Sunday, December 10, 2006

Adventures in Kiwi Land - The Long Drive

If this face tells you anything, it would be that we were in the car for a while after we left Wellington.

We switched drivers occasionally. Jaydn sat behind the passenger side, and from his limited view he could snap pictures of the driver on the right side of the car.
Weird, huh?

Jessi drove the majority of this seven hour drive from Wellington to Otorohanga, which is a hop away from Waitomo, our destination. I felt bad, because this was the road with the best scenery, and the worst road conditions (some of the drives were downright scary). It is in Otorohanga (a mouthful) that we made our next stop on this leg of the amazing race.

Thank goodness for the scenery. When in NZ, you are never at a loss of "ooh"s and "aah"s. It all looked like we were driving through LOTR territory. While not an amazing picture, the drive looked something like this for the whole way:
Sans the continuous rainbow, of course.

I got a nice picture of Jaydn and a sheep.
The picture is kind of misleading. Sheep outnumber people in NZ by, what, probably 10 to 1 or more? They even had a whole section of the Te Papa museum dedicated to all things sheep. You can bet I was thrilled.

We also drove by another waterfall. Usually, you'd think the waterfall is the beautiful part of the picture. Here, it's the surrounding scenery that makes it nice. Typical New Zealand.
And if you're wondering how Jaydn was for this really long trip, besides "Mambo No. 5," you couldn't really ask for a better child to travel with. His maturity and patience is well past his age.
You're probably wondering what new hotel I picked when we were in Tongariro (OK, you're probably not). But I'm going to tell you anyway. We stayed at another backpackers, only this time it was a real dandy. Our room consisted of two sets of bunkbeds. That's it. And there wasn't much room besides (of course there was no bathroom, are you joking?). By the way, when we opened the door, the owner's cat was sleeping on one of the top bunks. Nice.
Oh, and from the looks of the picture, a kid was already sleeping in one of the beds when we opened the door. Wait--that's our kid.

You've probably noticed the name of our room by now.

Make no mistake, this was no Beverly Hills.