Hello everyone. Sorry for no-show last night The computers were down here and they've only just got them sorted
We are now at Rotorua, a busy town on Lake Rotorua full of touristy things. We actually missed the Lady Knox geyser yesterday (wrong directions) but we went to Te Puia, a Maori cultural experience which was really enjoyable. There were two geysers there and they duly performed for us - amazing. We then met some Maori warriors and dancers and they gave us a typical Maori meal - except it wasn't cooked in the ground or anything because of Health and Safety! Yes - it's here as well and seemingly worse than at home. We weren't allowed to have a step for the motor van door unless we signed a disclaimer! Crazy.
Today we've been up to the top of a local mountain to have breakfast and see the sights. Then we went to an agrodome and learned everything we'd ever need to now (and didn't want to know) about sheep. It was actually very good. We then were taken to a redwood forest and had a quiet walk there. Since then, we've been shopping (for a change) and I even managed to get my hair done by such a nice boy! Worth every penny, though. And now we're relaxing at the van and thinking about tea. As we're getting near the end of our time here, we need to start using some of the food in the van. We're not allowed to take anything out of New Zealand - they are very strict.
Tomorrow, we set off north again and will follow the east coast up towards Auckland. We actually have to drive through the middle of Auckland (state highway 1) and cross the harbour bridge. We then follow this road on until we come to the Silverdale exit and then carry on to Orewa, a beach resort which looks good. From there, on Wednesday, we go up to Russell on the Bay of Islands for 3 whole nights - wow! Then we're at the end of the holiday and come back down to Auckland for 1 night in a hotel before flying over to Brisbane.
Thank you, Anna, for your message. I'm not sure if I can email you back - the AOL connection went a bit wobbly on me. I don't think we'll have time to get in touch. We have friends of friends in Oritea and I don't think we'll be able to contact them either We will have so little time in Auckland, and we have to leave for the airport by 10.30 on the Sunday morning. If you'd care to pop in to the Langham Hotel Saturday evening, we'd love to meet you. Tony - if you could pass on the same message to Don and Pat as well, that would be great.
Thanks to my children who sent me a Mother's Day greeting. That was a lovely surprise. M - I tried to text you back but couldn't do it - but thanks and love to everyone there.
I'll email again tomorrow night from Orewa
Cheers - Richard and Christine