|Mount Tarawerea (middle distance) that erupted in 1886|
So apart from the museum and the park, and free campsite hot pools we haven’t fully immersed ourselves in Rotorua, firstly because of the mortgage you need to take out to afford it and secondly because of the signs in the carparks, and the horror stories we’ve heard about thefts from vehicles. It wouldn’t matter what we tried, we couldn’t disguise that the van is a van, with all our worldly belongings in it. So we did a nice drive, looking at the blue and green lakes (though to be honest, without the sun on them they both looked very similar) some very very nice lake side houses and finished up at Okere Falls, which have the highest (7m) falls regularly done as part of a white water rafting trip.
|The 7m white water raft drop (see the kayaks, bottom left)|
We walked the route, and were very tempted, we missed the boats coming down (sadly wrong place wrong time) but heard the screams! The following day, on the shores of Lake Rotoiti however dawned grey and wet, so although I know we would have ended up wetter, we decide to leave it.
|Our first traffic jam in NZ (due to tree felling further on)|
We headed up towards Katikati via Tauranga and Mount Maunganui, known by the locals as ‘The Mt’ and by Brian as Mt Merangue! Decided not to walk to the top (although not far) as it was still spitting and there are some climbs we fancied, so decided to come back ‘later’. Arrived at Katikati to go and see Robyn and Murray, my long lost rellies. Robyn visited my Granny, on my father’s side, a few times, and remembers me aged about 6, and has visited Dad and Elizabeth in Spain a couple of times. We’d had some very welcoming emails, but it’s still a little strange turning up on the door step of people you don’t remember ever having met!
|Murray and Robyn (with Condi!)|
Why we worried though, we don’t know, they are lovely, so welcoming, from the minute we arrived on Thursday afternoon we didn't stop talking till late bed nearly at midnight!
There were 2 cakes and when we went into the bedroom there was half of one of them (which Robyn reckons is dry so would be better with custard, so who are we to argue?) and biscuits (which are yummy) a travel magazine for NZ, some puzzles out of the paper, and Robyn was apologetic there weren't many (but I can't remember mentioning puzzles either in email or in the blog, is she psychic?) a bag of apples and passionfruit, which have now been supplemented with more apples, kiwi fruit (which we picked from the neighbours orchard while out walking the dogs - they were the ones the picking gang missed!) onions, an avocado (that's what they grow)......
|Robyn and Murray's super house......|
|....and garden, with views over the estuary (Mt. Maunganui is the tiny dot in the middle distance)|
|A very tame fantail that likes to fly in through the window to eat insects!|
The four dogs range in size from cat sized, Nushka, to small horse, Condi (who’s going to get bigger, well, fill out a bit, as she’s only an 8 month old 'puppy'), with middle sized Millie and Roshi, the Staffordshire bull terrier (never thought I'd say, but Roshi, is my favourite! She's really very cute!). They spend most of their time outside though, coming in one at a time, almost, though perhaps that's for our benefit! There are also 2 parrots in the garage, a cockatiel called Bob in the back garden, swans, ducks and other birds that Murray breeds!
Yesterday we thought we'd see if we could get an appt at the doctors as B has had a lump on his shoulder since mum was here, Picton I believe, so 5 or 6 weeks which has just got bigger and lumpier! I've ‘attended’ to it, but it's never got any smaller or gone away! I thought it was just an infected bite, quick dose of antibiotics and all would be fine! (With my vast medical knowledge obviously!)
|View from the top|
Triage nurse thought it was a sebaceous cyst, sadly the doctor thinks it might be that, but might be (and if he was a kiwi and had always been exposed to more sun than a Brit, would almost definitely be ) a basal cell carcinoma! So either way, he's on AB's now, and is going to have it removed on Tuesday am at the doctors! So slightly shell shocked, we went back for lunch, pottered off the Mt Maunganui for a walk and a little climb, and went back and cooked Mexican for us all, lovely to have a proper kitchen again!
|another view showing the peninsular (sea left, harbour right)|
We’ve come up to the Coromandel for the weekend which is a very pretty peninsular with lots of beaches and good walking. The forecast however is poor, and it didn't start off too well but ended up nice now, though it is really much cooler - there was a vague suggestion in the forecast for hail! By then however, having done a recce of hotwater beach, and Hahei Beach, we opted for the campsite and tea and cake option. Hotwater Beach only works two hours either side of low tide so we are planning to be up early tomorrow to go and dig our hole on hot water beach, which should fill with water between 60 and 64 degrees, but as the clocks go back we get an extra hour in bed, so early won't really be early anyway!
|Hot water beach. The hot water rises further to the right (but the tide's in!)|
We've then got Monday and, afterwards back to stay with Robyn and Murray Monday night, ready for Tuesday morning (unless the weather is really pants, in which case we might go back earlier!) I'm sure B will be fine, but if the hystology report (which takes 7 to 10 days) says they haven’t got it all out, he’ll have to go back again to have the rest out! But we'll cross that bridge when we get to it! Hopefully that won't happen, and they'll take it out and it'll just be a cyst anyway!