We think that Mount Ruapehu 6 km past Chateau Tongariro is the Mount Doom of Lord of the Rings fame, if it isn’t the volcano that is Mt Tongariro. Some googling required, but connections are not the fastest. In any case most of New Zealand makes me feel like a hobbit although my feet have not grown fur. I am not especially short at 5’10” but when looking up at tree ferns 30 feet tall and standing beside agapanthus at eye level and being surrounded by forest, rolling hills and mountains, I feel like a hobbit.
This morning I went to the local Department of Conservation office and learned the names of some of the local flora…toi toi (prettier than pampas grass, weeping), a number of different hebes, the Ruapehu hebe, being unique to this area, a four foot shrub that covers the mountains and hills with its tiny white flower clusters, koriko that looks like a flowering cousin of our butterfly bush, but taller.
This was our hottest day in the week since we have been here, more than 25C we think. The car “says” 25C no matter what the weather. We have not watched TV; so, no weather channel. It just isn’t as important as in Canada.
We just had a swim in the Tasman Sea across the street from our five star Backpacker Moana Lodge. Kate had said she wanted to stay in a Backpacker accommodation; so, this is it. We have two rooms with queen size bed and single in each room, and yes, Brian, communal toilets and showers. We are seated comfortably in the lounge facing the sea, with large bay windows watching kids have a sailing lesson… About twenty small sailboats, snarks? and a few bigger ones. There is a beautiful breeze coming through our open windows. We still marvel that windows do not have screens.
We lunched on meat pies and salad or fries at an outdoor table at the Element Restaurant in Wanganui. three of the four of us needed a sherbet cone to finish our repast. Now it’s time for more food, when we have finished our drinks. We will walk fifteen minutes into the village of Plimmerton.