Sweltering walk in the heat of the day, backpack heavy with climbing and camping gear. The remedy: deliciously refreshing Lake Taupo.
High on pitch 1 (17) of Jugzilla, feeling the exposure behind me, tapping me on the shoulder to get my attention. Knowing not to turn around and marvel till I’m ready to abseil down.
A nice motel room: an afternoon nap then onto the balcony overlooking the lake to test the temperature. Cross the road for a swim. What a life!
I pass a very small boy watching his dad at their tent site 20 metres away whacking two objects together to get the dust off. The boy turns, eyes alight, to tell me, “That is clapping!” He turns back to watch his dad again and laughs in astonished delight. I don’t get the joke but can’t help joining in.
A day at the beach. Ears hurt from the cold and the wind as I leave the water. Hands over ears to warm them up. Attentive, young surf lifesaver asks if I’m ok; did I hit my head?
A half empty campground in the bush by the largest, warmest swimming hole this connoisseur has found. Everyone else prefers the beach. Makes for quiet evenings - just what we like.
A majestic cathedral built by waves.
A kingfisher dives for fish.
My first sight of a kauri in its natural setting.
Short walks, too hot for more.
A secluded swimming hole at the foot of a cascade over rocks. No togs, but Tessa won’t let us skinny dip. (Glad I’m not seventeen anymore.)
Top 10 wants $99 for a tent site for one night! We find a peaceful, shady site elsewhere.
Cool breeze but must swim: cannot break our straight now only a day or two from home - we have swum every day.
Another small child laughs in delight; this one held aloft by his dad, who is ducking under the water’s surface, only his arms sticking above, holding the child clear.
The best boogie boarding ever. Fish in the face of the wave! Like a natural aquarium, glimpsed for a moment. I cut Geoff off; I try not to but I don’t know how.
Missing my son. (But don't know how we would have fitted him in the car if he'd been able to come.)
Lovely trip. Conversations with interesting people, and nature’s restoration.