Well, it is Sunday, and I have control of the laptop for a little while, so will post some photos for you. The boys and Ann are home, after what sounds like a horrendous flight. Not a great end to their holiday. The days seem to be flying by at a gathering speed at the moment, and I can't believe that I will be home this time next week. I have had a couple of messages from friends asking if I AM going home! Hmmm. I can see why people visiting NZ want to stay. It is spectacular.
I walked over to the church this morning, (where I am now, in Diana's office) and so many people were out running or cycling, or walking round the bay. There is a different kind of energy here, and it is hard to explain. Good, though.
So here we go with some photos.......
Napier was beautiful. We were staying right on the beach front and the sand was black. The sunrises were breath-taking. I was up very early each morning to see it, and as the weather was glorious, so were the sunrises. One can never have too many photos of sea and sun!
Silhouette of a tree at dawn. Just the sound of the waves breaking on the shore.
The family just before the mini golf challenge! Open warfare is normal! In our family they play to win. Diana perfected her chipping from the bushes. But, Andrew was way ahead of us all. Me? Do not ask. I am missing the golfing gene.
The national aquarium is in Napier, and we had to go and visit, and were there in time to watch the sharks (and other fish) being fed. We were in one of those underwather tunnels watching the diver feed them. I must admit that they were not exactly massive man-eating size, much to my sons' disappointment. Jaws is more their style.
After a wonderful day exploring the town, and taking many photos, we set off for the next stage of our tour in the white beast. (The family nickname for the car.) Travelling through the mountains was wonderful, and we had to stop to take photos. My only complaint re the NZ motorways (or State Highways... they are single lane in each direction, by the way!) is that there are too few places to stop to take photos. And when there is place to stop, there is no view. So we took to leaning out of the window as we sped along snapping what we could. It was interesting. Heaven knows what following cars must have thought!
And then we arrived in Taupo.......The lake is huge, and very deep in parts. Mt Ruapehu is there in the distance, and it is an active volcano. There are lots of those around here. Ahem. In fact I think this whole place is a volcano. I do know that Wellington is directly on top of the place where two continental plates meet. And creak. Earthquakes are a normal part of life, but they tell me they are "overdue for a big one". Nice. Very reassuring for a mother about to leave her daughter on top of the bubbling inferno!
And here we are on top of the thin part of the inferno. We went to the Craters of the Moon, near Taupo, and watched the steam rising from the earth. The smell of sulphur was actually not as bad as I thought it would be, and we got used to it very quickly.
And so we went on to Rotorua......
And discovered that the "bach" we had rented was actually a luxury home, complete with hot tub on the deck, kayaks etc. And the lake was right there, at the end of the lawn. Sigh. I was born for luxury like this! Stunning. Sunrises, sunsets, and more glorious weather.
We stayed there for 3 nights, and the first day, we went to Wai-0-tapu, the huge thermal reserve, where we watched the geyser blow, and then went on the complete tour of the park. There were 3 routes, and we wanted to see it all. Absolutely amazing.
This boardwalk actually goes over the steaming plates.
This is the beautiful turquise pool in the park. I cannot describe all the colours.....
So there are just a few photos for you to see. More later!