We woke up Saturday at 5am. Finally got out of bed around 5:30 and got ourselves ready and the car packed. We left at 6:25am in order to beat all the traffic. It was the beginning of the ANZAC Day long weekend and the whole of Wellington was going to be leaving the city to go on holiday. I wanted to beat the traffic, so that the trip to Taupo would be stress-free, and it was. Traffic was exceptionally light the whole way. We stopped at Bulls to have breakfast at McDonalds, and while I had a Bacon and Egg McMuffin with hash brown and coffee, I was very surprised at the taste of Deidre's pikelets or pancakes or whatever they were. Very nice.
We continued on to Taupo, arriving around 11:30am. It took us 5 hours to get there, which wasn't too bad. It was a nice day with nice weather and some very nice sights along the way. Desert Road, going past Mt Ruapehu, was the most amazing. It's called Desert Road 'cause it's so barren, and the landscape really is barren. It was obviously from millions of years worth of volcanic activity, as Mt Ruapehu is a volcano that last erupted in the 1990's. The landscape was amazing. I got a few photos.
When we got to Taupo I managed to find the backpackers without a problem. I remembered where it was from the last time I was here, just over a year ago. We unpacked our stuff into our room and then went into town and wandered around the streets, doing some window shopping. Then we had lunch at a cafe, and then we went to one of the tourist attractions that I didn't see last time with Mel. We went to a place called Craters of the Moon, which is where there's lots of steaming holes in this particular area. Lots of thermal activity, with one huge mud pool at the bottom of a huge crater, and lots and lots of steam vents everywere. That was fun, and we walked on the paths around them. Deidre thought they stank, but compared to the stink of Rotorua, they were NUFFIN'! Hehehe
Then we came back to the room and watched the latest episode of Dr Who that I downloaded from the internet a few nights ago. Dr Who is a childhood favourite for both of us, so there's a new series that's been made and started showing in England just a month ago, which I've already downloaded the episodes for. It's great! Very cool, very well done, and even very 'realistic'. Last night's episode was about the Dr returning his new companion, Rose, to visit her mum, and after they've travelled 5 billion years into the future and then 140 years into the past, she wanted to visit mum. The Dr brought her back 12 hours after she'd left – but then, too late, found out it was 12 months, and her mum had been worried sick. The police were involved in her disappearance, and Rose couldn't explain where she'd been. Then there was a UFO crash in London that the Dr and Rose witnessed, but couldn't get to 'cause the police and army were blocking the streets getting to it. So they went back to Rose's mum's place and watched it on tv. So there's the infamous Dr Who watching 'breaking history' on tv, and fighting with a 3 year old over the tv remote, while the rest of the family is sitting around drinking beer and talking about who's dating who. It was hilarious! It's really brought Dr Who into a more 'realistic' fashion, and the stories are excellent too.
After that we went to a pool and spa place, which used natural thermal springs for the water. It's pretty popular and quite extensive, with pools, water slides, and spas, with most of it warm to hot water. We went into a private spa for a while and had a great relaxing time.
Then we went to an Italian restaurant for dinner, and by this time my relaxation had gotten the better of me, and I was absolutely 'shattered'. After a 5 hour drive, a one-hour walk around steaming craters, and a long day of activities and stuff, I just wanted to sleep. So after dinner we went back to our room and went to bed. It was around 9:30.
It's now 11am Sunday, and we're just getting up. Our plans today include having breakfast, going for a walk along the Waikato River and Huka falls, then maybe going for a bit of a bike ride after that, followed by making our own dinner at the backpackers, and then watching a movie. Tomorrow we're heading off to Hawkes Bay.
I'm off to have a shower now. I'll write some more tomorrow or when we get back to Wellington on Tuesday. Ciaou!
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