Wednesday, April 08, 2009


Today was a long driving day. These 2 lane winding roads force patience and reflection on the beauty of the countryside. Unfortunately, it was gale force winds, rain and threats of snowstorms on Tongariro which eliminated our plans for a long hike toward some of the crater peaks and volcanic lakes. Appears to be interesting terrain to hike and I mark it as “someplace to come back” and hike some day. We make our way down to Cuba street, a dingy part of the city, gray and old. Our hotel is in the heart of busy restaurants and cafes filled with very young people. Out in groups and couples, we are amazed at how clean cut and conservative the young people are, and that the next block has been designated an alcohol free zone. The room—much like a dungeon with its only window 8 ft. above ground is not a pleasant place to be. Fortunately, we are only sleeping here. At the local café, we chat with a young waiter who tells us how expensive internet is in NZ and only big places like Starbucks can afford wireless, “You must be from the US”, he states. The hotel charges by the gb of information transmitted and not by time.


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