Travel Tuesday

The future is clear and white…. I hope

It better be clear, at least on Sunday, as Calvin, Sabrina (my teenage niece), and I are taking our first real road trip since we moved back to New Zealand. With all the finger and toe freezing weather we have been having here lately, it is only fitting that we get a little enjoyment out of all the frost bite I have been getting (exaggerating just a little).

The photo above is a little winter’s blast from our past.

I have known for some time that my niece, Sabrina, has never seen snow, real snow that is. She has been to that ghastly fake snow ski thing in Auckland some place, where they found a hill, built a long shed and pumped fake nasty snow in there for people to play ski bunnies in. But that’s not the real thing and she should at least see the real deal once in her life! Once! HA, like it will only be once!

This Sunday we are making a day trip down to the North Islands main ski field, on Mt Ruapehu in the Tongariro National Park. Calvin’s old childhood stomping grounds actually; most people, if they are Lord of the Rings fans, (which we are not) will know the area as Mt Doom just as a reference for some of you who haven’t been over this side of the world.

Being that I haven’t lived in New Zealand for nearly 20 so years, I was sad to say when Sabrina asked me “how long to drive there?” I went blank! If this was in Australia the answer would have rolled off my tongue in seconds! Calvin on the other hand, smugly replied 4 to 6 hours depending on how many times we have to stop to take photos along the way. I must get back on track with my general road knowledge (regarding New Zealand). Once checking up on Calvin’s statement (secretly hoping I was going to correct him, which I didn’t), I confirmed that it will most likely take about 6 hours to get there. The total actual distance from Auckland to Mt Ruapehu is in fact, 374kms (or 233 miles), so about 4 to 5 hours with minimal stops. I just need to find the online info sites with all the details on road closures and if we are going to need chains on or not. Never safe or wise to not check road details – it’s unfortunate to say been there, not got the tee shirt because of that.

Yesterday I spent the day teaching Sabrina how to use my old camera, my trusty D200 back up (Nikon), so I am guessing that I won’t be the only person in the car looking out the window for the next great ‘masterpiece’. Really at times I do feel for Calvin, then I totally put it out of my mind and pick up my camera to ease ‘his pain’. I will let you all know how our little road trip goes early next week.




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