Friday, Day One.
We set off bright and early at 7am to beat the traffic and headed up to Rotorua with the intention of cuddling lion cubs at
and then have a go at the luge. Our plans changed slightly as we had so much fun at Paradise Valley that we ran out of time for luging so it was postponed till Monday. Paradise Valley
Paradise Valley is a beautiful reserve with lush walking tracks and beautiful clear pools everywhere that are fill of fat rainbow trout or GIANT scary eels *shudder*
We petted pigs, chatted to ducks and played catch with some Keas (and then had to play fetch when a mischievous Kea threw
Sian’s hair-tie into their area. He was shocked to see her leap in and get it ; p).
And of course played with a LION CUB!! Ella is gorgeous and we got to have a really good cuddle with her later after our first (videoed) attempt. By then everyone had gone and she was sleepy and wanting a pat. Sooo cute!
Paradise Valley we headed up to Te Puke to the pub where Tracey ( Sian’s little sister) lives. It was Tracey’s last day at work (she’s a vet and about to do an equine apprenticeship in the South Island) so everyone was at the pub. We only got slightly lost (ended up in Tauranga…oops) so we arrived a tad late and Trace was pretty tipsy from the copious amounts of cider everyone was insisting on buying her.
The pub was a proper rural town pub and served monster servings of food, wine and dessert!! We had the best lemon meringue pie EVER. It came with warm lemon custard that was to-die-for. Considering how we both are with sweets/desserts (NOM!) it’s impressive that we were able to share the monster piece and still feel queasy afterwards (I know
Sian doesn’t look like it, but she is a CHAMPION eater *hee*).
Then by 10ish that night we were off to Trace & partner Jamie’s place (a farm, Jamie is a farm manager) where we bunked down for the night.
Saturday – Day Two
Was woken at 5am by an aptly named rooster Shh.
Yep Trace has a sense of humor (though did actually believe a famer who had her on for 2 years that he drowned cats in the pond. He doesn’t – but did have great fun ringing her once a week or so asking ‘do you have anything for cat scratches? I’ve got some really deep ones…’).
Played with the two kittens Trace is fostering – Ginga ninja and Kitten – and met their three working dogs/pets. Very sprightly and super fit pups who fly through the fields as you drive by.
We met some cows (moo) and then that evening went to a private beach (oh yeah, feeling cool ;p) for dinner and watched the guys send out a long-line.
I’ve never seen one before so was cool watching the little motorized thingee chug off out to sea.
Had an hour to pass till they wound it back in so played in the sand and with a Frisbee and then the boys began winding it in. Three snappers came in (one got thrown back for being too little) and then the winding got tough. And then really, really easy…
Because the motor thingee had got caught on a rock and the line snapped. Oops.
Turns out the motor thingee (called a seahorse) is worth like $3000.00. Ouch! So Jamie and his dad went in hunt of a kayak while we dubiously watched for the seahorse’s flag (I had to watch via my camera – too blind otherwise ;p). This thing was about 3km or so out in the open sea. Honestly kayaking out sounded pretty insane to me. The two or so hours the entire procedure took seemed VERY long and we were super excited when the boys turned up whole and with the seahorse. Thank goodness it was such a still night! We all headed back to the farm for cups of tea, cuddles with the kittens and then bed.
Sunday – Day Three
A very rude awakening at around midnight. Turns out Trace occasionally gets night terrors and starts screaming her lungs out. It was a seriously bizarre thing to be jerked out of sleep wondering what the heck was happening and where the hell you are!?!
Must have given poor Jamie a fright as I could hear him through the walls trying to calm her down. Figures that the next morning she’d pretty much forgotten the whole thing *lol*
I was very ready to roast Shh (and his little mate who idolizes him and follows him around attempting to copy him..) when he woke us at 5am again *grr*
We had breakfast and then left at 8am on our way to Kerrin’s! I’d charged my laptop up so worked on my manuscript while Siany drove (yay for the one who LOVES driving *grin*). We arrived at Kerrin’s just after lunch and had great fun meeting the kids.
Us, “Hi Xander, how you doing?”
Xander, “How do you know my name!”
Us, “Hi Esmee”
Xander, “How do you know my sisters name??”
We’d brought them presents in the form of felt-tips (washable) and colouring books which they thoroughly enjoyed and we chatted with Kerrin as we helped the kids colour. Then Alan (hubby) got home and we went for an outing to the miniature train railway station. It was great!
I’m so kicking myself for not filming (must have been tired), we went on two little trains and one was a perfect little steam engine, complete with tiny coal shovel! All the tracks went around a really pretty little park and over a bridge or two. Then back to Kerrin’s and we three went for a wander to the video store (got blindside – loved it!). Our visit with Kerrin really was far too quick. Looking forward to the next visit *grin*.
Monday – Day Four
We set off at eight or nine and made the first stop at McDonalds for coffee (which I’m now actually drinking, to the bemusement of those who know me ;p). Then hit the road.
We got to Rotorua pretty quickly and had to add a couple of layers as it was drizzling and cool compared to hot
. Into a gondola we went and off up the hillside, admiring the fantastic view of Rotorua (and the large dinosaur models – not sure what that was about). We had three rides each on the luge and it was so much fun! Next time we’re going to pay for 5 rides and a sky swing – about the closest I’ll ever get to a bungee I suspect ;p Hamilton
The luge was really quiet and it was as we were leaving that the tourist buses arrived so we were chuffed to have missed them. Then back on the road. Attempted to get trucks to toot for us but only one did and then we paused on the dessert road to ‘pimp’ one of the tanks at the Army Museum with the car magnets we’d had printed (Sian’s car is now pimped with D.D.D gear and a character based on her – is super cute!). Then on again.
We had a brief stop over at a break point with a fantastic view and as we hopped back in the car a truck tooted at
Sian *hee*. Which began a game of leap-frog (all within the speed limit) and me threatening to smack Siany if she didn’t pull over and give the truckee her details.
And she did!!!! And they’re chatting away now *grin* Who knows if it’ll go anywhere but that would be a totally cool ‘so how’d you meet?’ story *grin*
So that was our very fun road trip. Hope you enjoy the video!