Waking up in paradise again at Lake Karapiro – the lake was picture perfect with swans gliding serenely across the surface. We were visited again by our two cream coloured ducks. The POP owner informed us that they were Muscovy ducks, obviously someone’s pets at one stage, but the pair had been dumped at the lake sometime ago.
After a quick morning tea, it was time to move on. There was a fair distance to travel to our next destination, approximately 210kms. It wasn’t long till we passed through Tirau, well known for it’s quirky corrugated iron signs, and the equally quirky corrugated iron Information Centre building made in the shape of a dog.
Travelling through the timber towns of Putaruru and Tokoroa, we then stopped at Wairakei for lunch. Geothermal steam is used here to make electricity, and the huge pipes conduct the steam from natural underground cauldrons and are easily glimpsed from the road.
Leaving SH1, we turned onto SH5, the Napier-Taupo Road. It didn’t matter that we were travelling from Taupo to Napier, it is still called the Napier-Taupo Road whichever way it is tackled. Motorists with long memories can recall when this road was unsealed and had a bit of a reputation. It can still be difficult to traverse in the winter months, and care must be taken with ice and snow. It took us up and down through pine plantations, farmland, areas of native bush, and still more pines. Our destination was Glenfalls Recreation Reserve, about two thirds of the way along the Napier-Taupo Road.
This “basic” campsite is situated beside the Mohaka River. There was plenty of space, with a few campers already on site. The cattle were friendly and not in the least afraid of people or cars, and lounged around, perfectly at ease with the campers.
They finally wandered away to check out the loud music coming from the speaker placed on top of a nearby car. While the car owner was happily trying his luck fishing in the river, the cattle were engrossed in the music.
This Department of Conservation Camp is certainly a magical spot, we are back to nature with a long drop toilet, no taps, and only river water available, and no radio or internet coverage here. Which means the blog will not be posted until we move back to civilisation. But by the magic of the satellite, we can receive a TV signal, so can catch up with the news. We are only staying one night, and on Thursday we are moving on to Napier.
The cattle came back and surrounded our vehicle, sniffing and licking, perhaps they even wanted to chew on the rubber as well. Possibly they were after the insects that get plastered to a car after a long journey – who knows? It’s just as well that they are not wild cattle, as we would be trapped inside.