The drive from Napier to Taupo was fantastic, the scenery was quite dramatic with my first view of New Zealand's snow covered mountains.
We arrived in Taupo aside from the lake which is the same size as Singapore, the first thing we saw was the McDonald's not for the iconic golden arches but for the full sized airplane in the car park!Intrigued we stop to have a nose and a Mcs*** with Lies.The Plane actually forms part of the restaurant, so you can sit and eat your McKiwi in the cockpit of a plane.The Pitsea McDonald's seems so boring now!
We found a cracking spot to free camp at the back of the Police station on the banks of the lake.Not sure the cops like it, but there are no restrictions so they can't do too much!
The local leisure centre has a climbing wall, so I had my first climbing lesson and a couple of hours on the wall.My lats were burning like mad, a great feeling, loved the climbing too, bloody hard work though.I definitely want to do more of that when I get back - too many new hobbies, too little time and money.
We had intended to go skiing, but the forecast over the weekend is pretty shocking, with low cloud and severe gale force winds.We opted to drive up to Waitamo Cave first to let the weather pass.Niall did the 4 hour caving expedition with the 100m abseil.I decided to wait so that I could do the caving with Liz. Once we'd had dinner and sorted the van out, it desperately needed emptying, charging & filling, I spent a couple of hours in the hot tub, it was a miserable rainy night, but when you're in a gorgeously hot hot tub it doesn't matter.I then watched the assassination of Jesse James, one of the slowest films ever made.
We headed back to Tuapo to sort out the skiing and get some Kayaking done, unfortunately the weather was still too bad to do either.Whilst the weather was causing all sorts of havoc with 30 knots winds on the lake I decided to spend the afternoon catching up with my blog.I left Niall faffing with something or other in the van, I have never known someone to faff so much, seriously he is awful.I found myself a coffee shop that overlooked Lake Tuapo and spent the afternoon on my own catching up with blog.It was lovely sitting somewhere on my own being completely anonymous, snug and warm watching the fierce storm clouds and red skies over the lake.
The All Blacks were playing the Wallabies, so it would have been rude not to have a beer and watch the match especially as it was our last night in Tuapo before heading up in to the mountains.