I was out of Thames! Phew! Everyone who I met in Tauranga was asking what, if anything, was happening back there. The answer, met with no surprise, was not much.
Anyway, I arrived at 5ish… which is well and truly night time down here! Remember it’s winter. The iSite Tourist Info was closed and I had done the usual of not booking accommodation. I wondered round aimlessly looking for an internet café or a backpackers place… eventually finding a tourist information terminal thing that was essentially a computer on a street. Phew, it directed me to a backpackers place! Of course, on the way I found another backpackers and leads on 2 others!
Anyway, checked into Tauranga Central Backpackers, which on the outside looks like a retail unit that had been converted into a nice backpackers spot. The owner, Tony, did a great job at getting me checked in and providing everything I needed. Once again, I had the whole dorm to myself! NZD26/£10.20 a night for a private room essentially, schweeeeeeeet! The rest of the place was OK. Coin-op internet PCs (but they really need a lot of updating!), TV room (someone put Jackass 2 on), decent kitchen, comfortable beds, great location!
Anyway, went out and had a Lamb Shank with all the fixings for NZD15! Figured I was in NZ , I had to have some!
Next day I decided I would stay for another day before heading on to Rotorua, but because I bothered to have a bit of foresight, I got my bus ticket there for only NZD14 rather than $24. Then I looked at the local map and decided I’d walk to Mount Maunganui.
I carried on like that for quite some time. I later found out that I had walked at least 6km! Should have gotten the bus as the weather kept changing. Still, I did find quite a good snow sports place on the way.
Eventually, I arrived at Mount Maunganui, which is a much more developed place than you’d expect if you haven’t done any research!
I cracked on with the rather pedestrian 232 vertical metre hike. In order to boast about this, I was keeping up with the mountain runners in some cases (i.e. not the really fast ones). As I got higher, the photos got a better.
But, on the way down, things turned for the worse… you remember that changeable weather?
When I got back to the bus stop I was soaked. I had put on new jeans that morning so I was really annoyed that I didn’t have another fresh pair! It took ages to get back to the hostel and when I got there I spent about an hour in the shower warming up.
Went out again at about 3:55pm… found I had 5 minutes of looking in shops before they all shut!? On a Saturday!?
Meh, lost the will to live! Had Pizza Hut and a 6 pack for tea while watching Batman Returns.
Now, the day after, I’m on the way to Rotorua!
I want to go skiing.