Wellington is now in the past and we've moved on again as we always do.Â We are in the Taranaki region which is on the west side of the north island staying in a town called Stratford.Â Taranaki is built around Mount Taranki, a dormant volcanoe reaching over 2500m in height.Â It really is an impressive sight when it's not shrouded in cloud!!Â We were lucky enough to meet Mike McDonalds brother, Pete, down in Southland and we are actually staying with him and his wife Min.Â They have got a beautiful house with stunning views of the mountain - we are very lucky.
We've been here a week now and not quite sure when we will actually move on again.Â Apart from a lot of relaxation we have done a few things of interest.Â We have walked up to the ski lodge which is half way up the mountain for a close up view and we'veÂ had a good walk around Stratford.Â Pete's son, Ryan, has just left for Europe and we all went out for a farewell dinner last Monday in New Plymouth.Â We were treated to a superb meal in Lone Star, thanks again Pete & Min!!Â
The spa at the house has been used and I have enjoyed being able to watch all the rugby and the Champions League semi-final 2nd legs.Â We've also been able to get a load more pictures on the site.Â Pete has actually got a hobby farm/bull stud of about 135 acres which he runs alongside the Real Estate business.Â We've both been out and done a few bits with him, like moving cows around and spreading cow pats in the paddocks!!!
We have just come back from a few days in Oakura where Pete has a house on the beach.Â Ryan lived there but now it is free and we have made the most of it.Â It's a lovely house and the sunsets have been stunning.Â It's 10 minutes from New Plymouth, which is the main city of Taranaki, so we've been in for a poke around.Â It's a shame that all the cities are so alike because we've started to get a bit tired of them.Â Yesterday the drive back to Stratford meant we completed a full circuit of the mountain and we were treated to some beautiful views when the clouds cleared away.Â Normally you'd be jealous of us being able to sunbathe as we go into the NZ winter but we hear you've all had a pretty good April!!!
We think we'll be on the road again early this week but there is supposed to be some bad weather setting in so we'll see.Â It's a scenic drive for the next leg of the trip so it would be nice to see the scenery I suppose.Â
That's it for this installment so go and look and the photos and for god sake give us 30 seconds more of your time and leave us a quick message.
Love you all!!