Edit Blog Post
Published: February 27th 2012
Hello folks! Me (Anton) again I'm afraid, so you'll have to forgive the spelling mistakes, shortness and dullness of this blog... 😉
As it was p-ing down in Nelson (supposedly the sunniest region in New Zealand), and after Kate had finished the previous blog-writing marathon, we decided to go to the cinema to watch 'Moneyball' with Brad Pitt (woo-hoo)! It was a good film and good value at $12 each and as much popcorn and coke as we could manage for $10 - result! Afterwards, we ran through the rain to 'Bertie' our campervan and headed to Hugh's flat. As we got nearer, we thought we saw Hugh walking home from work in the rain but as we weren't sure it was him we drove past. We knocked on his door but no answer... About 5 minutes later, a very soggy Hugh appeared from around the corner and welcomed us in. I didn't have the heart to tell him we passed him and could have picked him up! Never mind...
After Hugh dried off and changed his clothes we headed out for a beer and a curry! After a pint or 3, Hugh took us to Nelson's
best (and only) curry house... It was really good though and he wouldn't let us pay so we got treated again!
We headed out early the next morning, hangover free, and boarded the Interisland ferry back to North Island and arrived into Wellington at 1ish. We had planned to drive onwards to New Plymouth and hopefully see Mount Taranaki, but the drive took a good 5hrs and it was overcast when we arrived so we planned to get up early and hopefully see the dormant volcano in the morning. The weather the next day was rubbish again so we drove there in hope that it would clear up enough to get a glimpse of the mountain... We arrived at the base of Mount Taranaki but the weather was persisting and still shrouding the upper third in cloud and mist. The Maori believe that the mountain was one of their gods who had cried a river over the loss of his love but to hide his tears he would cover himself with a veil of cloud... He was well hidden today so we had to set off in order to get to Rotorua to see Uncle David and Auntie Joan
again. Wouldn't you know it, as we got about 5 miles away... and the clouds parted and the mountain came into view! Kate didn't believe me when I spotted it in my rear view mirror, so I pulled over and we posed for a picture with the mountain somewhere in the background looking more like a molehill! Oh well, it was still spectacular and worth going there.
On the way to Rotorua, we took a little diversion to see New Zealand's largest lake. By the time we had nogotiated the rubbish road system over here and driven along some of the longest, unsurfaced, bendiest roads in existence we arrived at Lake Taupo about 2 hours later than we expected. A quick picture of the lake didn't do justice to it's size - it was massive! We called Auntie Joan to let her know we were running late and hit the road again. We arrived in Rotorua at about 6ish, and just in time to see Uncle David coming back from a 55km cycle ride in his fetching lycra shorts and vest!
It was good to see Uncle David and Auntie Joan again and we had a fish &
chip supper and chatted until bedtime, Uncle David telling many funny stories about his childhood and growing up in Fiji. Auntie Joan and I are night owls, so we stayed up drinking milo (a malty, chocolate drink) and put the world to rights until the early hours of the morning! We said goodbye to Uncle and Auntie the next morning, hoping to see them again one day, thanked them for having us again and set off to The Coramandel Peninsula.
We arrived at Hot Water Beach Top 10 Holiday Park, had lunch and headed down to the beach. There are thermal springs underneath the sand that are accessable during low tide and you have to did your hole which fills with the hot mineral water. Then you sit, bathe, drink or whatever takes your fancy in your own beachfront hot pool! We stayed until our fingers went wrinkly then headed back to spend our last night in our 'little' campervan. We opened the bottle of wine we bought from Waipara Springs Winery and watched 'Cocktail', as we didn't have any tv reception, and settled down for our last night in Bertie...
5234 kilometers 5 weeks and an awesome
adventure later we arrived back at Liz and Hugh's house in Auckland. We greeted them and unpacked Bertie for the last time. Liz let us borrow her car to drive back so we dropped Bertie back to the company we hired him from. As you may (or may not) remember, we had damaged the grey water pipe on our travels and it had been repaired and the bill sent to 'Apollo' hire company. We were expecting the worst, but after a quick once-over and signing of forms to say we'd returned him in the same condition, we got our deposit back and high-tailed it out of there... Result!!!
We skyped Mum when we got back, and she had gone over to The Reilly's house for Peter's birthday. We spoke to a 'festive' crowd of faces and it was really good to see everyone. Shame we missed out on the home brew and Jenny's 'special' punch! That evening, Liz's brother Spencer and his wife Loretta came over for dinner. This time I remembered to take some photos, so we had a lovely evening with lots of pictures! We skyped Mum again and spoke we all spoke to her and Pop,
this time it was my turn to be a bit tipsy but we had a good chat and said goodnight! The next morning we (Kate) did 2 loads of washing in preparation of going to Fiji and we tied up a few loose ends before having to say Goodbye to New Zealand (Aoeteroa; The Land Of The Long White Cloud).
We wish we could stay longer, but really hope to come back one day and see its beauty again and all the truly amazing, generous and awesome people we've met along the way...
LOTS of love to everyone and special kisses to Niah, Evie, Matilda, Isaac, Lauren, Thomas, Erin and not so little George! xxxxxxxx
Tot: 2.528s; Tpl: 0.068s; cc: 14; qc: 51; dbt: 0.0609s; 2; m:saturn w:www (220.127.116.11); sld: 3;
; mem: 1.4mb