Due to complete exhaustion from the previous day or so we had a bit of a sleep in (I think I slept something like 11 hours!) and left Rotorua for Taupo. We briefly stopped at Huka Falls, honestly not very pretty there was a LOT of water going over, but brown and muddy and did not really make for a great photo. So here is one from the phone.
We made our way over to the Marina for a sail around the lake and to visit the Maori Rock Carvings, such a lovely day to be out on the water again. This really was such a small sailing vessel, trying to get into the boat was almost a disaster, but the Skipper was terrific and very helpful, there was such a large step and no handrail from the tiny little dock down to the boat, so the skipper waited til everyone had boarded and then made them all go to the other side of the boat, making it sit out of the water higher at my end, making it possible for me to climb down, we reversed this when we docked (so grateful), we also had pizza for lunch…loads of pizza between about 16 of us all laid out on the deck and we just helped yourself (Sadly none were gluten or dairy free, but we did sneak in a slice)! The Maori Rock Carvings are not ancient, they were created in the 1970s by some Uni students, but they are fabulous to see.
We stopped and had a very late lunch in Taupo and a look around Town, and of course, the lake, then headed over to Tokoroa and visited an artist friend, Ali (Mystic Sparrow) – fabulous stuff, it was great to catch up in person. After several hours, it was sadly time to be on our way again. Off to Putaruru, nothing much here was open, so just snacks and muesli bars from the car in our 1950’s hotel! This was a backpacker hotel for many years and has recently been bought and is being renovated by the new owners and we took a gamble – we lost! Sure it was cheap, but such a dive, we got upscaled to a newly renovated room, OMG what a dump, so hot and the windows were cracked or broken with plastic over them, so could not open many, no AC or even a fan. It was on the main road on a roundabout with trucks breaking and then changing gears all night. The bed was comfy, but that was the only good thing I could say. Moth tried to grab a shower the next morning, in the Physcho look-a-like bathroom, I totally wanted to re-enact the shower scene! Handwritten on the tiles was a message about waiting a long time for hot water, Moth finally got it and it ran out after 2 minutes…I settled for a cold sponge bath. There was even a slot in the wall to put used razor blades…what on earth are they collecting them for? It’s such a shame really it was a glorious Art Deco building with so much potential, could have been amazing. This was built and a suite especially created and decorated for Queen Elizabeth’s 1953 tour, but she never stayed (I don’t blame her) and it has not been touched since. I thought nothing could put a damper on my spirits, but I was wrong! The next day we were off to Hobbiton.