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 have to cross that!? The convergence of about 3 main roads
One of the views from the Harbour Bridge
The path was diverted so I had to walk through an industrial estate!? It was a rubbish diversion
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!
There it is! Looking ominous! Beach was nice though
i think the money flows a little easier round here
Arty shot and look how much the weather is changing!?
The view from the bottom, looking up
The view down, towards the beach… which I prefer
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.
This is what I mean about pedestrian
Look at those waves!? Why am I obsessed with waves?
But, on the way down, things turned for the worse… you remember that changeable weather?
It was great fun running down the mountain at full pace trying to minimize time in the rain…
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.
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