29-10-2008 from Taupo to Taumarunui.

Travel blog about our trip to New Zealand in October/November 2008
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Lid geworden op: 15 sep 2012, 21:44

29-10-2008 from Taupo to Taumarunui.

Bericht door Pieter »

29 October 2008 - Taumarunui, New-Zealand

All in all we were late this morning leaving the campsite, but we had to dump some things and so we went on our way at 9:30. First stop was a garage in order to fix the boiler which stopped working last night. All arranged by a Freephone call to United, no problem at all. The cleared a blockage in the lines and it looks if that does the job.
We’re supposed to make a short trip today, but at the end we decided to add 50 kilometres to this trip in order to shorten the next one, otherwise we’d have trip of over 300 kilometres on our hands.

Of course we enjoyed the views over Lake Taupo which is an enormous crater lake, but our goal for this day was Mount Doom, actually called Mount Ruapehu. It is an active volcano with a 1 to 3 year cycle. The route is very beautiful because it crosses an rugged unspoilt desert via a winding road with some steep grades. Only the trucks can be spoil sports when you get caught behind them as they’re climbing with lots of smoke, ore when they’re ascending and tail gating because you’re not fast enough. The maximum speed is 90 km/h, but they reach well over the 100 km/h with their long and high loads. Some of them are pulling 2 trailers and have a 5 metre height.

We were lucky with Mount Ruapehu, although the summit was cloud covered, but we could take a photo from most of the volcano. As a special we got a very beautiful sky to go with it.
The photos were taken with the danger of being run over, because we found a spot on some gravel beside the road and when I stepped outside, the folds in my trousers were blown away by the passing traffic :sad2: , but it was worth the effort. Next stop was in Waioru, where the local Chinese has a truck stop with good food. The chips were tasteless, but we already knew this, the sirloin is very nice and the salad really fresh, the lettuce even tasted a little sweet on its own. The fried eggs with 4 slices of buttered bread was way more than we could ever eat, but I must say, the fried eggs were just perfect. We both had an enormous plate of food of which we could hardly manage half.
Meanwhile the temperature had dropped and the volcano was covered in thick clouds. Still, we wanted to take a look at the Chateau near Whakapapa, a big hotel where also the crew from LOTR stayed during the shoot. The campsite here would have been our stay for the night, but it was very wet and freezing, so we decided to look elsewhere. There is a very beautiful visitor centre where everyone is kept updated about the weather conditions on the mountain and what you should or shouldn’t do if you would go for a walk.
Too bad all was covered in thick clouds because it’s very beautiful up here.

The English shower doesn’t work anymore, time for a real shower, we’re on the campsite as you may have guesssed. It is a somewhat older place and by that I don’t mean just the guests :lach2: , but it’s all very nice. We have a spot in the sun and the toilets and showers are spotless.
For everyone who can’t stand nose picking, skip this part.
Because my nose is still all blocked, there is a good reason for an in depth investigation. There is still sulphur in my nose and I hope that after some serious digging all will be gone.
That’s why I leave it at this, but I think there is more to follow :knip2: (P)

Yuk, it’s disgusting!! But he, he’s on holiday, drives a couple of thousands kilometres in a few weeks … so I let him :lach1: . I’ve got to stay friends with the driver :knip1: . Oké, no more guys in here, time to gather my thoughts. Today’s trip: wow, what a beautiful and diverse landscape on just a few square kilometres. In fact we drove 3 sides of a square; we are now west of Lake Taupo, just north of the south end of the lake.
We even went a short way up the mountain. It’s nice and quiet at this campsite, not to big with a sweet elderly man as owner, who knows a lot and tells a lot! I was inspecting the communal kitchen and the showers ( first job at hand when we arrive on a campsite). In the kitchen area there were 6 elderly guests enjoying a gin and tonic. According to them it was happy hour :lach1: . One of them said: I wait all day for this hour!! Wonderful, these things are the jewels in the crown.
Yesterday in the thermal park we passed 2 carpenters which were fixing a bannister. One of them, the younger one, complained he couldn’t get his saw to cut straight. The older guy replied: well, shall I run back then and get you a saw that saws straight?? (of course in Kiwi!) The younger guy could laugh at it, be it with a grin :lach1: .
There are some cats wondering around here, from which Bob, with half of his tail missing, likes to come in and say hello. But I’ve been firm with him, I like cats, but not in our campervan, we’ll cuddle outside! I’ll ask Pieter to add a photo off Bob.
As Pieter already said, we drove a little further than planned (partly because we stayed only one night at Rotorua) and are now staying at this campsite: www.taumarunuiholidaypark.co.nz , so you all can find the site. It saves us at least 50 kilometres on the next trip, the Forgotten World Highway to Stratford (I think it’s a very intriguing name, so we should see it) . According to Craig, the owner here, it is a very beautiful route, so we’re anxious to take a look for ourselves.
Near Stratford we hope to take photos from Mount Taranaki (from the movie The Last Samurai with Tom Cruise and our dear friend Billy Connolly), but with the weather here you never know if you get a chance. At this moment the weather is lovely, although the wind is a bit chilly.

Just a few loose notes: yesterday we got a text message from Lee and Ben, who are in Aussieland right now! I felt it as very nice and texted my godchild right back. Furthermore I wanted to tell about the roadkill for days, unbelievable!! On some stretches there is a dead possum every 25 metres.
They are a pest in this country and they put down a lot of poison to get it under control. Originally the possums were introduced here for fur, but it all got out of hand and the poison is also killing a lot of other animals. But a roadkill sandwich is easily available here :-P !!
For Marijke: in the kitchen here is a basket with the sign: Please take the eggs you want for your breakfast!! For you that would mean a 4 egg fried egg, sunny side up :lach1: . I’ve sent Pieter out to take some photos off the big chickens here, who knows, it might make a Kentucky Fried Dinner :knip1: .
Lastly, our breakfast, strict rules apply and the main rule is: before going to bed, take out the toaster and the kettle, otherwise we have to clear the bed completely in the morning before we can reach them. Helps to save time.
Next, the bed is made and when we do have 24 hour internet, the laptop gets started to check the comments while we drink coffee and eat toast with lots of salted butter on which I also sprinkle some sugar. After this we pack up and when we’re ready to go, Pieter remembers the power line and disconnects :lach1: . What a wonderful live we have!! (M)

PS, this is a very manageable live, all your stuff on 8 square metres :lach2: :lach2: :lach2: (P)
Don't put your mouth into motion, before your brain is in gear.

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