So today I thought I would try to be sensible and do a quick resume of some of the places we have stayed, who knows you might want to follow our wobbly footprints.
Today we are in Nelson and it is our first taste of a NZ B&B, now I wanted to support this type of place but struggled to find places that got my juices flowing. I admit to digging closely into the pictures so I can get the low down. Does that look like flat pack furniture? Is that a frilly lampshade on the bedside light? Plastic looking toilet seat? In fact any excuse not to book. Nelson appears not to have any options other than B&B’s, so here we are. Ring the bell, door opens and I say to the lovely Carol hope you are expecting me, yes she says, but I have messed up and you don’t have the room that you particularly booked and wanted. Ok I am sure it will be fine I say gayly, ( is that a proper word, sounds right but doesn’t look right on paper. I wasn’t being obviously gay, just trying to put Carol at her ease) Then Gordon skips round the corner to introduce himself, well if I am being honest it was not a proper skip. At this point the lovely Carol does a tiny tiny double take, not obvious at all, really, but to my trained eye which misses not a trick, there was a tiny shift in her demeanour. Oh but she recovered well, ever the consummate host.
Now of course running a B&B myself I have been in a similar situation, the Rolls Royce driver with the Thai bride who wouldn’t get out of the car is a good example, so I can sympathise with Carol. Not met the husband yet, though the two page biography in the guest information folder sounds interesting. Looking forward to meeting him over breakfast tomorrow. BTW 3 irons from Gordon Iron and Board in room plus same day laundry service. Clean smalls all round tomorrow. Internet gets 4 whatsits (little iPad symbols?) Free and good speed. If this makes no sense you missed an earlier blog.
Last night we stayed at the Copthorne Hotel Oriental Bay in Wellington. 19th floor room overlooking the bay, fab, so it should be for the price. Minus iPad symbols, slow and expensive, one iron from Gordon. Early start to catch the ferry, bit grumpy, sorry Mr Front Desk man, I should have know you knew exactly where our car was and I was only joking when I said it had been stolen, you had the keys after all. Not a bad place to stay if you are in Wellington.
The night before was Bates Motel, oh sorry whenever anyone mentions Motel I am thinking Hitchcock with dodgy plumbing and dirty shower curtains, of course it was actually called the Siena Motor lodge, so alls well as its a Motor Lodge not a Motel. 5 symbols from the tec department and 5 from the laundry department. This place could teach some of the other so called 5 star joints a thing or two.
No please don’t panic I can assure you that all my appendages are accounted for, however if I continue to eat and drink as I have been doing for another three weeks there may be one appendage that I might have trouble checking! I do love my Twitter and Facebook feeds but a Twitter post a few days ago unsettled me. Apparently a man was attached by a shark in two metres of water at the bottom of the South Island, several things worked in his favour, firstly he just happenedu to have a knife in his hand, don’t ask me why because I have no idea. Secondly,having stabbed the shark and got his leg out of its mouth, he was able to stitch his own wound up because, A. He was a doctor so knew what he was doing and B. He just happened to have a full on 1st Aid kit to hand. How lucky was all that? I am not a doctor, don’t carry knives or 1st Aid kits, so would surely have been gobbled up. That should be the end of the story except I have an irrational fear of sharks, even checking swimming pools for that Jaw’s like fin so for the next three weeks I am staying off beaches because I swear I read somewhere they can grab you from 6 inches of water. If you never hear from me again you know the worst has happened and I am the first tourist in maybe 50 years to be eaten.
Ok I guess you might like to know where we are. Two days at Lake Taupo in the Hilton which actually was a great base. see photos below.Then a stunning drive over the mountains to Whanganui which is a lovely old town.Staying in a Motel as we are only here for one night, yes yes standards slipping I know, but for £60 a night this place could teach some of the fancy places a thing or two, that’s a whole new blog. Later…..
It’s been a while but you know I am a little reliant on the Internet, which quite honestly here at the Hilton in Taupo is crap, but the suite is nice, another upgrade blagged, but that’s for another day!
Yesterday we went a little off piste, or in my case ‘ off spreadsheet’ I have to thank my friend Simon for this spreadsheet lark every time I needed some sort of info from him he would refer to a wonderfully detailed spreadsheet so now my life also is run in this manner, it might have something to do with being a control freak, but it works! As far as holidays are concerned Gordon gets excited if I announce it’s time to start a spreadsheet because he knows it’s a goer, that’s the holiday not me naturally! So off piste we went and needed to book another nights accommodation. Tripadvisor here we come, hate it but have to use it. Always look at the first three or so in a given spot, this is how it goes, first one looks amazing heart starts to race a little, palms nicely sweaty. Go the website, no prices, or prices from something like £100 when you know deep down its going to be three times that, then you have to call them and make some feeble excuse, like I have to check with my partner, when indeed the price is way over what you are prepared to pay. It turns out the from price of £100 is for single occupancy on a Sunday night in deepest winter with no breakfast. Hey ho last nights booking was in Rotorua, the smelliest place in the world, rotten eggs is a good description, I can still smell it now and we are miles away, but worth a visit just to say you have done it. Lots of smelly hot springs, geysers and boiling mud. As for the B & B that’s a whole blog on its own, maybe tomorrow if I feel strong enough.
No pics the Internet here in beautiful Lake Taupo can just about deal with my ramblings. I’ll save em for another day!
Ooh a picture I hear you cry and I have to say I am feeling very ‘smarty pants’ as my little scheme mentioned in yesterday’s post seemed to have worked. You’ll get bored of all the lovely beaches pics soon enough.
Yesterday we tried to do the Cathedral Cove walk which starts in Hahei, how organised I though as big signs announced park and ride to the start of the trail as we entered town. However the gates were all locked up so we drove up to the car park, mobbed, traffic backing up. So I thought all is not so perfect in this lovely country, how very British not to have your park and ride operating on a busy day. We got there today but my dearly beloved insisted we rise at 6.45 that’s 6.45am to get there in time to get a parking space. it’s only a half hour drive. Trust me we had 100 car parkings spaces! And they were still there an hour and a half later when we returned, ok maybe there were 90 spaces left. Anyhow trust me it is the time to do the walk, no one else around and sun only just coming up, try and insist on a bun and coffee before you get there or you might feel dizzy as I did. The pic above tells the story. Joking aside it was stunning.
To be honest my cup runneth over with superlatives about the country and we are only a week into the trip. So yesterday I was struggling with this decision. Should it be a beach house literally within a few metres of the surf or a glass box up in the hills with stunning panoramic views, difficult decision don’t you think? But today we drove past a beautiful looking Winery with stunning views and guess what? A stonking great For Sale sign! That has put the cat among the pigeons. A lifestyle business with income. How exciting would that be. Anyone want a lovely B & B in Devon?
Ok might try another little pic of the two of us on the beach this morning, actually I think it is more of me than him.
I am loving the architecture as we drive our (very small) Holden hire car round the countryside. Glints of glass come from buildings hidden up the side of a mountain with very different house design than we are used to in wet England. Then there is the temptation every couple of miles with a For Sale sign that says Open House, I just long to go have a good old nose round someone’s house and pretend that we really could buy it. I am sure they wouldn’t mind being such a friendly lot these Kiwis. There seems to be zero crime here and indeed when we arrived at our current base we had no keys but vague instructions that the keys should be under the second gnome to the left of the front door and there they were. Makes me think we could probably flit from empty house to empty house with out too much trouble.
The current house in Whitianga is fab, view to die for, plenty of beer and wine. But most importantly for Gordon an iron and ironing board, the first thing I get organised in a new house or hotel is the Internet connection, for him it’s the laundry situation, here he is in heaven with a washing machine as well. Plus it’s his favourite a Top Loader. I am thinking about awarding little Iron symbols on my Tripadvisor reviews in future this is definitely a 5 iron place. So look out for the gnomes if you are driving around Whitianga but please wait until we go on Friday. I am so lucky not to have had to lift an iron for 25 years. (no he is not for hire)
In the absence of a 12 year old I had to try and work out the blog + picture issue. Being a recent Apple convert I thought it was easy, discovering that I just need to download the App for my ipad. Yeah right except because I have a first generation iPad running iOS 5 most Apps these days will not run on these older operating systems, grrr. The App is fine on my brand new iPhone but have you tried typing more than a few words on that thing? Yesterday’s post with pics took me hours. Thanks Apple I guess it’s a new iPad on my return to the UK. But wait I think I have a cunning plan. Surely if I use my phone to download the pics to my WordPress account, then if I log on to my account through the iPad they should be there and useable?
For those of you interested in today’s trip out we went to Hot Springs beach, that was fun and the pics……..might put a sneaky one on Facebook in a moment. Oooh time for a siesta first though
This blogging business is a bit of a lark, or so I thought. Then it occurs to me that blogs need to be INTERESTING and not just a boring list of places visited, meals eaten. The best blog I have read and follow avidly is Giles Coren’s wife who writes a blog called Recipe Rifle, of course if I was doing this properly I would have provided a link, but if you google it you will find it. Settle down and laugh.
So at this point I was going to insert a pic, but because I am so unsavy with technology it says I need a special app, this may take some time but there is food to eat, wine to drink, so I will get this sorted later. Where’s that 12 year old when you need them.
I digress… In my last post I meant to mention the Sky Tower which is a tall communications tower, next to our hotel in Auckland. We had a great view of it from our window on the 18th floor. I did a double take when we first arrived as I swore I saw a body falling from the top, put it down to jet lag until 10 minutes later another goes shooting by, this time I could the whites of his eyes, I guessed it was probably a butch man, surely a woman would not want to do this or in fact a gay man? After a full investigation it appears you have to pay for the delight of throwing yourself off the top albeit with a bit of wire attached. Gordon expressed an interest, I felt very dizzy at the though.
So we have left Auckland and I am way behind where I should be on blogs but more important stuff awaits my attention.