A day of two halves…

Today we started the road trip across the North Island, planning on taking in some of the sights along the way, before catching the ferry at the end of the week to the South Island. The drive today was great – long, straight roads and beautiful scenery all the way. Kids happy in the back of the beast, playing car bingo.

IMG_3187
Monday Bliss !

We arrived in Roturua mid-afternoon and headed straight for Waikeite Valley –  thermal pools, hot spring and spa.  We had toyed with visiting Te Puia, which is a big visitor attraction in Rotorua- here you can witness the famous spraying geyser,that is supposed to spring into action about 10 times per day. You also get Maori dancing and basket weaving, but when we saw the cost was going to be $130 for the family (just over £70), we were put off having to be involved in the dancing.  Waikete Valley however was amazing. At just $38 for the family (about 20 quid) we had 6 geothermic pools to try out. The coldest of which was 36 degrees and the warmest was a gorgeous 40 degrees!  I heard Riverside in Exeter got closed down last week for their arctic conditions in the family pool – well, if anyone is passing by via NZ, Waikete spa pool is worth a visit (Mum – my fellow cold-water hater – you would have LOVED it !)

After spending several hours in the pools, rejuvenating after our long car journey, we eventually had to turf the kids out for getting too hot !

We then went on the Waikete valley Eco trail, which led us on a trail alongside the stream, up to the geothermic spring that supplies all the pools with their hot water. The water actually has to be cooled from the source temperature of 98 degrees, before being usable by the spa !

So after so much pleasure, there has to be some pain – right?

During my nurse training, I was in the unfortunate situation to have witnessed death in several different forms. However, before this day, I never really knew what death smelt like. Now I do. And tonight we’ve got to sleep in the bed where, most likely, the passing occurred. Complete with a rattan headboard.

IMG_4612
Rest in Peace.

There is only one thing worse than this. C.a.m.p.i.n.g.

IMG_4613
1991 duvet cover crime scene.

We should have been suspicious when, on entering our ‘family suite’, all the doors and windows were open. Kids were happy – they get to have their own beds for the night (rather than bunking up and sharing a double like they have done, quite happily I must add, for the last week in the lovely Cedric.)

Having just re-read the reviews for Gwendoline Lodge on booking.com and noted the comments about ‘tired wallpaper’, ‘stained carpet’ and ‘generally dilapidated’, I don’t think I wore my glasses when we booked this place. However, it was cheap and thank goodness, just for one night only. And I do have the comfort that the beast is parked directly outside. If anyone tries to steal our precious vehicle whilst we’re staying here tonight, I can leap out of my silk sleeping bag liner (I KNEW there would be a need for it sometime soon !), dodge the marks on the carpet left by forensics earlier today, grapple with the faulty door lock, just in time to call out to the imaginary car-thieves (I mean – really ?!) that the air-con is just a button on the dash, not an actual working function; and as it’s just made it past 180 thousand miles on our journey here today, it may not have much life left in it….

Aaron has cheerfully told me that when we get to Asia, we’ll look back on this place and think it wasn’t that bad. Hmmmm….

2 thoughts on “A day of two halves…”

  1. Now I am envious of the springs!!! Rosie you look so cute and April, well done on the sleeping bag liners!! Hope you get some sleep and find the beast is still where you left it. Lots of love.xxxxx

  2. Hello brooks

    We stayed in a low rent motel in rotorua too… maybe even the same one! And yes the stench of eggs is still firmly implanted in my memory glad you all enjoyed the thermal experience though despite the “nasty” bed sheets can just hear u saying it now!! Xxx

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s