Saturday 15th February – a reminder of why I make the plans….

I got woken up bright and early at 7:45 by my bf telling me it was 7:45am – he’s very informative like that……

Got up at 8 for a quick shower before breakfast and after chatting with the owners realised we should try and book a hire car sooner rather than later (this was a bf manly ‘I’ll sort the car’ job which never quite got done…..). This proved to be tricky as everything was booked. Mr Eminen was in town and the rugby 9s were also on….. Eventually managed to find one in Rotorua, kind of enroute to where we wanted to go…..

Breakfast was amazing, there was cereal, muffins (sadly with banana) which they eat with butter, omlette, toast and with lots of coffee and juice + yummy fruit. We had a lovely chat with guests from night before about where to go in NZ and where in Asia I’ve been, so much so that we’re now fb friends!

With all the chatting and food, breakfast finished 5 mins before checkout, so mad repack ensued after my rucksack exploded last night, kindly we could hangout in the library (was fancy there) for a while to use wifi to book the Naked bus, campsite and the car hire peeps – Rent a Dent – said they’d pick us up – New Zealanders are so nice.

We got the bus back into town and had time to take bf to the Korean pancake place, where despite the massive breakfast I ordered a sunflower seed and chocolate one and bf a ham and cheese!! Then it was a short walk to the bus stop where the bus was already waiting. The Naked bus was not up to its previous high standards as there was no WiFi all the way to Rotorua – shocking.

We passed the Rent a Dent office on the way into Rotorua and a lovely man was there to collect us from the isite in no time. We drove the 5mins back to the office, filled out the minimum of paperwork before being given the keys to a little green car (have taken photo as no idea what make/model it is).

I then had the pleasure of driving to our campsite for the night – Mercury Bay Holiday Park in Whitianga. The roads here are great to drive on, quiet, wide and in parts super windy (as in curvy, not howling a gale) – the Mangapouri and Mangorewa gorges were awesome and the little green one did very well on the steeper bits!

We managed to run into Whitianga New World just before it shut, thanks to its new opening hours, purchasing essentials – beer, bread, peanut butter, jam, coffee and a mug!

Found the campsite without too much trouble, just as the sun was setting, the office was shut so just drove to where the other tents were and put the tent up. Considering this was its first time out of the bag and it was put up by the light of head torches, it went up remarkably easily (thanks Kathmandu and the Bora tent!)

With that it was time to get sleeping bags out, make sarnies, drink beer and settle down for the first night under canvas.


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