I ended last post with two disheveled, slightly smelly travellers showing up at Steve and Keiko’s in Rotorua. They turned out to be such neat people. They were wonderful hosts and we got to know each other at dinner before crashing at their place. We even slept in a real bed and everything! The next day Steve, an accomplished pilot, took Marc up in his plane to see Rotorua from the air while Keiko and Spooky and I went tramping at Whakarewarewa Forest Park to see the redwoods and an overview of Rotorua.
They were such wonderful hosts. We ended up staying most of the weekend with them and they took us to several more tourist sites during the day and great dinners at night. Steve also treated us to an Eagles concert he had on disc. Think that is going on my wish list for Christmas. We hope to visit with them again and hopefully next time Debs can join us.
The ride back to Auckland seemed fairly short although I think it was at least two hours long. We did spot something worth pulling over for along the way. In Matamata they have an I Site visitors center that’s built to look like a Hobbits home. Evidently, the exterior film sets for LoTR’s was on a dairy farm near here and the original facades of Hobbiton are still there. While we didn’t have time to tour those, the I Site tickled me silly.
We parked up back in Drury for our first night back. Ned’s Roasts was calling and we answered with a hungry attitude. That’s just one of the many things I’m going to miss about this country. Don’t think people in the states know what a roast shop is. I think it would take off in a hurry though. Where else could you get a nice meal of roast pork, lamb or beef with roast kumera, pumpkin and potatoes with peas and gravy for a descent price? Yum!