On the Road Again

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Flag of New Zealand  , North Island,
Wednesday, February 3, 2010

January 30 - February 3

Lots of rain as the forecast reads here with a chance of thundery.Ha-ha
We stayed on a sheep farm in Rotorua but it turned out to be a deer, ostrich and cow farm.
We explored Te Puia a cultural museum of the native Maori people. They are known to intimidate their enemies by sticking out their tongues and budging out their eyes. Pretty scary! The rain drove us indoors at B and B Clover Downs Estate so Jean made a flower arrangement for Lloyd and Lynn our hosts.

We visited Wai-o-tapu Thermal Reserve for a look at their colorful grounds and bubbling waters. The sulfur smell is prevalent throughout the town and if you go into the thermal waters it will turn your jewelry black. It is a beautiful and fascinating place with wonders like Devil's Bath pictured below.

On our trek to Tongariro National Park, we also stopped at Huka Falls and the Honey Hive to purchase their world famous manuka honey. It is from the same plant as tea tree oil. The honey has medicinal purposes and is even being used to treat burn victims.

In the Park, we stayed in the town of Ohakune at the Powderhorn Chateau. It is a beautiful rustic type lodge. Rain still pursued us but we managed to miss most of the major showers. The town was dead as most of the activity happens in the winter here. It is a big ski destination. While out hiking we ran into a local named Simon who invited us out to his house for dinner. John was a bit apprehensive at first and e-mailed friends Simon's phone number in case we did not return. The evening was lots of fun though as Simon entertained us with his different accents and fine meal. Also at the dinner was Jessie, Simon's step daughter, age 22 and her boyfriend, Brett, age 46. Brett looks like Mel Gibson and told us his stories of when he met Donald Trump and how he builds yurt houses. The night was definitely a highlight!

We are now in Wellington, the capitol of New Zealand. It is a modern city built around its harbor. People are very active here with sports being a way of life. There are few overweight people here as everyone is always on the go. The city does experience chilly gales from the Antartic so we bundled up as we toured the city. Food is getting more expensive as we head south. Dinners are generally between $25 and $35 for an entree only. Life is good but expensive here.  

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Greg Everett on

Sounds like a great adventure! Dinner with Simon sounds very interesting (and brave of you). Keeps the stories coming.

colleen kirkendall on

Way to go Brett (46 years old).....dating Jesse....(22 years old)!!!!!!!!

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