Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Runaway Vacation

At 3.31pm on Friday arvo, I officially finished full time work at Rebo. I was on leave...

On Saturday, the plan was for Becs and I to head down to Tauranga. However, on Fri evening our plans changed in a matter or minutes (10 mins to be exact). The plans went from a day trip to Tauranga to a weekend roadtrip to Tauranga & Taupo with no real plans for accommodation or food except for lunch at a hotel where my friends worked in Tauranga on Saturday.

It was by far the craziest thing I'd ever decided to do in such a short period of time!

So we set off towards State Highway 1 at 10.15am. It was mostly a pleasant drive to Tauranga via Matamata. The first leg of the trip (to Matamata) took about 3hrs. After a quick dunny stop and getting ourselves a map we headed towards Tauranga. That took another hour or so.

I really enjoyed lunch. It was great to have a catch up with my uni mates after such a long time. Unfortunately the rain decided to join us and we had to make a quick dash into the dining hall as we were sitting on the deck enjoying the 5 mins of sun.

We got a quick tour of the kitchen and the rest of the hotel and then I bid adieu to my friends and we headed towards Taupo. Now...neither Becs nor I expected this drive to take 2 whole hrs!!! We seriously thought it would only take half that time. Oh well...It was still a great time we had together.

As we drove my 'Sponge bob' into Taupo, we headed to a backpackers that Becs knew about in hopes for a spare room for the nite. Unfortunately, (we kinda expected it) they were booked out. Our next plan of action was pretty much walk into any backpackers that we next came across and see if thy had any spare rooms. WE got lucky this time. The next one we walked into said "Sure! We have 1 room left". So we made the necessary payments and 'moved' in for the nite.

After settling in, we headed for the waterfront in search of our next meal. As we strolled down the street, I spotted a very flash looking bottle shop called Scenic Cellars, Trinity Hill and as you'd imagine I dragged Becs in so that I could have a nice look around. I was extremely impressed! Their range was just absolutely fab-the French, Italian & local wines were just absolutely top of the range. However, I did sense Becs' boredom starting to really boil so I asked what time they closed and said I'd come back later.

So we continued on our search for the nite's grub. We passed many cafes, pub restaurants and restaurants. Most didn't tickle our fancy but we eventually settled on Thai. Dinner was lovely-one of the better Thai meals I've had. I generally find most Thai meals here way too sweet and the main flavours drown by the sweetness. As an end result...a confused meal-was that the main course or dessert?

Anyhow....after dinner, it was a lovely stroll down the other side of the road by the actual waterfront. We took some photos:

As the sun sets...

As we took the last few photos we wanted, I dragged Becs back into the bottle shop. This time, I went in asking for exactly what I wanted; a bottle of Sauterne & a bottle of Chianti Classico. Having just rattled off this, sounding like I really knew what I was talking about we were taken down to the cellar. OH MY GOODNESS!!!! I'm so glad dad said to get these wines....It was beautiful! It was split levelled and probably twice the size of the Depot if it were all combined and made into 1 level. It smelled of the wooden boxes that the wines came packaged in, just gorgeous. And the selection got better as we walked down the stairs. I was in heaven-well not literally but you get my drift. We spent another good 30mins down there as the sales lady showed me a few other bottles. The Sauterne was a definite but I was undecided on the red. Alas, after much debating with myself, I decided on a bottle of Brunello & a bottle of Nebbiolo.

I sensed that Becs' excitement levels were continuing to dwindle so up we went back up the stairs to the cashier and paid. Then it was off to the scenic lookout for a few more photos.

Sunset in Taupo...

This, we just had to take. How can you not?

The rest of the nite was pretty low key. It was back to our room, 2 rounds of Rummikub and then we hit the sack at 9.30pm. I was knackered! Having done majority of the driving, I was definitely ready for bed at 9.30pm.

The next day, we were up about 8am. Had a shower and packed. We were out of the backpackers bout 8.45am and headed to the bungy area for a nice morning stroll and more photos.

At 9am on a Sunday morning, who would have thought that there were people crazy enough to bungy off this platform?! But we witnessed it...

After our stroll, we headed back to the waterfront for brekkie. It was a plate each of pancakes, fried eggs, bacon & hash browns with a glass of juice and a coffee. Not a bad brekkie. Sure lasted us a LONG while.

It was back on the road and towards Huka Falls after the huge brekkie. It was my first time to the falls and it was a bummer that we couldn't stay longer to do some of the walks. Oh well, there's always next time. I truly love the sounds of water breaking, beit on the beach or at the falls. We were also graced with the presence of the jet boats.

The rapids as they slowly head for the edge and become the Falls

Huka Falls

Huka jets

All adventures must come to an end and this was ours. We both had to get back in time for church commitments so this trip was short. SO we headed back up State Highway 1 towards Auckland. We did make some stops along the way for petrol (Putaruru) and to replenish our famished souls (Hamilton). We arrived safe and sound back in Auckland about 4pm-ish.

All in all, a great lil' adventure. Would I do it again? HELL YEA! Still by far the craziest thing i have ever done but dare I say, I had a blast...So, thanx Becs for the great idea.