Yesterday was impossible to beat, but today was a good day, too. We both took advantage of reliable internet for a few hours this morning. Mark played poker and I set up my weekly announcements in my classes, since this morning was really Monday morning back in California. Then we hustled to check out of the room by the 10am checkout time (apparently 10 am check out is the norm here, bummer it’s so early!) but didn’t quite make it. Of course the Kiwis didn’t worry, and at 10:30 we were on the road again, still not sure where we were headed but planning to figure it out over lunch.
We stopped in Tairua again on the way back out of the Coromandel Peninsula. We were so happy to see restaurants and stores that were open that we perhaps went a bit overkill, stocking up on groceries, sun glasses, hats, aspirin, and then lunch. After another burger and fries lunch for $26, we both agreed that we need to start “self-catering” as they call it here. So we got sandwich stuff (the avocadoes are cheap here! Only fifty cents! What is the deal with the avocado conspiracy in the US?) and beers and hit the road. Over lunch we made a plan to head to Rotorua, the “stinky” town which is stinky because of all the geothermal activity (sulphur). It was about a four hour trip, and Mark did a much better job driving on the left today. He only turned on the windshield wipers once!
Once we arrived, we checked out the Malfroy Motor Lodge, and Ron was a friendly host that showed us all around and gave us a good deal for a two-bedroom cottage. The internet is much better here, and not limited like yesterday’s place, so we spent an hour indulging, and then took off for a run to see the town. There’s a big lake, Lake Rotorua, about a mile away, so we ran around there and Mark picked up the pace and left me in the dust. He ended up all the way over to Sulphur Lake, which he described as “truly middle earth.” The sulphur and gases are bubbling up and the smell is so strong it almost gags you. He loved it! Can’t wait to see it tomorrow.
I got back and jumped into the thermal pool at our hotel that brings up mineral water from 300 feet below. It was nice and toasty (about 105 degrees) and we’ll see if I’ll feel the magical effects of it tomorrow. Supposedly it provides you the best night of sleep ever.
Then we enjoyed our sandwich and beer dinner and a movie (hooked up magically by “Latka TV,” our newest discovery—a little gadget plugs into the computer and sends the video/audio signal wirelessly to the TV—so cool!). Mark is already asleep and I’m headed to bed now. Good night!