After wondering if the Easter Bunny would find us while we were away from home and ensconced in Mt Maunganui, there she was with a basket of chocolate eggs. We enjoyed a pancake breakfast on Easter Sunday, cooked by fellow campers over BBQs. Pancakes, bacon, banana, drizzled with maple syrup, it was delicious indeed.
Easter Bunny at Mt Maunganui
We won a raffle prize too
The local Dog Agility Club brought their clever canines along to entertain us is the afternoon. We all took our folding chairs up to the end of the playing field to sit in the sunshine and see what the dogs could do. My goodness, those dogs are fast, and not easy to photograph as they are put through their paces. Except for a trio of toy poodles, who daintily went up and over the jumps, through the tunnels and weaving poles – they did things very well but wouldn’t have won points on the time trials. The border collies in particular put their heart and soul into the exhibition.
After the exhibition was over, the owners brought their dogs along for a meet and greet with the campers. I got to cuddle one of those pretty little poodles. Wonder what Gemma thought when I returned to the van smelling a bit doggy?
Looks like she wasn’t even interested. Once again she was getting up close and close and personal to my laptop. Snoozing on top of it on the bed.
We are starting to head home now,just taking our time and stopping here and there. Hora Hora Domain, looking out over Lake Karapiro, was a pretty stop for lunch. This is a very popular freedom camping area, although we didn’t stay overnight, but moved on to our next destination.
R&R at Lake Karapiro
We overnighted in Hamilton was to get a leak checked in the caravan. Luckily we could stay at the Leisureline factory overnight, so the servicemen can take charge of our van at 7.00am the next morning. So we took ourselves off for breakfast. This was certainly delicious and beautifully presented too. Salmon and avocado for her, and pancakes for him, followed by a delicious coffee. Sure beats our usual cereal and toast!
The caravan was ready for collection mid morning so we hooked up and went on our, stopping off at Taupo Airport NZMCA Park for the next two nights. This is always a busy place to stay, vans arrive and depart, helicopters come and go, planes arrive and take off at the adjacent airport, and sky divers jump out of planes to land nearby. And then I needed another laundry trip. This laundry was much more modern than the previous one I visited, with plenty of large washers and driers.
Laundry time again
It had been a while since we had witnessed the Aratiatia Rapids at Taupo – in fact, Robin and I visited here all those years ago on our honeymoon. Several times each day, spill gates from a dam are opened at the top of the rapids and the narrow gorge fills with water surging past at up to 90,000 litres per second. At Aratiatia the Waikato River falls naturally through 28 metres in the space of one kilometre. This natural drop has been harnessed for environmentally-sustainable hydroelectric power - headwaters are diverted through a tunnel to the power station. We stood on the bridge by the power station, the siren sounded several times and the water flow increased dramatically.
With the spill gates opened
Once the spill gates were closed, and the water slowly dropped to normal, we heard voices from the main look out site, and witnessed a canoeist into the water! And here he comes.
He paddled down under our bridge, climbed out of the river and up the bank, pulling his boat behind him, then settled down to await his friends to collect him. Oh dear, highly illegal and so dangerous.
Just a couple more days on our road trip, and then we will be back home. I wonder if my sewing machine is tired of sitting idle?