Last night we got into Wellington around 9:30 PM and were unloading the car by 10:00 Pm. John and Liz showed up shortly thereafter and we had a really good visit. It was great to see them and re-live the bike trip and exchange bike stories.
This morning Agnes and Jos headed downtown to drop off the old van we had for the tour and pick up the car we have rented for the North Island tour. The north island tour turned out to be a very nice new Honda Tucson. However as Tom and Amy brought so much luggage we were barely able to get it all into the Tucson. We were on the road by around 10:45 Am. I am sure Jos and Lynn were beginning to think we would never leave.
Heading north on the New Zealand No 1 traffic was very heavy to the last day of the Easter Holidays. This break is kind of like the North American Labour day weekend and marks the end of summer and the back to work for the winter. By noon we had only made it as far north as Manakau . For lunch we stopped a place called the Kirk Café which was in this old church. I had the ham and barley soap which was excellent. The place also had a very weird selection of new and used stuff. Pink Flamingos, drift wood angels, fishing lures, bad costume jewelry, heavily used toys. Well the food was good even though it did take a long time to prepare.
Back on the road and I am feeling like we spent got away too late and spent too much time over lunch. Sure enough we get another 50 kms up the road and the traffic is stopped. Apparently there has been a fatal injury accident and the road is closed. There are no side roads and no other ways of getting to Rotorua. So we sit and sit and sit. Finally after an hour delay we start to roll and go about 10 minutes down the road were we are stopped again where we sit for another hour.
We stopped in Taupo which is at the north end of Lake Taupo. I wanted to go into the Indian reataruant as it looked like they had an excellent selection of goat on the menu however I was voted down and we went into a Speight’s bar where I had a sawdust burger - er.. I mean bacon and beef burger.
On the road again and we roll into Rotorua at close to 8:30 pm and the hotel just as the hotel manager is calling Jos to find out if we are still coming. It’s a nice place with a hot tub on the balcony which Tom, Amy and myself jump into.
A long day on the road.