Day 2 in Taupo: Rest In Pieces
Pre Advice: If you have time and the weather is fantastic, please please please go for the Tongariro Alpine Crossing tour. It takes up the whole day and may cost slightly more in winter (they provide you the appropriate gears to keep you warm and safe), but it DEFINITELY worth every.single.penny.spent. *I regret not going because I didn’t want to depart at 5:30am* The Tongariro National Park is also a must-visit for LOTR fans, but that isn’t the ultimate reason. The sights up at the peak, and even during the journey, is magnificent.
The whole idea of travelling solo is so that one need not to compromise, accommodate and entertain anyone but oneself. This means that you see things YOU want to see, soak in and experience the place and lifestyle YOUR way, and go at your OWN pace.
Travelling with Kiwi Experience could have given you that flexibility to certain extend – should you have more time to spare. I was tight with time, and could only do the minimum days. Hence for the past 4 days I, although excited, was weary of the constant early mornings and bus departures.
So the extra free day in dainty little Taupo is fantastic! I had a partial slept-in (because a complete sleep-in means you only open your eyes at 12pm or later, not 10am), and then wander around the small empty and insanely freezing town for the day.
Taupo’s very own Baker Street
Another idea of travelling solo is also to not confine in your own group of travel mates but to have the maximum exposure to other new faces and the locals. Because you do not have someone chatting with you while walking on the streets, you turn to strangers and start small talks.
And that’s where you learn more about the place and it’s glory days, and the people.
I chatted up the old couple in the store where I finally surrendered and bought a not-so-hideously-puffy puffer jacket, and was told that Taupo is usually busy during summer – where more tourists and locals who own baches would come back. In winter, because it was so cold most people would prefer to just stay indoor – hence the very empty streets. The kind old man even threw in a pair of glove and a carabiner clip FOC 😀
I met Jo, store owner of a cute little artsy shop, who had lived in Vietnam for 10 years and have a 25 year old son who lives there. We talked about volunteering abroad for a bit, and about The Blue Foundation (?) that she is assisting, and travelling – she brings a group of women to Vietnam every year to travel and volunteer, I’d presumed.
Wandering at your own pace, you are more focused on sideways, discovering places and falling in love.
Found some really funny quotes and photos, crafts, souvenirs, a Man Cave!! and some noteworthy cafes with old school decors (just how I like it, even though ‘straya still has the best coffee so far).
Small as coffee that cost much more than good coffee in Brissy.
Thought I’d jot some of these down.
- Good friendship should be built on a solid foundation of alcohol, sarcasm, and inappropriateness – found on a placemat, and reminded me of Jesse and Co. 😉 and all those who know who they are.
- We’re like girls in Sex and the City. Minus all the hot men. And the sex. So basically, we are just living in a city – also found on a placemat, and instantly I wished to share it to Alice H. the sassy girl.
- You drink too much. You swear too much. You dress like a hooker from the eighties. You are all I ever wanted in a friend.
And this reminds me of Alice H as well ♥
Back to The Taupo Man Cave – if all man caves look like that, I’d be a man too. Harley Davidson miniatures, Big Ben’s, cute little holiday blue vans, funny t-shirts and mugs. Dad would love this.
And the rest of the evening was spent just Caitlin and I trolling ourselves by the beach, still trying to get a clear view of Mt Doom but to no avail.
5 minutes of silent mourning:
My phone had finally cracked after numerous of falls. The story goes like this:
I was in my pyjamas and had a sudden craving for peanut butter, so I thought running out in a jumper and nothing else to a 24 hours convenient store would be a brilliant idea. I came back with a cracked screen phone and no peanut butter because my hands were too numb to hold my phone and there is NO 24 hours convenient store!!!!
Kudos to the very kindhearted guy at the hostel reception who took pity of my #firstworldproblem and gave me a few of those to-go packed peanut butter (yes I must’ve look devastated while telling him my story)
Crack of the day from Yaz: May Deborah’s phone rest in pieces 😀