Friday, July 2, 2010

Day 2: Auckland to Palmerston North, through Hobbiton

We left Auckland around 9:00 a.m. headed south. We knew we wanted to catch a tour of Hobbiton, the Shire set of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy which is near Matamata, somewhat in the middle of the middle of the North Island. We had a beautiful day to drive, as you can see.

We grabbed some breakfast and discovered the joy of Toasties at a little roadside takeaway shop. The couple who owns the place is South African and we enjoyed chatting with them for a while while they prepared our food. We talked about the World Cup, how they wished they were there to see it in person, and they gave us some good tips for getting around New Zealand. Some were traffic tips, like who yields to who in intersections. They also informed us that New Zealanders do not drink drip coffee ("filter coffee" as they call it) and for us to stop ordering it haha. We fully embraced this mentality and have delighted in the wonderfulness of their coffee culture. You know we are fiends; it was bound to happen.

Coffee in hand, we jumped in the car, headed to Hobbiton. This is what we saw along the way.

There are sheep farms everywhere. It is beautiful! Patrick has decided that the perfect picture combination is sheep, mountains, and water. This picture is lacking water, but you get the idea.

Unfortunately, I cannot post any pictures from our Hobbiton tour.

But in the meantime, here is me feeding a baby sheep! (lamb?)

Back in the car, we were headed to Palmerston North to spend the night and see the sights along the way.

This is Lake Taupo. We were in awe.
We took about 78 pictures.
I will spare you.

And this is the final stretch to Palmerston North.
This is our first glimpse at the snowy mountain ranges. It was majestic.
We were sad when it got dark because we couldn't see anymore landscape. We had no idea what we were missing.
But we checked into a quaint little place called the Aztec Motel. These Mom-and-Pop sort of places are the basic here. There are few chains like in the States.
The man who runs this place was so hospitable and nice, as all New Zealanders have been! He helped us carry in our luggage, turned on the heater (because the room was FREEZING), and brought us fresh milk for the fridge. I was confused by the milk, but we later learned that it is customary here to make sure there is fresh milk in the fridge when a customer checks in. It's for the coffee. They take the milk thing very seriously. They take coffee seriously. Have I already said that?

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

The picture of the sheep grazing in the meadow w/ the brilliant mountains behind is GORGEOUS. You should frame that one when you get home! Sorry to hear about the sea-sickness. I can feel your pain. Glad your sweet husband was able to find you a good seat outside!