Thursday, March 16, 2023

 Manaakitanga and on to Rotorua

Manaakitanga is a Maori word for hospitality, and New Zealanders apparently come into the world with this trait. When was the last time you had to check out of a hotel and into a new one and the proprietor of the first place arranged for you to stay up the street and then drove you there and picked you up the next morning to return to her hotel?

At left is Kerri-Ann, and she did exactly that when we needed a couple extra nights while the Rover got finished.  Quiet generosity seems to be embedded in the tapestry of New Zealand culture, and we're so grateful for it. 

Speaking of which, young Margot and her mom stopped to say a final goodbye the morning we left Tauranga and Margot proceeded to clean our windows.

The day before, Hannah gave us a lift to pick up the Rover, leading us back through vast amounts of road construction via a petrol station to fill up. It's quite the moment pulling out on the left side of the road, but Hannah shepherded us back and on the way we fought over who was paying for gas. Fun!
It was lovely too to meet her parents the day before. Topics of conversation included: Are people in the US really permitted to open-carry semi-automatic rifles?  (There is no sane response to this, obviously.) 
And we learned that minimum wage here is NZ$20+ (US $12.50) per hour, still barely a living wage given the housing costs, so a lot like the US except more than the US federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.
We hit the road Thursday morning, heading for Rotorua

Art got right back into driving NZ style, and we landed at our hotel ready to find some much-needed stuff in our camping stash.

Our hotel has a smart mini-golf course and, like everywhere we stay, includes a small kitchen.

If you've traveled with us before, you know we happily grocery shop and cook and then dine out when a primo spot presents itself. This morning Art found our nice sharp French knife and I put it to work fast on our vegetable melange.

 We also had these sausages, "Handmade in NZ by imported Frenchmen."


Reading Jane Harper's latest, as excellent as her others

This morning we walked to Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve to experience the otherworldly geysers and steam bubbling up everywhere. More of that to come. 

PS: Logan was successful in inserting a new email sign-up box, which you can find in the far-right column. Add your email to get an alert when we post...and thanks for coming along.

I once embedded google maps with abandon, but now all I get is...code. Copy and paste into browser to see our route.


  1. Hi,
    What a real pleasure to read you again, we were a little worried not to hear from you on your blog since August 2020, you both seem in great shape, it's a pleasure!
    It is with pleasure that we will once again follow your New Zealand journey.
    Big kisses from France Raphaël (translation with google, sorry if there are errors)

  2. Wish I could write en Francais. What a lovely surprise to see you back here, Raph! Good to know you'll be along for the journey. Stay well. xx

  3. I was wondering if you were using a camper again. See you are at charming inns/hotels.