Today our plan was to relax and take it easy, so Shawn went out for a coffee and came back telling stories of his parasailing adventure. I slept in in our most comfortable bed yet. Then it was off to see Deadpool at the movies because it is opening day here and we get to see it before y’all. The theater was cute. The sign on the door read “cinema opens 15 minutes before the first showing,” and sure enough it did. At the concession stand, they sell pre-scooped ice cream cones, candy, popcorn, sodas, wine and beer (in bottles no less). The cinema had five screens and was incredibly clean; the floors in the theater were carpeted. The only thing I’m going to say about the movie is: Sacramento Monarchs. Just go see it.

Local graffiti

After the movies, we stopped for a quick beer and bite to eat at the local brewery Crafty Trout Brewing. We had the Down Rigger Imperial Pale Ale, a pumpkin pizza, and pork belly burger. Like our craft breweries, you can get growlers to go, but they also sell beer in “party pets” which are 2-liter plastic bottles.

At 4:30, we boarded the sailboat Fearless for a 2 1/2 hour sail around Lake Taupo to see the rock carvings. I think this was one of my favorite activities so far. There were only eight of us on the boat plus two crew. We had a bit of sun and clouds and the breeze was perfect. Lake Taupo is a volcano crater and it is 600 meters deep emptying into the Waikato River, one of the few rivers that flows north. We brought a bottle of 2008 Te Motu cabernet blend wine, local blue and cheddar cheeses, local olives and crackers to enjoy on our return trip.

The Maori rock carvings were done in the 1970s and reach 10 meters high. They can only be reached by boat.

We met a nice couple from Austria and shared stories of where we’ve traveled in New Zealand. I asked Mrs. Austria how many languages she spoke and learned she is actually a Brit. I asked her how she met her husband of forty years and this is the story she told me. She was working as a nurse in Canada and joined a small ski club. Unfortunately, no one in the club knew how to ski well so one of the members asked a nice Austrian fellow at the hospital to join because he should know how to ski. Miss Nurse and Mr. Austria hit it off because they liked many of the same activities like skiing, camping, and hiking. They bought a car together, and well after that they really had to get married. I said, “so you ran off with the ski instructor?” and Mrs. Austria replied, “I do sound a bit randy don’t I?”

Shawn doing a “bomb” as Mrs. Austria looks on

New Zealand’s rich and famous live in a gated community of Lake Taupo

All in all, a wonderful and relaxing day.

Daily ratings:
Starlight Cinema – 4 Kiwis
Dead Pool – 5 Kiwis
Crafty Trout – 4 Kiwis
Fearless – 5 Kiwis
Le Chalet Suisse Motel – 3.5 Kiwis

Steps taken = 1,825 (I did say we were relaxing today)