With just trip of about 100km, we were in no hurry to get away from Ngongotaha Park on Thursday morning. Just as well really, as one rig after another trundled over to the dump station at the park before slowly moving on. So we had morning tea instead and then it was our turn to dump, and continue on our journey.
Goodbye to Ngongotaha
We drove past several of the well known tourist places which we had visited in the past, Whakarewarewa, Waimungu Valley, and Waiotapu. Well worth a repeat visit, I reminded Robin, next time we are up this way and have time to stay a little longer. Arrangements had been made to stop for lunch at a rest area just off SH1. And who should we see parked up enjoying their lunch but our former safari travelers Noel and Lynne. Bill and Val arrived soon after us, and we had a good catch-up before Noel and Lynne continued on their journey to Napier.
Three vans at lunch time
Continuing on our travels, we noticed that the wind had picked up quite a bit and gave the van several hard shakes as we drove along. But not as bad as as a TV news item we saw a day or two ago when a hire van was blown off the road and down the bank in the South Island. That must have been a real blow – how scary for the tourists.
Once we pass over this bridge on the East Taupo Arterial Road, we know we are almost at our destination.
Almost there now
Our two vans arrived at the Taupo Airport NZMCA site and soon found a spot. Hopefully we would be out of the wind – but who knows, Taupo can be quite a cold and windy place.
Taupo Airport NZMCA site
We decided to have a night off from cooking and drove down to the Taupo Cossie Club for dinner. The meals were nice, and I tried something new with my delicious salmon fillet – couscous salad. Sadly, one of the patrons choked on his food, and there was a lot of drama happening while the staff leapt into action and tried valiantly to dislodge the chunk of lamb (as we found out later) which was lodged in the elderly man’s throat. A pair of ambulance officers soon arrived and took over, removing the patient to an adjacent room away from the dining room for privacy. We were so pleased to see him and his dining guests walk out unaided a while later. It just goes to show how these emergencies can happen in seconds, and it was comforting to know that the staff have undergone training to deal with such an issue.
Oh dear – it was quite frightening to see, and to realise that the outcome could well have been much worse. There was nothing for it – we ordered dessert to calm our frazzled nerves. Crème Brule with berries for her, and his all time favourite, chocolate ice-cream sundae for him.
Two yummy desserts
So, a little somberly, we drove back to camp. Thanks to Bill and Val for the invitation to join them for dinner, and for providing the transport there and back.