It was only five degrees when I dragged myself out of a warm Cuzzie and onto the streets this morning for a short, brisk walk to the local pools. I‘ve had enough walking over the past few days and it was time to get back in the pool to swim a few kilometres. Martin was happy to stay in bed while I went to stare at the black line on the bottom of the pool as I swam back and forth. It was a nice, quiet pool, with only a few youngsters in a swim squad. The rest of the lanes were empty as I zoned out, enjoying the calm waters. Then it was back to Cuzzie for a well-deserved coffee and breakfast.
Today we have a road trip planned to a lake, along the Forgotten World Highway. From Stratford to Taumarunui. You’ve got the picture, I simply can't keep still, the pacing tiger is on the move and heading to a salt-free lake to see some more tourist highlights and things I would never normally do. But, as always, I keep my eye on the weather, on the forecast, and I’m keeping myself as occupied as possible. Never in a million years would I have known or normally chosen this road but, today I look at it in a different way. Not as a busy Kiwi trying to get from one place to another but more as a tourist site, visiting places I would never otherwise have gone to. I was most certainly surprised.
Farmland gradually gave way to lush native forest, and tar-sealed roads became gravel ones as we twisted and turned along the 155kms of road. There were pheasants, bush turkeys, pukeko and lots of sheep crossing the roads in front of us, not to mention the occasional goat! We laughed at a story we knew of maybe catching a young goat and keeping it as a pet (Trent, that’s your fault!). I could see a glint in Martin's eye at the thought of a possible pet for the camper-van!! Thank goodness we didn’t have time to stop!
After a very long road trip, I needed to take a break for a really late lunch, so we stopped near the water’s edge beside Lake Taupo. I haven’t set out on this journey only to sit in one place waiting for the bad weather to pass! Cuzzie and Martin needed to visit Taupo and maybe, so did I. We make some phone calls to plan our stopover for tonight. It was cold the locals said. But we’re still wearing jandals as it’s not all that cold compared to what we’re both used to.
Next stop was specially for Martin, to look at a couple of things along the way. Then we headed to the hot pools and it’s there that I start writing today’s blog, in the steam, surrounded by bubbling waters, and I smile. What a journey! Thanks for this amazing dream. I will endeavour to stay focused but I’m not in torture mode. I will get back to the coast real soon. Maybe a paddle round Lake Taupo might help soothe my restless soul. Many might find my inland journey questionable. I myself questioned it on the way here today but, now that we’re actually here, I don’t doubt my decision at all. It feels really good. As does the thought of dinner later and a good night’s sleep, with hot pools and tourist mode again tomorrow.
My smiles today:
The Forgotten Highway Route 43.
A chance meeting with an old acquaintance.
Soaking in Debrett’s hot pools on a cold, clear night.
Being a travelling tourist.
How I love water!
My thoughts today:
Some days you just have to go with the flow and create sunshine.
Goodnight from Red. Ma Te Wa.