Wednesday, September 28, 2011

New Zealand Day 6 : Taupo - Palmerston North - Wellington

Sunday 11 September 2011

Today we will have to drive quite a long distance. The ultimate destination will be Wellington, but we will make one major stop in between in Palmerston North to visit Mr D's ex-student who is now a permanent resident of New Zealand, lecturing at Massey University.

We started our day early, journey to Palmerston North will be quite long, and we intended to make a couple of minor stops in between so we definitely have to allocate more time for that to reach Palmerston North before lunch time.

The first stop was at Turangi, the next town after Taupo. This town is famous for its trout fishing. Our first stop in the town itself was actually to buy some medicine for both me and Mr D. The next stop after that was at Tongariro National Trout Centre, which we initially planned to visit, but it was raining quite heavily then and the walk into the centre was quite far [by the wet raining day standard] so we canceled the plan. Again??? Arghhh...

The journey from Taupo to Palmerston North is about 260km, and it took about 3 and half hours to reach the destination. Not much we can see along the way, it started with the typical green farm like what we can see in many parts of North Island, and followed by scenery of brownish-maroonish grass along the way. I was wondering initially what was that, till I googled it and found out that it is called carex grass.

We did a couple of other minor stops for coffee break and to visit the loo. But the most interesting town I would say is BULLS. Bulls is a farming area quite near to Palmerston North, and there's a small town there which I find it quite cute.. in the sense that everybody utilized the name 'bulls' in everything, from the name of the building to signboards. Kind of cool huh if you can find signboards like the one below in your town?

They really make use of the name for promotion huh? Cool.. Those kind of cute name can be seen even at the bank!

We later continue our journey to Palmerston North and reached there after 1p.m, just nice for lunch huh? When we get into Kak CM's house [Kak CM was Mr D's ex-student], the food is already on the table. Thanks to Kak CM for the yummy lamb rendang, fried chicken and some salad. That's the best lamb I've eaten after quite some times, as I can't taste that 'smelly taste' of lamb but just the tender meat.

There's nothing much in Palmerston North, which the local called as Palmy. Kak CM and her husband brought us to see the wind turbine nearby, used to generate electricity serving 4% of the population. It suits the windy parts of New Zealand.

It was good for Mr D and Kak CM to be able to spend time catching up on each other after quite some times. They both were so happy. Kak CM offered us to stay for couple of days in her house, but we already made arrangement in Wellington after that. It is OK, Kak CM, we will visit you again, insyaallah, in the future.

It was already about 5 PM by the time we start our journey from Palmerston North to Wellington. The journey is about 140KM, it took about 2 hours to reach Wellington. Initially, we wanted to stop by at Wellington just because we wanted to take the ferry crossing to Picton, so we booked a motel at Lower Hutt instead of Wellington centre itself, just so it is easier for us to catch the ferry which was scheduled to be very early in the morning morning.

We reached our motel, Fernhill Motor Lodge, at about 7 PM. It was already dark, and raining, making the day rather gloomy. We were pleased however to be warmly welcomed by the host, notably very friendly, like the other hosts of the motels we stayed in prior to that. It was a studio unit, quite comfortable, and located just opposite the laundry room - oh yeah, I need to wash our clothes to be recycled, as we didn't bring many clothes anyway.

So that's how we ended the day, we didn't plan to go out that night, because it was a lot of driving that day so we better just sleep for the night to prepare for tomorrow. For dinner, we were blessed because Kak CM packed some lamb rendang and frozen sausages for us, so all I need to do was to cook rice in the microwave, and wash some salad - complete meal on the table to end the day yeah!!

Next : Experiencing Wellington City

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