The strong winds blew all night, rocking the caravans and the rain hammered down, almost without let-up. Luckily the wind blew itself out overnight so we didn’t have worry about towing in dangerous wind gusts. And what was the mountain doing this morning, I wondered? There it was, looking as beautiful as ever, clouds swirling around the peaks, and the snow cover a little lower than yesterday. With a handy dump station on site at the Ohakune Club grounds, we soon emptied out, and filled up with fresh water, all set for the next part of our trip.
Mt Ruapehu from Ohakune
We really needed a quick trip to town for another chocolate éclair fix – after all, we were moving on and wouldn’t be back again this way for a while. And what was the Chocolate Éclair Shop’s response for the All Black 2nd Test loss to the Lions touring rugby team? The tissues were for Sonny Bill’s fans who was red carded from the game in disgrace.
Turning onto SH4, we drove past Horopito Motors, the largest car dismantler in Australasia. And close by was the site of the historic Final Spike on the Main Trunk Line, put in place in November 1908 – no time to stop here today either. Under the 100 years plus Makatoke Viaduct, which has recently been repaired and repainted and on to National Park.
Turning off onto SH47 we drove through sub alpine native bush, with the misty clouds obscuring the mountains ahead of us. The road was rough in parts and we bounced along, wondering what was happening inside the caravan, and hoping that all the cupboard latches had been shut tight.
We stopped for lunch at Waipapa Reserve, Turangi, a nice roomy area with plenty of parking. We watched a man and his dog having fun in the park, playing with a frisbee – the dog was almost beside himself as he waited for his toy to be thrown. Jumping high, twisting his body every which way, the dog wasn’t going to let that frisbee get away from him. And with a handy coffee cart close by, we all ordered a nice hot coffee to go with our leisurely lunch. Yes, we confess, we did eat our final chocolate éclair each, and they were delicious!
Lunch at Turangi
Another 40kms and we arrived at our destination at Taupo, DeBretts. It is quite some time since we have stayed here, and thought that now it was winter, it might be nice to have a power site for the next three nights. With a "winter special" for those staying three nights or more, it was a good choice for a winter stop over. Instead of staying, as we usually do, at the NZCA site at Taupo Airport.
On site at DeBretts, Taupo
A couple in a Britz van are parked close by, and as we suspected, are here in New Zealand to follow the Lions Rugby team around from game to game and are understandably delighted with the Lions win against the All Blacks last night. We had a nice chat about places they had traveled to on their trip, and highlights of our own trips to UK.