into some people, Scott and Ellie, who Josh and Ben had met the day they bought their van. They were here to surf as well. We weren't aloud to camp over night though, so we, instead of just ignoring it then, drove around looking for a place to camp... even taking us in circles at one point.. haha.
We were all in good spirits now, even good between Smith and I, simply having other people around made a huge difference. We weren't on a peninsula exactly, but we drove from one side of the place to the other.. which I know doesn't make sense, but we drove a long way to a place called Hihi (which we still don't know.."he he" or "hi hi"? :)), for nothing. We came back to Taupo Bay, went to the other end of the beach, again, far as possible from the toilet, and camped-ignoring the "no camping overnight" signs. The whole "far from the toilet" thing wouldn't have been a big deal any other time of the month, if you get what I'm saying. However, when you're the only girl.. with three boys who pee in the bushes... your say doesn't get you very far. :) In order to camp though, we had to wait until dark to set up our tent and quickly take it down in the morning... this was OK for the guys bc they were up super early to surf.. but I, on the other hand, had to wake up just because. We left it up a lot
longer the second day and I was really happy. No one there cared.. and I highly doubt anybody is ever around to enforce the no camping.
We stayed for 2 or 3 nights.. I can't actually remember now.. but one thing I do know is that the first night we set up my tent. My tent is fine... however, we spent all that time in the Bay of Islands in Greg and Delwynnes tent. I had a double mattress and Smith was on a twin, in the same tent. We took a spare tent they had with us, and were using it up until now. We set up mine because we thought it would be quicker to set up/take down. In their other tent, we slept comfortably in our own areas. We did not realize or remember just exactly how small my tent was. We felt like we were in a black trash bag. A small, noisy, semi-wet, trash bag! It was tiny! Needless to say.. the rest of the nights, we spent in the other tent. The boys surfed and surfed.. I was quite content just sitting on the beach until I got a little bored and decided
I'd go for a snorkel. I made my way around the rocks to a clear, somewhat calm area. I jumped in and quickly realized I was too far around the rocks and couldn't see back to shore. I was fine, but it was scary by yourself. Don't worry, mom, I was quickly out of there. Later, I talked Smith and Josh into coming out there in hopes Smith could get a fish with his new fancy dancy spear gun he's so anxious to use. Although, I went out in the middle of the day and now it was later and hard to see, plus the tide was coming in and the swell was more intense. Nothing fresh for din unfortunately... maybe the next day, we thought.
After a few days with the brothers and hanging out with Scott and Ellie, we were back on our own. We made our way slowly, stopping for a picnicish lunch in Waipu Bay. We watched these rescue teams do lifesaving relays in a competition, which was pretty entertaining for a bit... had a quick catnap on the grass after lunch... saw the Hen and Chicken Islands (which I have no idea what are,
but I like the name :) ).. and were back in the car. We drove through Manguawhai Heads (where E and I met "the father" haha) and did a quick U-turn after Smith spotted a place for ice cream. A big scoop of Cookies and Cream atop a waffle cone.. mmm. A few hours, and a bit of frustrating traffic later, we were back at "home". Greg and Delwynne took us in, yet again. :) Amazing people, really. We were in Auckland for 2 nights, Smith had to sort out some Visa info and then again we were off. Also, I must tell you... haha this was the first time I brushed my hair since being in NZ. Almost 2 and a half months without a brush.. yes, it's kind of sick, but impressive nonetheless! :)
Across and up to the Coromandel Peninsula, one place neither of us had ventured. Again, we weren't sure of a spot to camp for the night, but drove onward. We drove through Thames and up the West coast of the peninsula.. right along the water. Looking over the water you could see other parts of the mainland.. it was a pretty day as
well, so it made it all the better. We could either keep going and camp for the night at the tip, or make a turnoff and circle back down the East coast. We kept going, only to turn around a few kilometers up the road. I took the wheel, and I think I made Smith pretty nervous. haha. We made a few stops along the way and at one lookout in particular... there were these clouds.. the most amazing ones I've seen. I don't know why I was so mesmerized by them but they were huge, white, puffy clouds. They looked like over sized ones you'd cut out of stark white construction paper and glue to a blue background.. the didn't look real.. they were just beautiful.
We talked to Ben and Josh and were somewhat in the same area but decided we' meet up the next day. Smith and I were going to find somewhere random to camp, but we weren't having such luck. We made our way to the town where the boys said they might be... and what do you know... we spot them chilling by the water in their van, Quick Lunch. (A Norwegian couple
sold it to them, and "quick lunch" is a candy or something back home, ha) The name is also painted in the van in rasta colors.. pretty humorous. Suits the boys well though. :) So now... all of us were looking for a place to camp. Josh, the all knowing, said he knew of a place.. and like little baby chicks.. we followed. We went to a resort town, called Opito, which is very high class and uppity. We weren't sure where to park it for the night, but found a nice open area, right among the "no overnight camping" signs. Standard. :) Again with the late setup and early pack up.
We made our way down to a tourist attraction, Cathedral Cove. There is a tiny parking lot at the entrance to the walk.. so, of course, people park all along the road in order to get closer. This is not OK. We did not know this was not OK until we saw the "ticket man". I spotted a car leaving so went to "hold the spot" for 2 minutes until Smith could bring the car around. That two minutes seemed like two hundred minutes. People, one old
man in particular, were soo rude. Yes, I know it is annoying that I'm doing this, but we waited as long as he did. Smith was in the line to get around.. it was really nerve racking! haha, finally we parked and were off to the track. We got there and saw it was going to be about a 45 min walk.. but didn't care.. off we went, snorkel gear in tow. The water, the cliffs, the bright sun, the rocks, and again with the water. B E A Utiful. Cathedral Cove is a "secluded" beach with a huge rock you can walk through. I say "secluded" only because you have to actually walk to get there... that doesn't mean there weren't tons of others there! There was a main part, with families and kids everywhere, but also another part which lead under this huge rock to another beach.. you had to time it just right with the waves to get through and not get wet! I was really scared my camera was going to get wet, but whew! It didn't. We swam and laid out for a bit, taking in the scenery, and a little people watching. It was
fun.. the walk back up was not so much... major stair master.
Back to the road and on to a place called Surf Beach, which connects to Hot Water Beach. Smith and Josh were straight into the surf and Ben and I hung out on the beach. After watching the boys surf for a bit, they got out and we all walked down to Hot Water Beach. OK, imagine any beach you've ever been on... now imagine only 15 yards of the beach... now imagine about 300 (or more) people crammed into that 15 yards... digging holes... and sitting in them. This is Hot Water Beach. People... ALL shapes, ALL sizes. :) At 2 hours before and after low tide, you can go to this "area", dig a hole, and sit in hot water... like a jacuzzi aka "spa pool". It was weird at first because there are so many people and you don't really know what's going on, but after a minute, we had it figured out. :) There is a natural hot stream that flows out onto the beach and into the ocean. Hot as in... you couldn't sit in some places or you'd burn yourself. We
had a little stream flowing into our little spot for a minute and then had to block it off because we were all burning.. haha. The further into the sand you dug, the hotter it got. I wish I had a video of us.. all going.. "hey, feel this" "hey, no, feel this" "it's so hot!" "ow, that's hot"... LOL. Or as Kiwis would say.. it was "hot AS!"
When the tide starts coming back in, slowly, everyone's lovely little hot pools get taken away with each wave of the ocean... I was soooo sandy, and without a shower, so I thought I'd hop in the freezing ocean and at least get the sand off. Theory=great. Reality=dumb. The waves were so big and hard, I think I came out with more sand then I went in with. I could have had a sandcastle competition on my head. We spent the night in the "no camping" parking lot amongst some fellow law breakers. The boys surfed a little more the next day, but soon back on the road, sand still everywhere. Shower was a need at this point, not just a want anymore!
Further down to Mount Maunganui, we
went. I was so thankful because, here, I knew where to find a shower! We weren't sure, surprise, where we were going to camp, but I knew I was going to shower and the boys were going to have a drink somewhere. Off I went, back to sneak into the Holiday Park as E and I had done before. However this time, it was packed. I was a little nervous because I knew the doors would be locked. So, making the most of my time, I called my dear friend Kristen :) and we talked as I waited on some unknowing "camper" to open the door as I filed in behind. What a creeper, haha. Shower! I didn't even care that is was one of those showers you have to press a button every 30 seconds to keep it on. It was hot, and I was clean.. most importantly, sand free.. even had a hairdryer to slightly dry the hair, bonus!
As the night grew on, we figured we might as well camp at the same spot we had before when we were with Eliza and the other Ben. Sorted... down to Papamoa Beach. We came to the spot
and Josh wasn't satisfied so he set off to find somewhere else. Again, us baby chicks lined up and followed him... a. hundred. yards. away., to the other side of our original spot.. to a parking lot, without grass, and yep... farthest away possible from the toilet. Van=great for parking lots, Tent=not. Boys=turn around and pee in the open, girls=don't. Oh well, a good night it was... good night... the morning was a different story. We woke up in, I kid you not, 2 inches of water. 2 inches! When I touched the corners of the tent, the water sloshed all along the edge... it wasn't in the tent, but it was allll over and underneath the outside. It was still raining, which put us in a bit of a pickle. Do we get out and move it, getting ourselves wet or do we wait 30 more minutes until it dies down? We got out... and low and behold, we are in a massive puddle. The rest of the parking lot was fine, because all the water flowed to us. It was awful! I have never been so clean to feel so dirty. Everything from the parking lot floated around
our tent.. I'm talking used condoms to snails. UGH! I might gag just writing this.. ha. We moved the tent.. there was a dark thing in between the rain fly and the tent.. Smith pushed it and thought it was dirt.. but later i looked up and noticed that clump of dirt moved half way up the tent.. it was a snail. ha.. he was kinda cute though, even in his slime. :)
That day we were headed to Rotorua for a Reggae Festival, called Ragamuffin. We were going down a day early to find a place to camp, as well as hang out in the town. There is a toooon of geothermal activity here.. remember the pics a while back from mine and Eliza's trip to "Hells Gate"... I'm back. We had no where to camp.. all of the hostels were full.. even the horrible ones.. so we booked into this random campground. Later, we realized it was within walking distance to the festival.. "ace"! We drove all around the campground looking for "the spot".. the DRY spot! We were about to unload when a lady told us there was basically a river flowing through "our spot" the
night before..haha so we drove over and around to the highest points possible... "we" thought "we'd" found it... a good 150 yards from the toilets.. :( I kindly mentioned that I'd like to be closer to the toilet/showers.. real showers even. Ahh... we moved.. and it was great.. only 30 yards from the "loo". Tent was just beneath a huge tree and the boys van was sort of in a spot all their own. A little later, Scott and Ellie showed up and we had a huge "American" dinner. Scott and Ellie were amazed at the size of the burgers and the condiments along side. It was absolutely delicious. A little more later, the girls, that Josh and Ben stayed with waiting on their van to be fixed, showed up. We had quite the crew and it was good to hang out with everyone. We all took it easy in preparation for the long day ahead.
Up and at 'em reasonably early.. and off to Raggamuffin. Just to name a few of the bands that played.. that you should look up, if you're into Raggae.. or even if you're not actually... you'll like these guys:
HOUSE OF SHEM -
look em up
KATCHAFIRE - my favorite
SEAN KINGSTON - he was really really into himself... saying "I say Sean, you say Kingston" - it was funny
JULIAN MARLEY - sounded just like Bob
Ms LAURYN HILL - she was awesome!!
SHAGGY - he was so perverted and gross and old... pulled the microphone out of his pants.. LOL
Wyclef was supposed to be there, but wasn't due to the awful happenings in Haiti. :(
It was a really good time... I didn't take my camera, but Smith has some good pics.. maybe I can load some of those soon. There were tons of people, tons of food, tons of stalls selling tons of stuff, tons of weed, tons of drunks, tons of sick (i mean sick!) port o potties, and tons of fun. :) I even got a free pair of shoes out of it... haha... we were just standing minding our own little business when out of nowhere Smith gets hit with a sandal.. 30 seconds later Ben gets hit with the match. What do you know.. they were cute, my size and all.. :) so even if I did pay too much for the ticket.. at
least I got some cute shoes!
Back to the road and headed to our second "home"... Taupo, to stay with David. I wasn't sure what I was going to do, because now it was time for Smith and I to split. But where was I going to go? I really had no idea. I had been with Eliza for a month, and now Smith for a month. It was weird to be on my own. Smith and I spent two nights at Davids and on Day 3, after our homemade pizza dinner.. I guess that is sort of the "goodbye" meal.. ha bc thats what E and I ate too. Sad. Anyway.. after that we split ways... he was going with the brothers to Raglan and I picked New Plymouth off the map. I had had enough boy time and I'm sure they needed some boy only time. It was a rainy day, so good weather for driving Karlene Jean a long distance. You know, she doesn't fancy the heat much. I was on the road.. which led to "The World's Forgotten Highway"... yes, I know.. why did I pick this way when I was by myself? I do
not know, however... it was beautiful. In one direction you could see the mountain beside Lake Taupo and in the other you could see Mt. Taranaki. Either way you looked, you saw a massive volcanic mountain. Along "The World's Forgotten Highway" you realize just why it's called that... there is no one on this road. The whole way... which is a looong way... I went around one person (so I knew at least someone would be back there somewhere!) and I passed two people... for the distance of this road.. that is nothing. You are driving along and its just so beautiful everywhere, one of those beautifuls you can't capture in a picture.. Although I thought I'd try.
I pulled KJ off to the side, shut her down for a break.. hopped on top of the car and started snapping.. then I saw the car I had passed coming and wanted to get out back ahead of it in case anything did happen to KJ. I was out there without phone reception. As I cranked her back up, she got all angry with me and started blowing white smoke through the air vents! Instead of cutting her off and
"trying to see what was wrong" (like I'd know or something) I gunned her and we were off just like that. She only blew smoke for about 5 seconds, so I figured she'd get over it. She did. Thank you, Jesus! :) We winded around and down, even through a long, scary, one way tunnel... you could see to the other end if anyone was coming or not, but it was still a bit eery! I was so nervous as to where I was going, what I was doing, and blah blah that I bit off all my fingernails in the process. So, like my nephew used to call me.. I was back to "nubs".. haha, and I was doing so well before!
I would randomly pass a lone house and then I would remember the kilometer number in case the car broke down and I had to walk back.. haha. I wanted to stop for pictures so bad, but I was too afraid of the death of KJ. Well, I finally made it. I made it to Stratford, a small little down with a fork in the road. I decided to head on toward New Plymouth.. on the
map it looked the biggest, but as I have learned.. that doesn't really mean anything in NZ. :) I made it! Karlene Jean did me well! We were safe and sound in a town. Yay! Now where to sleep? Well KJ did such a good job, I decided I'd call it a night right there with her. haha. I got my sleeping bag and threw it over the front seats and to the back window, making myself a little cave. I was so worn out from all the emotions of the day, realizing how by myself I was, and just exhausted from the stress of driving there.. I slept like a log.. and right on a main street. I was completely safe. The next day I woke up early and headed to the I-site to figure out something to do. As I was in there, I used the internet at the library. Good ole Facebook led me to a friend E and I had met in Auckland a while ago. He lives in New Plymouth and I had no idea. Luck, I tell ya. Somehow I had some luck that day. :)
He is quite and odd guy (yes
Eliza I know you are laughing!). OK, well he's just flat out weird really! But it was a place to stay and knew I would be safe. So why not? I met almost his entire family, and a few of his friends. They were all super nice. I found a job at a hostel but I couldn't move in for 4 days.. so I was going to stay at his place until then. Which was fine, but still wanted to get out and to my own "place". So.. he and his friends took me to the beach and it was gorgeous. I spent pretty much my whole time in New Plymouth, on the beach. Nice. Back Beach was my favorite.. water washed right onto the sand and sand ran right into these huge rocky cliffs. Each way you looked, it went on and on.
I somewhat explored around NP.. sort of reminded me of a Ridgeland or West Ashley type place.. the people were all a bit different.. in their own little world. It wasn't bad, just not for me. I had a great time with the people I met, but had I not met them, I don't know
what I would've done. They were all really pumped for this "glow party" (yes, go ahead, laugh) and I was concerned.. haha. We went out and people were all over the place.. this is one of those places that you know at the end of the night you are going to see a fight, or always feel like one is just about to happen. Everybody was the big man in town, or so they thought. Thankfully, I didn't see any fights, well except for this car load of Moari girls pull up... one girl gets out and starts yelling her head off.. the cops were quickly ontop of things and had her in the back of the van ASAP. It was very entertaining! We walked home and I was busy making a little late night snack when Chris (the weird guy who owns the place) got home and started yelling at everybody in the place. It was so bizarre! He said we didn't respect his house, LOL, because we went in before him... he was walking home with us mind you! He took a little bit longer though.. he was MAYBE two minutes behind us. haha, I can't help but
laugh thinking how ridiculous it was. In his defense, there had been a lot of people there earlier, but now it was just four of us.. and he was pretty mad, and a little drunk so I got out of there anyway. I went to one his friends houses and stayed there. He apologized and was really embarrassed the next day, but seriously... it was stupid. Anyway.. I had one more day until I could move into the hostel.. I stayed at the same house that night.. even had some kind of homemade stew.. that I was a little iffy about, but it was really good. We all watched a movie and called it a night. I was sleeping in a single bed upstairs... basically in the attic. I was a little afraid, but so tired it didn't matter. One of the funniest parts though was that they didn't have cold water in the bathtub (they didn't have a shower either) so I had to let the hot water run, and watch TV while I waited for it to cool off, before I could even get in. haha. I felt like I was back in my bathtub only days in
South Africa when I would clorox wipe it everytime before I got in. This one was good though, no need to deep clean! First bath in a loooong time. You forget just how relaxing a bath is until you take one. :) Oh, and the whole time I was in NP.. I was referred to as "Mississippi"... I'm pretty sure half the people I met thought that was my name! :)
The next day I went for a long, good run along the Coastal Walkway with one of the guys I was staying with, it was good to get out and get some fresh air! New Plymouth has this thing called a Wind Wand.. that supposedly turns and blows the way the wind does, but I never saw it move. I even made him stand there with me to try to see if it would move, but nothing.. they swear it does though. It was "art". I also watched several games of "touch rugby".. like flag football kind of.. except not at all. The thing I liked most about it was.. A. some of the first cute Kiwi boys I've seen and B. Mount Taranaki was in the background.
Here I am, watching this rugby stuff, sitting pretty much at the base of a volcano. Good times. They also took me to the local "swimmin hole". There was a big tree with several branches to jump from, including a rope swing. The water was just right and it was fun watching all the people enjoy themselves. we just sat and relaxed as if there wasn't a care in the world. What a good day.
Finally, I was to check into the hostel. It was called Sunflower Lodge, I think. I checked in a day early and had all my stuff set up. I wasn't too sure about it though, because although the lady was nice, it seemed like it was pretty empty. I wanted to be somewhere that was full of people.. to get to know some folks and make friends to hang out with. I wasn't sure this was going to happen there and started questioning it. Oh well, what could it hurt, I would give it a week. Later, I went to the beach and soon got a text from Smith saying he was over Raglan and headed to Davids. I thought about it for a
while then decided I was over New Plymouth... and no, not because of Smith.. but it would be good to see a familiar face and head back to Taupo. I decided I was going to try to work there instead. Back to the hostel... now, I know this is terrible, but I packed up all my stuff and snuck out the door. I never saw anybody and truly didn't care to. I still feel a little bad about running out on them, but all I was doing was cleaning.. and I wasn't even supposed to be there until the next day. So... I was out. Back to Taupo. I drove right in and met Smith and David at Mully's.. the place where my love with Taupo began. :) Smith stuck around for a few days before heading further South to Kaikoura. We went on a short walk, to the river, to the lake, swam at a little "hot water beach".. although the water was about shoulder height.. you could still dig your toes in and feel the warmth. Oh, and we joined the masses and saw Avatar... and I actually really liked it. Is that bad? :)
working at Blackcurrant Backpackers. What a trip. I was in a room with Alice and Jim. The next day, came Tim. Alice was leaving so then I was in a room with Jim and Tim. English and Swedish. Jim=loser. Tim=cool. Jim and I often butted heads.. he thinking Americans were the root of all evil and I just thinking he was a loser. Tim and I got along really well and had it not been for him, the place wouldn't have been as fun. We made fun of Jim together.. lol. What a bitch, I know. Anyway.. a few days later we met Ross and Hayley, both English and dating, and Ed, English as well. Ed was another cool guy. Hainko from Germany and myself. We made quite the Blackcurrant team. I would A. make beds, B. "hoover", and C. clean showers/toilets. Every third day you would switch and do something different.. the showers/toilets were obviously the worst. However, this place was super clean and had new everything so it was pretty easy to clean. A smaller hostel as well so you didn't have 34938 beds to make everyday, which was nice. So after being in a room with Tim
and Jim.. along came Jack. I kid you not people. haha. Jack slept on the floor for about a week before Jim moved out. He was a really entertaining fellow as well.. kind of wore you out he had so much energy and so many comments on everything. Good guy though. Ross started a game between Tim, Jim, and myself.. it was called.. Who is the laziest? LOL. We would nap in the afternoon and he would get onto us. I think we were all dead even for a while.. but I edged out because I came up with ideas of things to do... not saying we ever did them, but just thinking of them won me a few points. haha seriously.
I left Taupo just over a week ago and have come back to my home away from home.. Greg and Delwynne's in Auckland. I felt like heading up here and it was perfect timing because Del needed a good girl getaway. She is in a house full of boys.. down to the dog and even the cat. So, I made my way up stopping at a few places along the way. I left Taupo super super early
and had plenty of time to kill. I stopped along the Waikato river and had a little power nap.. as the signs say over here.. I needed a "driver reviver" haha. I was soon invaded by a bus load of Japanese tourists.. although entertaining, not the quietest. I kept on driving, stopping to see what a "water garden" was, unfortunately it was closed and always to close the case to "Rainbows End". I pulled up to this so called Rainbows End, to discover that its a theme park.. haha, unfortunately again, it was closed as well. What a name though.. :) definitely had me going. I drove up top Mount Eden, overlooking downtown Auckland, and sat for a while, just thinking. Then I made my way to their house and was greeted with hugs and nice clean shower/bed. Showering without shoes is seriously taken for granted!
We took a little trip to her brothers in Mount Maunganui. Along the way we stopped at Karangahake Tunnel. A 1 kilometer tunnel built way back in the day that is now out of operation, but you can walk through it. You can feel the cold damp air as you approach it. It
was kinda creepy in there as it was pitch black except for every 10 yards or so there was a glowing orange lamp overhead. Water was slowly trickling out of the walls and you could hear your echo. It was neat. Onto the mount.. we climbed the summit again (stair master central).. boogie boarded til our arms were sore.. took a nap on the beach.. rolled over.. napped again.. :) hung out with her brother.. met some of her friends.. good night and back to Auckland the next day. We stopped in the small town of Paeroa, which is home to the "world famous in New Zealand" Lemon & Paeroa.. a soft drink thats tasty, tasty! I love their slogan though. ha. Onwards to Auckland.. home again home again to a house full of boys. Teenage boys are the worst, aren't they? I don't know how my mom ever got through it! (Go Judi, Go Judi, Go Go, Go Judi! haha) They are just awful sometimes! So it was good to get away and to get Del away.. we had a great trip and enjoyed each others company! Girl trips are necessary sometimes! :) The next day G and D
were off to a bike race and I played mom for a day.. although no one was really at home to "mom", I still made dinner. (sidenote: I love going to the grocery store) We had the some not very exciting "chicken pasta bake", but what was exciting was the dessert... Mississippi Mud Pie! I found it in the frozen desserts and could not resist! It was actually pretty good too.. although I don't really know what it's supposed to be like.. is it weird I've only eaten it in NZ? Yes, I think so. :)
Now... finally, finally, finally... you are caught up with me to the day! Incredible! I am still in Auckland and picking one of my best friends up at the airport tomorrow morning! Morgan is coming to visit! YAAAY!
So.. until next time kiddos.... :)
There are more photos below