A Steamy Trip

Since the last post we have driven to Picton, taken the ferry to Wellington where we visited Kate,  EJ and Elvira.  We first met Kate and EJ in Shelbourne VT at our nephew’s wedding a year ago.  Kate drove us around town,  what a delight to do that in a car and not the Caravan.  We toured the National Museum, Te Papa, had a glass of wine nearby,

And had take away dinner at their house. 
Next day we headed North to Napier where we began to see the tectonic nature of the land. The towns of Napier and Hasting were destroyed by an earthquake in 1931. They were reconstructed over the next two years in current style.  The buildings are primarily art deco and beginning in 1992 the people of the towns have worked hard to restore and preserve the buildings. 
This example is the visitor center of the trust.  Every year in February they have a commorative weekend and everyone dresses in style and there are dances and parties in the mood. 
The next day we stopped in Lake Taupo, a “Great Lake” it is indeed the largest lake in NZ. The next day featured a ride on the “Maid of the Falls” to Huka Falls
Next we stopped to tour Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland.  Just two pics for now. 

We continued North from Taupo to Rotorua, the sheep shearing capital of New Zealand. It also sits atop a very active thermal area with fumeroles and bubbling hot springs scattered every where. The Holiday Park was right on the edge of a very active area.  The scent of H2S was everywhere. 
From Rotarua we moved on to Waitomo where we experienced glow worms in a cave and on a night bush walk. In case I haven’t mentioned it,  a bush walk is a walk in the woods.  It is very neat to enter the trail as the sun is setting and watch the glow worms light the woods  like a field of stars.  Needles to say,  no pictures resulted that are useful. 
Likewise I have pictures of two kiwis taken at a kiwi sanctuary that are dark images taken in darkness.  The white kiwi is a white blob. They are nocturnal creatures and the viewing environment is lit with dim red lights to convince them day is night. 
So that is the past week at a dead run. Today we drove through Aukland without stopping, we will return on a couple of days to return our caravans and do some touring.  Today and tomorrow we will reach the northernmost part of North Island we can get to.  Rangarira, the northernmost tip is about 2.5 hours beyond our reach.  Not sure when I’ll get to post again.  Thursday we fly to Cairn,  Great Barrier Reef. I plan to dive there even without my C card. 
Looking back at this, it is a recital of places with little emotion.  We are having a great time.  The people are the friendliest we have met.  To look bewildered is to recruit a guide who will insist on escorting you along the way.  To hesitate while lifting a bag is to find two helpers who will carry it for you.  Everyone loves to chat and find out where we are from and how do we like the place, the caravan, the people and where should they visit in the states. 
Our group is also extraordinary.  All are rvers so are used to making friends easily.  The isn’t a shy soul in the group.  We look forward to continuing friendships. 

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