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The nose knows when you’ve arrived

rain 20 °C

Today we travelled from Waitomo to Rotorua. It was raining as we left. We took the backroads since taking the main highway would have had us add 100s of kilometers to the trip. And yes, we tanked up, filled the water bottle and packed snacks for the inevitable getting lost. Which didn’t happen… well just once. Anyway, we arrived in Rotorua just after lunch… in the rain. Due to the hot springs and geysers, there’s a delicate fragrance of rotten eggs (sulphur) in the air.

With outdoor activity somewhat dampened, the Rotorua Museum offered an inviting afternoon indoors. Pretty good museum too covering the history of this place. Later in the evening it was off to the ‘Fat Dog Café’ which was highly rated in the Lonely Planet guide (justifiably so) and it was still raining. Checking the internet, it’s gonna be raining for the next coupla days.

What’s good about ZLand?
The roads are smooth and well marked without tire eating potholes. Everything is paved, even the backroads.

Everywhere, the roads are twisty and winding. Given the nature of the landscape, this is understandable. Next time we come, we’re gonna get a Harley!

The speed limit on all roads is 100kph. You’re not gonna maintain that speed though since many hairpin corners need to be taken at considerably slower speed. But these are all marked with their safe speeds. It’s great to be able to open ’er up a bit on the straight stretches. Here in New Zealand, the speed limit is not considered to be a target speed.

There aren’t many stop signs or traffic lights and almost every intersection is a yield type with the more busy ones having traffic circles (round abouts?). Very civilized and it keeps traffic flowing. Too bad North America can’t cotton on to this idea.

No tipping – everywhere you go, the service people do not expect a tip. You can if you want, but it’s not required.

When buying something, the price you see is the price you pay. No taxes are added at checkout since the price already includes the tax.

A purchase amount is rounded to the nearest 10 cents. Sometimes you pay a few pennies more and sometimes you save a few pennies. Their coin currency does not have pennies or nickels. Again, very civilized!

After a while, you just stop taking pictures of the scenery since every corner offers something worthy of a shot. It’s just spectacular everywhere you go.

Great wine – they make a lot of wine here and you can sample it everywhere – and at a reasonable price.

They speak English thus eliminating the need to embarrass yourself with attempting sign language although a few people have chuckled at our pronunciation (mis-pronunciation) of some of the Maori names. Who would have guessed that ‘wh’ is pronounced as ‘f’ or that ‘ng’ is ‘n’?

Posted by Ali-Mike 11:48 Archived in New Zealand

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Hi guys, seems the fun times just keep rolling on. We are missing you and jealous that we are not sharing the NI adventure! Interesting you stayed in the plane - reminding us we stayed there in the railway carriage many years ago.
Happy blogging!!
G and M

by murrette

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