The small plane made many trips up high, and the skydivers continued to jump out, one after another. We watched with our necks craned, as the tiny dots in the sky fell earthwards, then on releasing their chutes, wafted slowly down. Some did tricks, looping the loop time and again, while others were more sedate. One girl was screaming so loudly as she came down, whether it was from fear or excitement we will never know, but supposedly it was her first jump. All part of the fun while staying at the NZMCA park at Taupo Airport.
It was time to move on again, and this morning we took the Taupo bypass road, crossing over the interesting metal bridge at Wairakei to join up with SH5.
Seems to be cattle country in these parts, as we saw both milk and beef herds but very few sheep. This striking skyline looked most impressive with the line of trees planted along the ridge.
And just to remind us that we live in a country whose economy is based on farming, we passed several rural contraptions being towed slowly along the main road, like this lethal contraption with those dangerous spikes sticking out each side. Although the driver had pulled over to the edge of the road, there was no way we could overtake him with all the corners coming up and no clear line of sight. That didn’t stop some idiot overtaking the both of us, however. No wonder accidents happen.
Nearing Rotorua, the stench of sulphur filled the air – smelling just like rotten eggs. The city of Rotorua is an interesting mix of Maori culture, hot springs and mud pools, beautiful lakes and forests. But sadly we were not stopping in Rotorua this time, on this trip we were only passing by on our way to Katikati.
Just as well Robin had made sure he regularly updated his Garmin GPS, as the roads around Tauraunga had changed considerably since we were last up this way. Our trusty GPS may stumble over the pronunciation of Maori street names, but it never faulted as it took us along new streets, and past huge new subdivisions as we bypassed the city. The only spanner in the works was when the road we were travelling was closed due to extensive road works, and a diversion was in place, taking us up and down a narrow hilly road till we finally rejoined the selected road.
We pulled into our stop-over for the next few night, a kiwifruit orchard. There are numerous power sites available, water taps on site, an ablution block, and (joy of joys) a washing machine (it’s free, what a bonus) for those like me who like to keep their laundry up to date. It is a very peaceful setting, with a lovely rural outlook.
We’ve got rellies to call on tomorrow, and we want to check out what’s on offer in the small town of Katikati. There are many murals decorating the town, we believe, so that will be well worth a look.