We had a great breakfast today. Eggs benedict for me and Pancakes for SO. The pancakes are thicker here than we are used to. More the American/British style. SO had three with cream, jam and maple syrup. It is the kind of breakfast which allows you to go for a good hike and not feeling hungry for some time. We walked around Taupo for a bit. Taupo is a touristy town, but also very friendly and inviting. Because it is a tourist town the amenities are better than you would expect of a town that size, which in turn attracts tourists again. It is situation on Lake Taupo and really every time you come over the hill and you see the lake you fall silent because of the sheer beauty of what you see.
Our next stop was the volcanic centre. It is one of the more dated attractions but it is a great information resource, GNS is next door, the earth, geoscience and isotope research people of NZ. The volcanic centre allows you to see some of their readings more or less real time. So when you sit there you actually see some of the aftershocks in Christchurch happening. Sure they were small socks (3 on the Richter scale) but it does confront you with the reality of NZ at present. We also saw a short movie on the 2007 Lahar. That is the one we just missed in 2007 yet have some interesting memories of. In 2007 we were part of the false alarm a few days before the Lahar struck. At the time we were staying in the Chateau hotel in Tongariro Park, at the foot of Ruhapeu and almost in the path of the Lahar. We’d left NZ on March 17th and the Lahar struck on the 20th. The Lahar is for us very much part of our first holiday together and because of that we loved seeing the NZ view of it.
After all the earthly movement we thought it would be a good idea to ‘do’ the Huka jet. The Huka falls are a set of waterfalls and are spectacularly blue. As Kiwi’s do when it is pretty and fast it is also an adventure in the making. The Huka Jet is a multiperson speedboat that speeds toward the edge of the waterfall and then turns, and turns and you get the picture. While it is speeding to and from the fall it also turns around its axis a few times. Totally spectacular. So off we went and then we found out that it was even wilder than anticipated, specifically if you have an old neck injury like I have. We decided to think it over. Next door there is a prawn farm and restaurant. The prawns are cultivated in the geothermal hot water. They are huge and totally fresh, in fact they almost jump from the farm onto your plate. We opted for the half KG prawn dish and sat there watching the Huka Jet come in. We looked at each other and said no, not us. So we went for plan B: Craters of the moon.
The craters a little further down the road and with craters you know how it goes. They can appear out of nowhere. So all of a sudden a crater (well pothole) was just there. There was no way to avoid it due to oncoming traffic. BONK! Yeah we did have a little speed at the time. We did not have a flat tyre but it was such a noise that we are getting it checked tomorrow, Just to be safe and sure. We’d done the caters before and we still love it. We had a great walk and went up the high slope. The views are unearthly, hence the name.
Afterward we returned to our hotel and had a swim in the pool and did some laundry. Our dinner was an indoors picnic in the room. Bread salad and brie totally simple and lovely Tomorrow we’ll be heading to Napier. My cough is down a lot. Not totally gone, but improving.