Saturday, February 26, 2011

NZ- Wednesday, 1/5

Wednesday, 1/5- All Seasons Holiday Park, Taupo

The construction guy lied to me. He told me the road was sealed all the way through. Lies! It was sealed for about an hour and a half, and then it became a gravel road for an unknown amount of time. Unknown because we turned around. Don't tell the rental place we drove on an unsealed road, its a no-no. I swear I though it would become paved! It always had before.

Background: We decided to take the slower but prettier Wanganui River Road to our first stop. It was pretty, it was nice, and it didn't go through. Damnit. This was one of those roads so narrow they didn't even bother to paint a line down the middle because why. Its not like two vehicles could fit side-by-side on 50% of the road.

Not to say it was beautiful, because it was. Lush (there's an adjective I haven't exploited yet!) vegitation surrounds and the river rushes below. And then I have to three-point turn Captain Slow on a narrow gravel road and we basically wasted two and a half hours of travel time. Doug grumpy. Doug got over it.

Stupid construction guy.

We had a quick reheated spaghetti lunch at a picnic pull-out and stopped again at the lookout for Raukawa Falls, our first of two waterfalls for the day. Picturesque. There may also have been side-of-road relief.

Long push to our original goal for the day, Whakapapa National Park. Up, up, up we climbed, Captain Slow struggling valiantly in third to pull us towards our goal. We saw the Ch√Ęteau de Something were people stay when they come up here to fall down the mountain in the snow. (Angela claims this is a sport called “skiing”. I'm doubtful.) We got a short hike in around the ridge, only an hour but it was gorgeous and a solid climb the whole time. Well, the first half. Obviously. Duh.

Captain Slow then struggled mightily in second up through the treeline to the end of Bruce Road. The terminus was what Angela called a “Ski Resort”, where her mythical people travel to pay money so that they may tumble down the mountain from a greater height. I remain doubtful. Anyway, it reminded me of Armstrong's desolate beauty. Volcanic rock does that.

Back down the road a ways and a twenty minute walk takes us to the top then the pool of a smaller waterfall called Tawhai Falls. We met a couple down there and we took their picture and they took ours. I'm almost positive we were two minutes too late to see him propose. Good spot for it. Mine was better.

Of course we also checked out the gift shop and the I-site. You know, to be sure we looked the tourist part. And to see if there were any trinkets that needed buying. There weren't. No yarn this high up I guess.

From there it was a 100km push to our stopping point along the massive Lake Taupo. The only hitch was a bee who decided to try and grab a ride on the seat next to Angela. Sorry, dead bug, she's not ok with that. My toeshoes require toesocks to keep the smell under control, and unlike normal socks these do have a left and a right. So laundry sorting needs to be paid attention to. Last time two lefts got together in a pair. Two socks of the same foot! Together! You know what that makes them, right? That's right! Homosockuals!

(You have no idea how hard we laughed when we came up with that.)

Our holiday park for the next two nights has a small thermal pool which we sampled. Not too warm. Angela described it's temperature as just about where the bath is when you're ready to get out. Still, it was a nice soak. We made child friends. “Australia's gay!” “No, it's not!”

Hopefully tomorrow is a busy day in Taupo. Looks like there's lots to do.

*Later* The nights here are amazing. So many stars.

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