New Zealand Travelogue – Saturday, 17th October 2015

Soundtrack: (I Wish I Was In) Carrickfergus. It’s not that I’m particularly homesick – they played this in the lodge! It wasn’t a deliberate thing, the song was just on the big playlist they were playing and it struck a chord with us.

Google Fit stats:

  • Activity: 26 minutes
  • Distance: 1.1 km
  • Calories: 223
  • Steps: 2,997

Anniversary Day!

A really lazy day today. We’d planned to have a quiet day to ourselves today, even before the big leg workout we did yesterday. After yesterday  we both felt like a day off from planned activities. We’d had scheduled events and plans ever since leaving Norn Iron so time off to just sit, read and relax was something we looked forward to.

So, we had a lie-in this morning, and when we got up it was a bit windy and damp. Also I discovered some strange scratches on my leg. I’ve no idea how I got them, but I blame the big climb we did coming back from the Mount Rolliston view at lunchtime yesterday. I’m accumulating blisters, bruises and scratches as this holiday goes on.

We headed to the lodge for a late breakfast. Not that late – I think it was 9am – but late for us.

The worst weather we’ve seen in New Zealand

Once we got to the lodge it started raining. Quite a bit of rain fell. I’d made a point of telling Michael that we never really experienced bad weather in New Zealand, so the tales of bad weather here were just stories to scare away the tourists. So when it started raining today I tried to pretend it was Michael on the roof with a hose. It was hard to deny all the clouds though.

After breakfast we had more tea, then read a bit in the lodge itself where there was a wifi connection.

I’ve avoided Twitter all holiday. I find it can be a real time sink and I didn’t want to waste precious New Zealand time. Internet access at the lodge isn’t great either – it’s all provided via a satellite over Malaysia, so latency is pretty big. It’s still usable, but the folks at the lodge apologised repeatedly for how bad it was. I didn’t mind. The opposite, in fact – I worry what the lodge would be like if there was fast wifi. Maybe I’d spend too much time head-down staring at a tablet instead of being sociable or taking in the incredible view.

After a while we went back to the room to laze a bit more. As I said, it was a very lazy (and sore-legged) day, with lots of reading.

SWMBO tried the bath. New Zealanders do seem to pay a lot of attention to baths and showers. I like this.

Not as complicated as the Rotorua shower, but quite complicated enough

By now the weather had cleared up considerably, and the sun even came out.

A panorama from ‘Our Spot’

So we headed out to the Valley Lookout, where we were married 10 years ago. I think we’ve come to think of it as ‘Our Spot’. It’s a lovely place, with lovely views and lovely memories.

We brought our packed lunch and sat there for a while, just enjoying the Spot. We had to wear our fleeces, not because we were cold but to keep the sun off us. We hadn’t put sunscreen on because it didn’t look necessary for the day but the sun seemed determined to prove us wrong.

‘Ooh, get him. He’s experimenting again. Using both cameras at once this time…’

Also, while out there I was bitten by a sand fly. Michael says I should be prepared for more of that when I get to the lodge at Lake Moeraki… Must get some antihistamines, because the bite really itched.

‘OK, so he’s got a tripod. He really needs a spirit level too, mind.’

SWMBO was very tolerant while I sorted out the tripod and camera. I’ve only been taking pictures with my phone camera this trip (an LG G4), and it has some nice features. The picture-in-picture that uses both cameras at the same time is… interesting. The timer is handy too.

One feature that didn’t really work for us was the voice activation where you ‘Say Cheese…’ to take the photo. The idea is that you frame yourselves in the photo to take a selfie, and instead of having to press a button you just say ‘Cheese’ and the camera hears it and takes the snap.

It never worked for us.

It would always trigger when we were testing it, but whenever we framed things to actually take the photo it wouldn’t detect the sound.

We gave up and used the timer.

Us. At ‘Our Spot’. On our 10-year anniversary.

After all that intense inactivity, we went back to the room to relax some more.

Another feetstagram

Then it was dinner time. All the other guests that were staying at the lodge had left earlier that day, so we were now the only guests. We had the entire lodge to ourselves! Instead of putting us in an empty restaurant, Clare set up a table just for us beside the fire.

Anniversary dinner, by the fire

I took snaps of the anniversary dinner menu we had too.

Starter and main course…

…followed by dessert

I had a great day, spent with my best friend.

Happy Anniversary, pet!

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All the New Zealand Travelogue entries

Here are all the New Zealand 2015 Travelogue entries, in order Tuesday, 6th October 2015 – Travel to Kuala Lumpur Thursday, 8th October 2015 – Kuala Lumpur Saturday, 10th October 2015 – Arriving in Rotorua Monday, 12th October 2015 – Family and Whakarew...
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