So on the Friday Rich was due to land at about 5pm but was delayed until 9pm! We went to meet him at the airport and he was already cheesed off when he got here! This was partley due to being stuck in the airport all day and partly due to being harrassed at Aucklands immigration. As he we had booked him into our hostel he didnt know what his address was going to be they first pulled him up on that (or so he says - we think its because he looks like a paedophile) The when he said he had his laptop and DVDs they looked through all his files and photos! They kept him for ages even asking what porn he watches!! Haha. They let him go in the end so he must have hid it all pretty well.
That night Rich treated us to an Indian which was amazing!! This was until (luckily we had just finished) the guy on the next table vommited what must have been a bath tub amount all over the table, his lap and the floor! Eugh! Too make matters worse his wife was scooping it up in her hands! It was everywhere! So we made a quick exit to a nearby pub and stayed there before heading back to the hostel. Once back there we stayed up drinking until about 4am so Richie was splashing his cash and bought another night in the hostel just so we didnt have to wake up in time for check out!!
The next day we went to hire a car so that Rich could see some more of New Zealand! After Turl led us about an hour the wrong way, we finally found a road full of car hire companies about ten mins from the hostel. We left Auckland that afternoon and headed to the corromandel. We stayed in a a backpackers in a lovely little village called Tairua! That night we went out for dinner again spending way more money than we should have been. We all ordered steak, even me for the first time! My body must have been missing protein or something as i hadn't had red meat in over a month!
The next day we headed over to Hot water beach, named so beacuse when tide is out you can dig your own hot pools in the sand. This is because of the lava running underground heating the water in the sand. We didn't mind though as the beach was really beautiful and we swam in the ocean and ate ice cream on the sand. I loved the beach as it had great waves for swmming in, but no seaweed!! It was perfect! After spending most of the day there we decided to hit the road again and head to Rotorua to meet up with Cat and Chris! The drive only took a couple of hours and we stopped over in a town called Taurangi for some grub. When we returned to the car after about 30mins we saw that not only had Turlough not locked the car but he had left the drivers door wide open! We couldn't believe that it was still there let alone that nothing was stolen! I dont think the same would have happened back home!
When we got to Rotorua the first thing we noticed was the extreeme eggy smell across the place because of the sulphur! We checked into a nice hostel called Spa Lodge that had its own free hot pool! We were lucky enough to get a free bed room for the price of a cheap dorm! That night we met up with the wonderful Cat and Chris and did a pub quiz and got some grub.
We had to wake up horrifically early the next day because Cat dragged us all to the Hobbit tour at like 8:15am!! Eugh! we were not used to being up so early! We got picked up from their hostel by a driver named Danny who had a great mostashe and a face "only a mother could love" his quote not ours!! After complaining about the lack of breakfast he took us all to a pie shop. We were like "pie in the morning?!" but there were AMAZING when we got them (they have the best pies ever over here!) and we've been eating them ever since! The Hobbit tour actually turned out to be really good, this was apart from the fact that they kept calling us hobbits the whole way round. It was amusing to see cat nerd out loads too! After looking around 'hobbiton' we got to see a sheap being sheared AND feed baby lambys! Cat had been pre warned by someone that they only have afew bottles to feed the lambs so youve got to get in there quick. We were well prepared so when the matey said "Doe.." We were hands straight up shouting "YES!" no one else had a chance and we were two of three that got to feed the lambys!!
When we got back from the Hobbit tour we headed over to Rotorua's hot pools (see picture) These were great! only costing $20 for aslong as you want! There was a series of different pools going up in heat. The first one was quite big and deeper for 'light activity' and the hottest one was close to unbearable. The guys stayed in for about 30 seconds but me and Cat were pretty hard core in there! As you can see in the picture they had the beautiful Lake Rotorua in the background so had amazing views. The only bad side being that they all had huge lumps of dirt and scum floating around in them!! That night we went out for a curry and for some turbo shandys to celebrate mine and Cats previous birthdays!
As we'd been out celebrating the previous night we had a small lye in the next day and met Cat and Chris for some breakfast in a great cafe that we visited regularly. After eating way to much we decided it would be a great time to get in a giant rubber ball and be pushed down a hill, otherwise known as Zorbing! This was brilliant fun, Chris had already done it and Cat was a pansy, but Rich, Turl and I were well up for it! We wanted to all go down together but apparently they stopped letting three people go down at once! So Turl and I went in a bubble together and got it filled with water too! Its great fun as once your in you sort of have to roll yourself over the hill and wahey! Turl only crushed me once going down as he was further forward pushing us over the edge then sort of flipped round, and when had rolled up the fence and been stopped i had to tell him to get off me as he was sitting on me! You dont think theres much water in them but when you come out your completley soaked! Rich went down on his own, and because of that he got to go down the zig zag path. This was hilarious to watch as he was flying all over the place and was going down so heavy that he even rolled over the barrier of the path! It looked brilliant and everyone watching was laughing! When he got out he had no idea he'd gone over the path because he didnt know where he was going!
It was another early start the next day as we were woken up by Cat and Chris bangin on our door at like 8:30 or something. We were going down to the thermal park and had to be there in time for geiser erupting! It was worth getting up for when we got there as it was like another world. It well and truely stank, but there was smoke coming from the ground all over, with green and orange lakes, and bubbling mud. It was so surreal but a great place to visit, we would definatley recommend it!
On the Thursday Cat and Chris headed over to the caves and we made our way to the town of Hamilton. We arrived here in the afternoon after leaving Rotorua mid morning. We checked into a motel that worked out to be only a little bit more than if we were paying for a hostel, and it had a pool and hot tub too! However the pool wasn't heated and it was like ice. It took us about 15mins of wading around before getting the corouge to put our heads under! The hot tub was a lovely way to warm up though! That night the motel was putting on a roast in its restaurant so Rich and I thought we had to try it to see what its like! We asked the waitress and she assured us that it was roast potatoes and yorkshire pudding so we went for it. However when it arrived it was nothing like our mothers roasts we'd been dreaming of, it was boiled potatoes. Sigh. The yorlshire pudding was almost sugary and thick so it was like a fairy cake sat on the plate. My craving for mothers roast has not been filled yet!
On the the Friday we went to Hamilton's botanical gardens their biggest attraction and it was free! Turl led us the wrong way again at first (i dont know why we kept on listening to him) which led to a forest and cemetary. Upsettingly enough we stumbled upon the baby section which was horrific so thanks Turl for that one! When we found the correct entrance it was great, they had different gardens from around the world. The English one was just like home! That night we hit the dead town of Hamilton. We went to an English pub where they served 'snakebites' but they tasted awful like they'd been made with ale. Eugh. We ended up in an irish bar as it was the liveliest place there but after about 2 games on a round pool table they kicked us out, at 10:50!!
We headed back to Auckland on the Saturday to give the car back and to meet back up with Cat and Chris, with whom we found an amzingly cheap mexican place on the sea front. After a few beers the night before Rich had offered to pay for Turl to do the Auckland bridge bungy if he did it with him. Turl boozily agreed and couldn't bottle out the next day! On sunday morning we went for what was supposed to be a 'small' breakfast at Dennys, but Turl went for pretty much the biggest he could find anyway. Then again grabbed C&C and got a lift down to the harbour bridge! So once again I was faced with the horrific climb up to the bungy pod! Luckily it was a really nice day though and we weren't harnessed in as it wasn't as windy! At the top Turl says that he wasn't scared but he looked it! It went in weight order and luckily there was even more of a fatty who had to go before him! I think me and Cat were sweating more than Turl and Rich were even though we weren't even jumping! It was horrible watching them waddle (as their feet were tied) to the edge of the platform!! Turlough says that when he got to the edge all he was thinking was "why?" Hahaha but he did it and was luckily heavy enough to hit the water despite the low tide! Rich was the same, weighing a kilo less, was after Turl and hit the water too! We laughed afterwards as he was thinking the exact same thing as Turl too! They both got the photos and the DVD so you can look forward to seeing that when we get back! That night we went to the cinema and said goodbye to Cat and Chris, having our last supper in Nandos.
The next morning Rich also left us so we were all alone when we woke up! This didnt matter too much as we had our 'Stray' bus too catch. This is a hop on hop off bus that will take us all the way down to christchurch eventually! We'll leave it there for now though and let you know all about the fun that we've been having with the Stray bus tomorrow! Hope you're all happier now that we've caught up (almost!!) and we'll keep on top of things better now, promise!
Thanks for reading again! Love and miss you all! Thanks for FINALLY commenting on our pictures!! Hehehe only joking!
Fran and Turl xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx