A 450km journey that could have been through English countryside on A roads got us to our base for tonight, the Rap, Raft 'n' Rock farmhouse backpacker near Waitomo Caves by 4pm. As it turned out, we were an hour early, the Silver Bullet having excelled itself today.
The place was locked so we found the Long Black Cafe, where it amused us to see some large specimens from Bush country, disembarking from the cafe into a car registered 'EAT...'! This is Cave Country, and tomorrow we are booked on a big trip, starting with an abseil - I've never done one so will be out of my comfort zone again, but this time with a wetsuit so I'm expecting to be sitting in rather more of a puddle than when kayaking.
But for now, we will enjoy the quiet farmhouse setting and fine ingredients chosen by Sue for her birthday meal.
Today's photo is of our hot lunchtime picnic spot (it later rained, obscuring any views from the road of Ruapehu, the local volcano).
Sue: Thanks for birthday texts and cards - I had an excellent chocolate birthday cake, which was shared with the four other occupants of our backpacker hostel (its a very small one!).