Well, it is time to catch you up to date on our travels! We have been having a lot of fun and covering much ground but getting to writing and finding internet less. Our last blog brought us to the North Island, and this one covers April 23 to 28th up the East Coast from Wellington.
Our first stop along the way was a quick one to take a picture of the Tui brewery, Tui was happy to see a flag bearing his name! We passed some wind farms along our way to historic Taumatashakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukopokaiwhenuakitanatahu, the longest place name in the world. To make a long name and story shorter, it was named after a great chief who was a warrior and explorer, Tuamata, who fought a battle in which his brother was killed; the hill where he mourned this loss was named after the chief, his brother, his tribe and ancestry, and the place of battle. We never heard anyone pronounce it but we gave it a shot. We still have trouble with prounounciations, as "wh" is pronounced "ff" and syllables are stressed differently than we are used to. YOU give it a try!
After that, we made
Tui Brewing Headquarters
We thought Tui would look good with a flag, but Kirby only made it half way up the pole.
our way to Hastings and Napier. Napier is a beautiful town decked out in Art Deco style of the 1920s yet with the most impressive modern beach front skateboard park. We have failed to mention the prevalence of skate parks; nearly every city and small town has one, and they are used by skateboarders, not punks for graffiti! We enjoyed watching the NZ skate champion pull off some amazing tricks and some youngsters with nerves of steel. We tried our skill at the mini golf course and had some ice cream cones on the beach.
Moving on, we continued up the coastal road for a more scenic drive, although not as leisurely - as passenger I had to pass Kirby water and wipe sweat from his brow between hairpin turns and steep grades through the hills. With fall in full force it has become more rainy and with that on the horizon we began seeing many rainbows! We took the rests stops and enjoyed the sights, including rugged beaches, lush rolling hills, and surfers.
Our drive took us through Wairoa, Tokomaru Bay, and to a 2000 year old tree in Te Araroa before reaching the next city of
Longest Place Name
This is a true mouth full. We wonder how people get mail, as putting the name on the parcel would be challenging.
Whakatane (use the pronounciation guide above... fuhk-uh-tan-ee). We rolled into Whakatane on fumes, literally, and almost made it to a gas station after coasting down hill in neutral nearly 3 kilometers. The weather was beautiful and we went for a swim in an outdoor pool, did some business and internet before rolling on.
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