We're here! We're keeping OT too busy driving to post via Iphone.
Internet access at our level of hotels has been few and far between, but tonights a good solid connection from a wide spot in the road called Haast Township.
We met Dai a few days back. Nice man, that! We were also privileged to meet his talented, charming and attractive daughter. Lucky us!
Since then, we've been listening to his generous gift, repeatedly. We all have favorites. Altoid is trying to pick out the words to one song, and learn it to sing to her teachers. Wish her luck - she'd thinking in English and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa et al are singing in Maori.
It really needs four weeks to go all the places we want to go, and keep the driving times reasonable for a child as young as Altoid. Still, we plotted it out and are doing ok with ~ 3 hrs per day, leaving time to have adventures, and some quick stops along the way.
The rain is not cooperating in that tho - its a lot less fun to get out of the car for 10 min when it means everthing gets soggy again.
Still, its a grand trip.
OT will have to post any pix later, but high lights are
the afore mentioned visit wtih Dai
helicoper ride over Bay of Islands,
chatting with teh pilot afterwards (Altoid invited him to her upcoming bday party)
hunting seashells on 90 mile beach
all things Rotarua (except the rain)
snowball fight south of Taupo
wekas approaching us for handouts near WestPort
rosemary & honey pastry from a small bakery in the town called Bulls
the kind and friendly proprietors of the bakery
sausage rolls anywhere
rice pudding (only for me. the others arent so fond of it)
Watching Altoid scramble over large river rocks in an attempt to get close to Franz Josef glacier -she just would not admit defeat at the crossing the creek, and had a ball with the uneven terrain.
the nice 'blind' lady at the cultural show (she didnt 'notice' we didnt have tix)
Take care y'all.
Altoid - curiously strong.