Sunday, July 14, 2013

On the Road to Waitomo

Broncos fans are everywhere
We managed to get everything packed up and down to the car fairly quickly in the morning, then checked out of our apartment and drove to downtown Auckland to return a couple of books we'd borrowed from our first hostess. Back out to Whitford, where we stopped at a fruit stand and bought some grapes, apples and kiwi fruit, then out to Victoria's family's farm, where we joined the family for a wonderful brunch of waffles, bacon, fresh fruit, and scrambled eggs. Had a great time talking to everyone there, then Michele and I departed ahead of the rest of the convoy to blaze the trail south to our next destination, soon to be followed by Law and Vicky, Tanny from Brazil, Vinnie and Karen from Belgium.

Just a few rest stops and coffee breaks on the way down. The GPS began to give us troubles when we encountered new signals and roundabouts it didn't know about, but we muddled on through and arrived in Waitomo just after 4 PM. Got checked into the hotel, which was constructed in 1908, and is still owned and operated by the family who built it and who discovered the Glowworm caves here. Relaxed in our room for a while with a 42 Below Feijoa vodka and soda, until the rest of the throng had arrived.

The grand old lady
We all trouped down to the dining room, like Bilbo Baggins and his dwarven friends, and had a great meal. I had the fish selection, baked in parchment paper, with capers, and a mixture of baked potatoes, yams and kumara (a native sweet potato), while Michele had the risotto with chorizo. Got a chance to get to know the Belgian contingent better, finally, and we had a great time talking with Tanny about our respective experiences in Portugal.

Got to have a long soak in a tub in our room, the first one so equipped since we arrived, and it was marvelous to stretch out full length for a change. Calgon, take me away!

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