A big one off the bucket list today - Hobbiton! It was pretty much everything I hoped it would be. The weather decided to be uncooperative, bucketing down on us about halfway through the tour, but it did nothing to slow us down. If anything, it was kind of cool to see Hobbiton in the wet - as that's something that you never actually get to see in the films.
Keep an eye out for Bag End, Sam's house (final shot of "Return of the King" - very cool!), and the Green Dragon in the photos. We got to pop into the latter at the end of the tour for a complimentary Shire inspired drink. I opted for the "Girdley Fine Grain Amber Ale".
Much as I would have loved to stay at Hobbiton all day, after a few hours of the tour it was time to press on. Originally I'd planned to go to "Rotorua", but after chatting with a couple of people on the tour; and having every person I spoke to about it back home refer to it as "the place that smells like a giant fart" - I've decided to skip it. Instead, I drove down to Lake Taupo. What a drive it was, too! What started off as rolling green hills, soon turned into thick pine forests, which then gave way to small lake/beach towns. On the way down, I decided to stop in at the "Huka Falls" (apparently I have a thing for waterfalls), after reading about it on the "Jelly Journeys" blog.
Man, I'm glad I stopped in!
That's not a trick of the camera, or some crafty editing - the water is legitimately that blue. Something to do with "clear water" and "reflecting blue light". Read here, it does a better job explaining than I do. Needless to say though, it was pretty awesome to see.
With Huka Falls behind me, I was only another half hour out of my camping ground for the night. Tonights selection is the Motutere Bay Holiday Park.
I'm parked right on the beach, it's pretty awesome being able to hear the waves (albeit, small ones) lapping up just behind me. The only downside for this evening, it appears somewhere along the way I've taken on a somewhat unwanted house guest. Running around the camper van as I type is a small mouse. I think he's behind the cabinets at the moment, but I can't be sure. I've tried everything to get him out. Plastic bags with bread in them (mice like bread, don't they?), throwing my boots at him, yelling at him - nothing's working! I tried being nice, but first thing tomorrow morning I'm buying the biggest mouse trap I can find, or a shotgun. It depends on how much he pisses me off tonight.
Stay tuned for breaking news on the mouse.