Vlog by Jules: see below
It’s my birthday today! There’s probably a better place to wake up on his birthday than on this parking along the road, under the rain…
We take the breakfast inside the camper and we go.
In view of the weather, I gave up trying to go and visit something today (if the weather was good we would have probably gone to the Hot Water Beach on the East coast of the Coromandel Peninsula).
We go directly to Waitomo, where I booked a great caving experience tomorrow. Isabelle drives the 3 hours of the trip. The landscape is quite similar to yesterday: very green, mainly agricultural fields and cows (their number surprisingly surpasses the number of sheep).
We arrive around 1pm in Waitomo. We go to the Top 10 Holiday Park. We even become member of this chain (who would have thought we would be member of a camping company before our world tour?). The camping site is very nice and our spot is perfect (a bit in height).
We eat a salad, outside. The weather is nice.
Then the kids do 2 homeschooling sessions, with a swimming pool break (I join them).
We stop around 7pm and we go for the nice short (1km, 45’) Ruakuri Walk. This loop walk takes us through a forested gorge, past natural sculpted cliffs and under low limestone arches. It also includes small caves to be explored. The highlight of the walk is the Ruakuri Natural Tunnel, a spectacular high-ceiling cave which has the Waitomo stream flowing into it. The entrance and viewing platform takes us inside the cave where we can view large stalactites and stalagmites. It is also a place of strong spiritual and cultural significance to Maori.
At 8pm we go to Huhu restaurant near the camping site, where I booked a table (it was recommended by many websites and by the Lonely Planet). Difficult to find on the menu something not battered, fried or breaded… Isabelle and I choose a sirloin, a very good choice.
It’s difficult to know what to do in view of the weather forecast for the next 7 days (rain every day – see screenshot of iPhone in the pictures):): shall I cancel the activities (mainly outdoor ones) and modify our itinerary (but there’s not much to do inside in the North Island) or stick to the intended programme but maybe end up being in a place where we can’t do much? I don’t know. For the time being, since the weather is changing so quickly, I tend to rather stick to the programme that I envisaged. Let’s see. So far so good anyway. And the forecast for tomorrow is excellent (before a week of rain…).
I work till midnight. It’s raining quite a lot.