Wednesday, January 23, 2013

New Zealand Trip Day 4 - Post by Stuart


Jan 14th NZ Trip Rotorua > Napier

Jan 14th Rotorua to Napier We left Fartville this morning and headed southeast to Taupo and on to Napier. We called in at a glass blowing shop / cafe for a coffee and Jodi bought an over priced paper weight, we watched some glass blowing and had a coffee and some lemon slice and got back on the road. As we got closer to the coast the mountains become very spectacular, they are much steeper than the Aussie mountains and much less rocky, and the vegetation on them is very dense too.
I’m still in love with the roads over here and will definitely head back over here with a bike one day. The traffic is the one thing that spoils it a little, the maximum speed is 100 in most places but most tend to drive between 70 – 90kmph, and with all the mountains it’s often hard to find somewhere to pass in the falcon. Up in the mountains it was 17C but as we descended towards Napier the temperature quickly rose to about 31C over the course of about 20km. The locals were “dying” in the extreme heat. Napier was virtually destroyed by a earthquake and fire early last century, it was quickly rebuilt over a couple of years and the majority of the CBD is full on art deco design, it’s like taking a step back in time and it makes for a much more interesting township. Other than the main street and beach front the town is simply a working timber port / holiday resort if I had to compare it to somewhere I know I’d say Esperance but with much more interesting buildings. We grabbed a room at the Pebble Beach Motel, it’s great, large room, spa, ocean views, king bed the works. After looking at a few things to do we realised we were running out of time so headed into town for a squiz.
We passed the “road train” or the Hawkes Bay Express (HBE) on the way around and tracked it back to the Tourist centre and decided to take the 4.00pm 30 minute tour. It’s basically a tractor hidden under a make shift train engine towing a few small replica carriages, it was knocked together by a couple of farmers a year or two ago it’s actually very well done.
The guy doing the tour is a bit of a unit as the one we took is more suited to the kids but being late in the day and after the Bridgumentary at Auckland the other day it had just about the right amount of information in it. We had a quick stroll along the beach and gardens and spotted a hogs breath across the road, wow, I thought I was suffering from a food coma last night, well hogs breath and me have like a long term commitment and I wasn’t about to let the relationship down.
Once again Jodi took about 10 pictures to my one so she’ll make a post directly which I’m sure most of you will find infinitely more interesting than mine. We are off to Wellington and across the channel to Picton tomorrow and preparing to start out travels of the south island. On a side not we done nothing that made my blood pressure rise today, didn’t jump off anything, swing off anything or look death in the eyes, hence I will probably be able to sleep tonight.

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