Merry Christmas from Mount Doom

25 12 2009

Merry Christmas all! We’re currently in Tongariro National Park having moved inland from Hawkes Bay to do some exercise!

We spent about 10 days in Hawkes Bay trying out the lifestyle – walking around the hills, cycling around vineyards and cheese shops, visiting cafe’s and eating kilo’s of fruit from the weekly farmers markets – the health benefits of which we cancelled out by daily doses of cake and ice-cream!

We also investigated some practicalities of living in Hawkes Bay which mainly involved nosing around Open homes! Having been for a chat with the Home loan man at the bank we knew what price range we could look at, assuming one of us could get a job! Most of the townhouses in our price bracket were pretty nice, but often built in someone’s back garden meaning very little garden of your own! We also went to poke around some more expensive ones for the fun of it, all with huge decks, swimming pools and lots of land. An even better deal can be had out of the towns, where for the same price you can get a huge 3 or 4 acre ‘lifestyle plot’ with a big house and room for the chooks, mountain bikes and Go-kart track Ben’s going to build! This seems to be because Kiwis hate commuting and living even 30 mins away from work to them is ludicrous. We’d happily commute for half an hour if it gets us a mansion in the countryside!

We’ve moved over to the centre of the North Island now where a lot of the Lord of the Rings movies were filmed, so there’s lots of extinct, and not so extinct, volcanoes and forest to explore. We did a 13km ‘short walk’ round the base of Mt Ruapehu, a couple of shorter walks along the river, and today have walked to silica rapids and a very picturesque waterfall to dip our hot feet in the freezing water and enjoy our Christmas Lunch!

All of these have been a warm-up for the big one – the Tongariro Crossing – an 18km route across some volcanoes and craters which is supposed to be the best one day tramp in the country. We’ll find out tomorrow!

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3 responses

26 12 2009
Andy Moulam

Merry christmas to you both enjoy the tramping

5 01 2010
David Allen

I suppose you’ll be doing this sort of thing next!

5 01 2010

Happy New Year kids!

Cheers for the card! Got skype sorted now so let me know what your address is.

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