Tuesday, 30 July 2013
Monday, 29 July 2013
Saturday, 27 July 2013
Friday, 26 July 2013
Thursday, 25 July 2013
Wednesday, 24 July 2013
We woke to yet another foggy morning at our camp site at the Equestrian Centre at Taupo – that’s three in a row. We packed up in the drizzly fog, and tracked down the camp manager so that we could pay our fees before we departed. It was time to move on to Hawkes Bay for the next couple of days. There is plenty of thermal activity in Taupo with the accompanying smell of sulphur and we drove past steam rising from fissures in the ground.
Our route today was along State Highway 5, the Napier to Taupo Road, through farmland with sheep and cattle grazing in road side paddocks. The road continued on through pine forests and native bush as we drove through wet foggy conditions with the windscreen wipers going flat out, and the head lights on full. Heavily laden trucks roared towards us out of the fog, and we hoped they would stay on their own side of the road.
The fog cleared away by the time we pulled into a rest area for a lunch stop, about half way along the Napier-Taupo Road. Geoff had stopped here before and knew there was something special to see. And there it was, the Waipunga Falls, a 40m segmented waterfall featuring three parallel columns cascading down the rock face. Such a pretty place to stop for lunch, just a pity other motorists had left such a lot of litter behind all over the ground in the car park.
Fed and watered, we continued on our journey. We saw glimpses of snow covered mountains away in the distance.
After a journey of about three hours we were almost at our destination, but our trusty Garmin got confused. “Take the first exit off the round-about”, it told us, so we did. No, that wasn’t right, as far as the GPS system was concerned that road didn’t exist, and it thought we were in the middle of farmland. Seems the the road was new and our system had not been updated. So we did a U-Turn, went back to the round-about, and found the correct road.
We had booked a couple of sites in an orchard for the next few nights, and were warmly welcomed by the owner. He had been busy topping a couple of very large walnut trees, he told us, to let more sunshine onto the camp sites. After a reviving cuppa we set off to find a Laundromat. Five days away and both caravans had large bags of laundry to do – just as easy for us each to put the whole lot through a commercial washer and dryer and get it out of the way. I was surprised how busy the Laundromat was in the late afternoon, it was full of customers, their children, and various hangers-on. Darkness had fallen by the time our laundry duties were over, and we trudged back to our caravans. It will be an early night for us tonight, I think.