Rentry to New Zealand – North Island

The flight went well although I didn’t get any sleep. Everyone else seemed to though and there was really no fuss made over New Years Eve. It was probably all for the best. I watched a bunch of movies and got myself through the last two hours with the knowing that I would be able to sleep in the car. Billy who I met from a travelers website was going to pick me up and we were going to roadtrip down to the South Island. I was quite a mess when I got off the plane and was really just looking forward to closing my eyes when I was informed that I would have to drive. Apparently my new friend had a bit too much party and was not in a place to drive so I would have to. I just smiled and sucked it up.

Sure, I hadn’t had a good sleep for about three days. Nevermind that I had just been sitting cramped in an airplane for 14 hours. So what that my throat was killing me from the residual cold from last week. Not to mention I would have to drive on the wrong side of the car and on the wrong side of the street. No problem, I thought in my pretty little head. It’s SUMMER! I can do anything, I psyched myself up as I got behind the wheel pulling into the 6am rising sun. Drunkeness trumps exhaustion any day so I bit the bullet and squeezed out a few more hours of alert consciousness.

When I felt I really couldn’t go any longer in good conscience, we pulled into a little town to get some coffee. It was just 830 and the shops were barely opening but we managed to find a place that served us some hard core sugary fatty carbs and a strong cuppa. I don’t know if it was the comparison to the awful plane coffee or the sleep deprevation but that was very likely one of the best cups of joe I have had in years.

After replenishing our energy stores, we wandered about the town for a few minutes stopping long enough to get a photo with the statue of Golum/Smeagol. This was the tiny village where you book your tours to “the shire.” I was pleased as punch to feel the atmosphere of the epic tale which showcased the beloved Hobbiton.

Next we sped off to Lake Taupo where I was able to reunite with Keren, Bryan and Bevan who took such good care of me last time I passed through  these lands. It was as if not a day had gone by, as it always seems to go with the best of friends. The hugs were warm and the conversation light as we sipped coffee and  caught up. It was so sweet to see Bevans wife and kids who he had acquired since the last time we had met. After a very short stop I bid them all adieu with the promise of a longer future visit when I come back up this way.

Grateful for growing families.

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