Suzeys Views:

Picked up rental car, not a bad car, one slight difference to a car that we are use to – the hand brake is activated by foot, and it just happens that the seat raiser is where a normal hand brake lever would be.  Yes, what your thinking is exactly what happened. Nearly put my head through the roof of the car,  I kept trying to put the handbrake on, all that happened was my seat kept raising, and the car kept creeping backwards.

A few days into our driving around the beautiful countryside of New Zealand: still having trouble with handbrake, though i am getting better as i remember to use the foot brake, but i still adjust the seat every time.

From Auckland we drove up to the Bay of Islands, went through a huge storm, could hardly see the road, but it was so windy, there was nowhere safe to pull over.

The Bay of Isands is a beautiful spot, our accommodation was just gorgeous, and the guys that were running it, were a blast.  The bay and the water was lovely, there was a country Rock festival on while we were there.  Ive never seen that many oldies dressed to the nines in glitter and boots.  On every corner there was someone playing music, and line dancers boot-scooting everywhere.

We left Bay of Islands and headed off to Thames.

I have learned a very important lesson over here, do not believe the Kiwis on driving time and distances.  To travel 100 kilometres on these roads takes a minium of 2.5 hours.

It was a long driving day of bends and tight curves – when we got on the freeway it was great – 100kms an hour.  Then back to the country roads, with cattle and sheep everywhere, very picturesque, but not good driving conditions.

Found Thames – found a motel – unloaded the car – lady at motel informs us that the likely hood of finding a restaurant open on a Sunday night maybe difficult.
Hmmmmm, found grocery store, what shall we have for dinner?  Frozen Lasagne looked good, bread rolls, wine, what more do you need.

I know my plan was travel New Zealand on a budget, but i think this a bit extreme…but heated lasagne and pan fried rolls, it was delicious.

The unit had a spa.


Filled the spa, added the shampoo etc to create the bubbles, but of course Sarah had to help and added dishwashing liquid as well..
We had bubbles running out the door.

Forgot to mention the rude lady at the desk of the motel.
I was looking everywhere for towels – nope couldn’t find them.

Off i head to the lobby.
“Excuse me” in a very polite voice, “we don’t seem to have any towels”

“YES YOU DO!!!!” the voice replied, the severity of her voice made me jump back.

“They are in the drawer in the bathroom, I checked it myself this morning.”

“Oh” I replied “i didn’t see the drawer. i looked in every other cupboard in the room.”

Not sure what she said after this, she made another scathing comment, decided i would take my leave before this cool calm character exploded.

Returned to the room – Sarah had already found them – thats good honey, the rude bi………
We were going to stay in Thames for two nights, but i wasn’t going to give that bitch our money.

Off we headed to Coromondel, thought we would stay there the night.

What a drive, i had thought the last few days were bad, it was practically a one lane road, right on the coast with nothing between you and the drop off to the water….
Concentration plus on that road, most of the way travelling 40-50kms.

Beautiful scenery, you could actually hear the water crashing on the rocks.

Get to our destination, have a Latte, don’t think i have ever tasted such a strong latte.
I was jumping for hours.
Free Wifi though.

We wander around town, not much there.
Lets head off to the next big town.

Whitianga, here we come.

59kms away, through beautiful countryside, it really was spectacular, the rolling green hills and the water in the distance, but the road was so windy, we had to keep stopping so i could actually see the views. Wasn’t game enough to take my eyes off the road.

Remember how i said about travelling times?
Two hours later, we arrived in Whitianga.
And foooood.

Found a nice motel right opposite the water, booked in and headed off to the grocery store to get supplies.
Yummm, bacon and egg pie, Fritatta, tomatoes, pan fried bread.
Another scrumptious home cooked meal.

Supposed to leave today – but we decided to stay another night, so i am sitting here on the patio listening to the waves crashing on the beach typing this blog.
(the bonus of not booking any accommodation prior to getting here)

Today we went on a glass bottom boat out to all the caves, two hours out and about on the water.
We went into a cave that actually had a fault line over the top of us, that was a bit scary but that is how the cave was formed many years ago.
We also saw another rock formation that after a volcanic eruption forced itself out of the water.

As you know Sarah and I can amuse ourselves easily, we have not stopped laughing on our travels so far.
The language and what they call things are so different!
Speed bumps are call “judderbars”, shopping trolleys are “trundles”.
You can’t differentiate between Ten & Tin and the list goes on…

And so do our laughs 😀

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