Day 11- Museum and drive to Napier

Trip Start Apr 04, 2009
Trip End Apr 19, 2009

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Where I stayed
Kennedy Top 10 Holiday Park

Flag of New Zealand  , North Island,
Wednesday, April 15, 2009

We had one of the few leisurely mornings on our trip so far.  First, we took advantage of the nice shower facilities and then further indulged ourselves with a breakfast of toast with Nutella (chocolate/hazelnut crème).
Bread was about to get stale so Jess decided to feed the ducks that had collected around the mysterious lake like puddle that some how formed at the camp site over night (for clues, see prior day's entry)
Before you know it, we had a complete symphony of ducks and birds singing at the van door to be fed.
A couple young children came by intrigued by the cacophony of birds and we handed them the remaining bread and pleaded with them to wander off (taking the brood with them)... but alas they stood there and finished feeding all the bread.  The birds stared longingly at us a bit longer but then Jess used some marine biology magic and commanded that they lay down... and they did!
Now for three days Jessica has been looking for a particular pink bra and had not been able to locate it in her luggage or elsewhere.  Now granted, we have to constantly shift things about and make due with the space and storage the best we can.
During our
We packed up and headed into down town Wellington to visit the National Museum (Te Papa).  We navigated down there rather successfully but the expected parking was full and we were faced with street side parking... I was not looking forward to parallel parking that behemoth but thankfully there were two adjoining spots that I could pull straight into... whew!
The museum was pretty impressive in size and the magnitude and quality of exhibits.  We were able to visit 3 or 4 levels and 2-3 exhibits on each.  One exhibit included a large display of New Zealand sea life... right up Jessica's alley.  She took it as a challenge to name most of them without looking at the signs.  She was pretty successful although some of the colloquial names were different. 
At our lunch stop we made an important discovery.  For three days Jessica has been looking for a particular pink bra and had not been able to locate it in her luggage or elsewhere.  Now granted, we have to constantly shift things about and make due with the space and storage the best we can.
As we walked around the side of the van she saw the bra was behind the kitchen counter pressed up against the window.  We had been "flying it like a flag" for days.  Hopefully was have not caused anyone great offense or started any sort of international incident.
We had a long drive ahead of us to get to Napier to visit the National Aquarium.  I was a bit reticent given the winding and tiring drive from Waitomo to Wellington.  Thankfully, it was mostly straight and flat but with many small towns to slowly cruise through the 300km still took well over 5 hours. 
In that time frame, Jessica had to find ways to entertain herself with such high caliber activities such as rolling down the window and shouting at farm animals: "SHEEP!", "COW!" respectively (as if they needed to be reminded).
Another favorite was to implore the various road workers to "Say No to Didymo".
(You'll have to look that one up yourself... but just let me say it's not a good thing).  She will be sporting a bumper sticker to that effect to educate all of South Bend on her return.
Just as we are about to make the final turn into Napier the road was unceremoniously "closed".  And no detour signs or anything of that nature one might consider helpful.
The sun had set at this point and so it was difficult to spot signage from a distance so we just took a literal "shot in the dark" attempt to get back in the right direction... and with some excellent navigation from Jess we were back on track.
We arrived at the campsite and backed into our spot (without any incident at all) and then sauntered over to the onsite restaurant for our evening meal. 
On the walk back to the camper we both saw a shooting star... another affirmation of how unique and wonderful this adventure has been.
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ceseal on

Didymo...a freshwater algae
Here is what I found...

New Zealand

Signs posted by Biosecurity NZ to warn of didymo threat in Waiau River.Main article: Didymo in New Zealand
In 2004 didymo was discovered in New Zealand, the first time it was found in the southern hemisphere. To restrict its spread, the whole of the South Island of New Zealand was declared a controlled area in December 2005. All items, such as boats, fishing gear, clothing, and vehicles, that have been in a stream, river or lake, must be cleaned before they enter another waterway. Biosecurity New Zealand working with Environment Southland, AgriQuality and Fish and Game launched an extensive public awareness campaign to encourage river users to clean their equipment after use in affected waterways. This campaign was highly successful, with up to a 90% decrease in use of affected rivers.

Could we accomplish that in the US?

Have fun...but be safe!

Dad/Pop Pop R

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