When we got to Aratiatia Dam we still had an hour to wait for the 2pm gate opening.
So we decided to stay there and have our lunch.
I was making sandwiches under the hatch in the back of the car when all of a sudden the heavens opened.
In spite of the hatch above us we were getting very wet so Mahalia and I made a run for the front seats and spread ourselves out there.
Using her knee and the dash to lay out the bread we made some very nourishing sandwiches.
By the time the gates were due to open there were a heap more cars arriving and the rain had eased back to nothing and the skies finally cleared.
This is the dam before the gate opened.
It is the dam where we came up to in the jet boat on Azzan’s birthday.
We were on the other side of this structure.
We stood and waited and enjoyed the scenery on the other side of the bridge.
Then the whistles began blowing the countdown.
And at 2pm the gates opened and the water began to flow and fill up the gorge.
It is very spectacular to witness – the power of the water.
Wouldn’t like to be down there when it happened!
It only took 8 minutes for the gorge to fill with water!
We drove off into Taupo.
It was a a cold grotty afternoon but I wanted to see the hot pools the kids had found last time.
Mahalia navigated me to this one.
It was right on the shore – piping hot there and cold lake waters on the other side of the rock.
It was too cold and miserable to hang about so we went to visit TANK and got drinks, fueled up the car and then headed off to Napier.
It was an interesting drive down there.
Steep unforgiving hills and roads so I was concentrating and not doing too much sightseeing.
We arrived at Franzi & Darren’s house and had a very enjoyable catch up over dinner with them and wee Lea.
It is close on 10 years since Franzi first came to NZ and wwooed for us.
Now she is a Kiwi with another baby on the way 🙂
Lovely to catch up with her.
We left them to put wee Lea to bed and drove to Hastings to our motel.
We had managed to secure a unit at Sylvan Motels.
It was a very nice set up and I was exhausted so ready to crash.
The only draw back was upstairs was a family with kids who rampaged late and began again early