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Published: July 17th 2017
Bam crash thank you ma'am.
Jo "Always Trouble" drives like a maniac. I've called her Fangio Trouble but that's not half of it.
First met her in Kuala Lumpur for Travelblog's 10th Birthday. She hiked through jungle instead of driving to meet us and was two hours late...sweaty but successful. Been friends ever since.
She was Trouble then.
One thing in common is Denise and I hired a car and drove down the Andes through Patagonia some years ago. Jo did likewise recently. Fangio is a famous Argentinian racing car driver. It's also the name of their hi-octane fuel. I reckon Jo must have sniffed some as she drove through Patagonia. Now she's Always Trouble.
But as they say in football...what happens on the field...stays on the field.
So I guess I've gotta settle down and not tell you why she's Always Trouble.
Don't want to be talking out of school do I?
So let me tell you what a wonderful time we had as she zoomed around the North Island...us hanging on for our lives as she did so.
Maybe can share a few photos from our time as well.
After all I've said for years I reckon New Zealand is the second most beautiful country in the World...after Chile...so time to check out why.
Just sitting here thinking...watching the world go round...what'll a poor boy do...just a country boy.
Best ever Mexican soft tacos and pisco sours at Besos Latinos in Auckland...Saffran for Spanish at Newmarket...the World's best pizzas at Archies.
Breakfast everyday at Domain Air in Parnell.
BnB in Rotorua in a house in the suburbs with ensuites for each of our bedrooms and a breakfast upstairs overlooking the islands and plumes of steam.
Tea and scones with Jo's mother.
Then there was the hangi that I presided over as Chief.
And the largest Hot Chocolates we have ever seen.
Gotta say we ate well.
How we got to any of these places in one piece is anyone's guess.
Hang on be fair.
We walked to a couple of those places!
Jo said at the steam and volcanic bubbling mud extravaganza at Wai-o-tapu that lots of Travelbloggers have posted pics from here...so the challenge is to
capture something a bit different.
We have been to some exotic volcanic steam and mud sights in Java, in Bolivia and in Chile.
Having been to Wai-o-tapu gotta say Rotorua takes the cake.
Frequent earthquakes, steam coming out of drains by the highway...blue lakes...green lakes...red lakes...some just spitting steam...the best exploding boiling mud you could ever want to see.
We in awe...Jo snapping this and that with mischievous glee.
They even have a geyser that shoots hundreds of feet into the air...at 10am everyday the caretaker told me...can set your watch by it...not man-made timing...natural timing from the gods of the underworld.
Nature is a mysterious thing.
Circumambulating a large pool or small lake past caverns or smoking pits of steam or massive bubbles...the lake yellow one side with shots of steam spitting from fumaroles just below the surface...like frogs smoking then burping...pink around the other side with boiling water over an orange ledge...white crusts like a coral reef punctuating the ledge as it shimmers or shudders...spewing steam in plumes as the breeze makes it billow in ethereal shapes as it dances over the surface...engulfing then materialising onlookers through sulphurous glazed
eyes from its rumbling surface.
Snapped out of my dream. I hear the call.
A young woman from the Netherlands..."Hey Chief.Thanks for last night."
Smiling as I wave back.
A later day up a mountain ridge soaring above Auckland...Always Trouble gunning the esses like no tomorrow...the road snaking past driveways to jungle hideaways with cliffside views over the Tasman Sea...to a beach shimmering in the winter sun.
We descend and cross the sand...sun in our eyes...surfboard riders seeking one last wave...pink clouds descending into orange...into black.
We are from Oz across the ditch...now in the land of the long white cloud...toes drawing in the sand...frothing waves cooling as night sets in...the breeze surprisingly brisk but not cold...chatting, smiling and laughing with our Kiwi friend.
Some know her as Jo Trouble...to us Always Trouble...Always our Friend...Always Fun.
Relax & Enjoy,
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