Well after a beautiful drive down the west coast we arrived in New Plymouth. Home to the famous cone shaped volcano Mount Taranaki (famous in Tom Cruise's Last Samurai).
We were blown away with the scenery on the drive down and I was driving against the clock as we had spotted a micro brewery on route and thought it would be a perfect place to pick up a couple of beers to have with dinner. However much to Tim's disapointment it was not to be, as the guy had literally shut up shop just before we arrived. (I was not impressed: Tim).
We decided to stay in the village near the National Park, rather than in the actual city. Our hostel's name was the "Missing Leg" and was run by a South Island ageing hippie, whose plaited beard would have given Gandalf The Greys a run for his money. It was a lovely little hostel, very chilled out *surprisingly* and homely. Teeps and I were able to camp on his back lawn surrounded by fairy lights and bicycles of all different shapes and forms. Brian (the hippie guy) is famous for his large collection of rusting bikes used for all different gardening/utility things in and around his home. A slightly odd idea but remarkably effective.
Our aim the next day was to see how far we could get up the volcano. Luckily for us the sun was shining and accompained by a couple of German and Japanese girls, we had previously met, we set off on our mission! Our mission was fairly easy aside from a rather steep climb up the "huffer puffer" track *no idea why its called that* and in no time we were at the begining of the snow line. Unfortunately we could'nt climb to the summit (due to our lack of crampons and ice picks) but we were able to walk around the circumference of the cone and see the incredible views.
That evening we relaxed and we were introduced to the wasgij (jigsaw backwards), a kiwi thing I am sure! and involves doing the jigsaw from the eye of someone in the puzzle. The things we do these days!!! Jigsaws indeed! :)
Well leaving you with that!
N n T