Saturday, 10 October 2015

To Hot Water Beach!

Thursday: It was an early start as we had to pack all our gear and clean the house before leaving, hopefully before 8. We managed just after, with the car packed to the gunnells, including the rubbish, as it was too early to visit the tip! I was sad to leave our little cottage by the river plus Bunnehs!! We
stopped for fuel in Turangi, before heading towards a coffee break at Taupo - we have managed to have nice coffees always - very different to previous trips ! The food at this place also looked lovely. It wasn't far from there to Waiotapu, where we amazingly arrived just in time to see the Lady Knox Geyser errupt. What we didn't realise was that it happens every day at 10:15 because they pour soap down it to make it errupt - whaaaat?!! In my excitement to see this erruption, I launched myself up on to one of the benches at the rear of the ampitheatre, but sadly, misjudged the leap by a few centimetres, and made a spectacular thump as I fell on my quad onto said bench. The pain was indescribable - it made me feel sick for several hours - no, days! However, nothing was going to stop me from enjoying Waitapu, and after seeing the bubbling mudpools, where the boys were overwhelmed by the sulphurous smell, we entered the park itself, where we enjoyed many mineral rock colours and formations, including the coloured lakes. Matt was particularly fascinated by the lack of protective fencing as we would have in our 'nanny-state' Australia, relying merely on warning signs and common-sense - aaaah, survival of the fittest. Good to see!
You mean I can walk out there?
and there's only this sign to stop me?!!
Of course, I found the Champagne Pool!
From here we continued through Rotorua, and Tauranga, and not long after, put our lunch on to heat in foil in the car engine. However, our car being the gutless wonder that it is, after an hour it was still only barely warm! However, we enjoyed it with some jasmine rice Matt had bought at a cafe where I had to stop for a very necessary break, then it was on into the Coromandel Peninsular. I managed to keep up my navigational duties in between dozing, and we arrived at our magnificent destination at Hot Water Beach. The boys and I were so excited, we had to go and check it out - it's true!! You dig a hole in the sand and there is boiling water!
The water might be hot.....
After sussing this out we came back to collect Matt, and we all got changed into appropriate gear. However, having to put my jumper on on the way there made me realise that getting wet was probably not a good option, so opted just to kneel in a puddle! There were so many people in togs, and even Callum went into the ocean - eeeeek!

After checking out the local café, Matt and I retired to the wonderful house to
sit in the sun, nom paté and probiotic brie and drink bubbles. After a while, he lured me to the upper level, where it was toasty warm, and we had a wonderful view of the boys playing on the beach! Truly awful. We all stayed upstairs enjoying the view until it became dark, and the boys cooked some steak we had picked up from the 'bitcher' (NZ for butcher) in Whenuakite!

Friday: I woke to my alarm going off in the lounge, and attempted to silence

Gateway to gallery sculpture garden
it by walking into the wardrobe. No luck there. Oh, the confusion of waking up in different places!! I enjoyed coffee on the deck and watching the day emerge, then Matt and I set off for Cathedral Cove. Unfortunately, it was a 45 minute walk there and then back again, and in my current broken state, I couldn't manage it! :-( Onwards we went towards Coromandel via Road 309 - unsealed and in a state of repair. It wasn't too bad, but we decided not to return that way! We reached Coromandel and enjoyed a coffee and a couple of nice galleries, including Weta Design, where I saw some nice botanical dyeing on merino knit and on nuno felt; in another I saw a wonderful piece of driftwood with oyster shells attached, with LED's inside!! There were also some wonderful photos with seagulls looking like real characters, and we have seen plenty of them here! We headed towards Whitianga for lunch, hoping to find scallops, but the only place we could find them was hidden away in chowder - nope, no good! We followed directions from one gallery to a French place, which did not appear to exist, but stumbled across a restaurant along the esplanade that was offering Panko crumbed scallops - that

will be just fine! Often scallops with roe can be overwhelmingly rich, but I think these were so fresh that it was not an issue. Back to Hot Waaaaater Beach, and it was off for a walk across the stream and around the hill to find the boys engaged in digging a communal pool. (Before we got there, we crossed over to a gallery Moko Artspace  which looked to my jaded eye like it would be rubbish, but which was actually full of the best things I have seen yet!!) I wanted to explore a little further along, but again, could not cope with much more walking - although I am keen to keep the leg moving but the pain makes me feel quite sick! We stopped at Hotties for a champagne, and discussed Liam's Army prospects with him before heading back home to bunk in for a lazy afternoon.
I remembered for the first time to turn my alarm off, but woke shortly after anyway! Matt woke at one stage and also tried to exit the room via the cupboard.... It was another beautiful day, and I drank my coffee on the deck sitting in the bean bag - ear muffs on, of course!! I could never have survived so happily without their warmth - it makes such a difference to me! Warm ears = happy Svenja! I think they get even more attention than my hair, though. I am thinking of doing some custom decorated ones. .....

Creative display outside a record shop in Thames!
Unfortunately we both woke up feeling under the weather, Matt moreso than me. We took it easy whilst the boys packed up and cleaned the house, and were out by just after 9. We crossed the Peninsular to visit Thames, where we browsed the local market on the looong main street, and brunched at Café Melbourne where I enjoyed a Crocque Monsieur. We split from the boys for a bit, and returned to the pastry stall to indulge! We then headed straight for Auckland, with Matt waking me at the city limits to start my navigation duties! I managed with the help of my wonderful Google Girl (I shall call her Gigi), but on arrival at the Victoria Park Markets was well disappointed at the bleak and empty venue. We piled back into the car and Gigi took us to the CBD, where we attempted to park, but the parking station would not accept coins due to vandalism, but did not seem to read our credit card either! We even tried another machine before giving up in frustration and driving to a multi-level car park (which at least accepted our card if not our coins). We again split up, and Matt and I, although sick, wandered the city streets, down to the Wharf, and through the CBD, whilst I think the boys just travelled between fast food outlets.  Our exit was smoothly assisted by Gigi (to think I didn't even know I had her!!) and we were so early to arrive that we couldn't even check in yet! And so ends our New Zealand Adventure. It's good to be home.

No comments:

Post a Comment