Jumping jalopy

COL: Where would you like to go?

A: The bee farm

B: Hidden valley

DAD: I don’t mind

ME: B- Hidden Valley

COL: Are you sure? I think it’s going to rain.

Our rental car is starting to look and sound like a jalopy. Sharp corners or slight bumps in the road cause it to make a loud grinding noise… but we soldier on (it’s just a flesh wound after all). We took it to ‘Happy Valley’ to try to sooth it’s soul. Here we found more sizzling mud pools and gushing geysers. What we didn’t expect was LOTS of stairs to climb but thankfully the weather was mild and overcast. The walking track wound around a large hill (mountain?) where we were delighted with different thermal phenonema, including a huge cave, deep in the mountain. The steam and heat from the pools caused us to slowly cook and the exercise added to the exhaustion but the unique scenery made it all very worthwhile. It would be a difficult track on a hot day… but then according to the news, the North Island is having a heatwave (?).

One of the geysers politely exploded into action right at the time I turned my video camera on so we were presented with a spectacular spluttering show.

You will see by the photos that Colin has had enough of Dad and decided to throw him over the cliff into a hot pool. Lucky he can swim! Dad did an awesome job of climbing so many stairs in the humidity. I think it was the promise of the Subway double choc biscuit that he secretly wanted, that spurred him on. Or was it the thought that Colin would stop asking him if he wanted food if he climbed faster?

After a trip to a glass blowing factory we returned home to roast chicken and salad for dinner.

The weariness had caught up with all of us by then.

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