14 November 2018
After a 03:00 call out, I went up to snuggle in with Bugsy and ended up staying the night in her bed. I woke up just before 07:00, but lay there gazing at her fast asleep for a whole hour. When do you stop being able to tear your eyes away from them?! Anyway, I did manage eventually and left her asleep in bed as I climbed down the ladder and got dressed for the day. I had thought about going for a run this morning, but as we were hoping to get going early, thought I’d go later instead, otherwise I’d be the cause of our delay leaving! As it happened, I could’ve gone, as Bugsy didn’t wake until 09:00, which made it about a twelve hour sleep. Hurrah! Once she’d had breakfast, we’d washed up and emptied the toilet cassette (🤢 ) it was just after 10:00.
Cornelia was very keen to go to the beach before we left, and actually Ian and I were up for a trip there too, so we set off for the nearby Fitrzroy Beach. Oh, it was so beautiful! Mile after mile of dark, warm sand, covered in bleached driftwood and perfect for playing. I wished I was wearing my running kit as the sand was firm enough to run quite comfortably along the shore line, but I settled for bare feet and paddling, and games with Bugsy. First we played the target game. Ian won (of course)! Then we made cherry pie with sand, sea water and stones, and then we paddled in sea – it was warmer than I’d expected. Cornelia was naked quickly, preferring a sandy bottom to soggy pants! Then her and Ian built shelters from the driftwood before we dragged her away reluctantly with promises of many more beaches to come!
From the beach, we nipped to a retail park, where I checked out a stationery store for a new scrapbook for Cornelia (without success) and popped into the supermarket for a few bits and pieces. We also stopped off at Liquorland where I treated myself to a bottle of gin. I asked the guy there if he could recommend a New Zealand gin to me, but he said the best gin he had had recently was a Dutch gin and said I wouldn’t regret it. With a recommendation like that, I couldn’t resist, so I bought it as well as some yuzu tonic to enhance the citrusy gin.
Our final stop before we started towards Lake Taupo was for diesel. As we approached the station, we could see a fire engine and police car in the middle of the road, directing everyone off to the left, in front of the fuel station. We were able to pull in to get our fuel, and the woman who filled up the tank described seeing the accident happen: a car had pulled out of the junction and hit a car that was travelling too quickly. The driver of the first car was injured quite badly (head and shoulder injuries- he wasn’t wearing his seatbelt when she ran out to him, she said) but the woman driving the other car was furious with him, gong and screaming at him. Shock perhaps… Anyway, she said that there was a police camera right above the accident area, so it wouldn’t be hard to resolve.
We finally left New St Plymouth around 12:30, so it was almost time for lunch! As Bugsy had eaten a banana and an oat bar already, as well as her WeetBix for breakfast, we weren’t in a particular rush to stop and waited until we were at a nice picnic spot at the top of the mountain (Mount Messenger) before deciding it was time. Cheese rolls in the sunshine, with strawberries and crisps was the order of the day, all eaten in glorious sunshine. For the second time that day, it was hard to drag ourselves back into Ki-Bell, but we did, of course.
We were retracing some of our journey from yesterday, driving back up State Highway 3, past those gorgeous hills and thickets of numerous varieties of trees. The different shades and tones of green are incredible! We also drove past that grotty Trump-land which was now sporting a sign saying: “The driving force of climate change is the sun. Not you. Not CO2.” 🙄 But apart from that, it was stunningly beautiful again. It is easy to see why so many people want to live here!
We had some Enid Blyton Summer Stories on for Cornelia who had also been doing some colouring and scoffed some more strawberries, crisps and a yoghurt, but it wasn’t enough to prevent her from falling asleep.
Ian and I enjoyed the drive up into the mountains listening to a bit of grown up music at last, watching the kilometres slowly tick off.
Cornelia woke up at 17:15, when we stopped so that Ian could have a quick wee. She was very happy and bright and not at all snoozy or bad-tempered from waking. She asked when we would be there and about whether we could go for a swim when we got there. I didn’t want to get her hopes up, so said that if we couldn’t swim, we’d go to the park anyway, and we could swim tomorrow instead. “Yes, because that’s what tomorrows are for, isn’t it, Mummy?!” YES!!!! 🥰 Her loveliness continued, making a newspaper for Daddy out of her used activity book, painting her hands red(!) and reading all about the Little Five to me.
We arrived at Lake Taupo, Motutere Bay Holiday Park just before 17:00. We have a terrific pitch, right on the edge of the lake, and the weather was perfect – still and calm, warm but not hot, and slightly cloudy, giving the surroundings a seemed of atmosphere. Although there is not a pool here, Bugsy made no mention of it, and was more than happy playing at the lakeside, throwing stones into the water and watching them float (pumice stones were lying around everywhere), collecting sticks and chatting to the passing ducks.
Our neighbours were just about to go off for a kayak, and one of them went into the lake for a quick dip, but from the look of it, it was rather bracing! I’ll leave that experience for tomorrow! But I was keen to go for a run, and legged it over to reception to ask if there were any good trails around. Unfortunately, I arrived just after another young British couple, who had been off for a skydive that afternoon and were full of the adrenaline rush that comes with such feats! They were telling the receptionist all about it, and then booking some more events, so it was nearly fifteen minutes later that I was able to make my query. Anyway, it gave me plenty of time to collect some leaflets about the area, including a tandem skydive brochure that I’m going to try and convince Ian to do. With a suggested route, I dropped the leaflets back with Ian and set off again – down to the end of the holiday park, over the highway and I would find the entrance to a trail walk up the hillside.
As I only had twenty minutes to run (I still had to cook supper when I returned and it was nearly 18:30 by the time I left), I didn’t do the whole route, saving that for tomorrow. But it was a great little run up the hill and back down, with the occasional epic view peaking through the trees!
Supper was a quick cook – pasta and pesto – and I sampled my new Rudde gin. Yes, he was quite right, it’s absolutely delicious and I can see how I’d get through the whole bottle before we leave for Australia (where you can’t take opened bottles). The only damp squib in the day was Ian’s discovery that he’d lost one of his hiking boots today. He had kept them on the steps by the door to the van, and we are fairly sure that it must’ve fallen out when he moved the RV at lunchtime, so it wasn’t blocking the information sign. He is quite miserable about it and currently refusing to buy himself another pair, on the grounds that this pair was perfect. Oh dear…. 😕😳
I also could not convince him to do a skydive! I am sure he would love it so much, but he says he’d rather go for a bike ride or a kayak. There are kayaks available to hire here, so I suspect that it what we shall do tomorrow!
I took Bugsy off for a shower after we had eaten, then carried a clean, sand-free little girl back half an hour later. I had hoped she would fall fast asleep after her stories but she was still awake at 22:00, reading stories to herself in bed and listening to the waves breaking on the pebble beach, now that the wind had picked up. I went up to cuddle her, and read her one more story, and she fell asleep shortly afterwards.
Ian and I sat in the cabin, and polished off our beer/gin, before settling down for the night too. It is very soothing listening to the waves lapping right outside our window!