Poronui, Taupo New Zealand. Wednesday November 18, 2015

Today’s fruit with granola was pineapple and coconut!

My fried egg.

After Steve and the rest of the anglers and guides took off in the helicopter I was going to try to go for a ride. Last time I rode was in New Mexico where the elevation was 9000 feet and I got very tired. Here the the elevation is 2250 so I hope to do better.

This field is where cattle wintered over. Turnips are planted and the cows feed on them all winter. First they eat the greens and then they eat the turnips.

These are our horses for the ride. I had Shelby, the dark horse.

This is where we stopped for lunch. Dismounting was quite inelegant as my hips got stuck on the back of the saddle. When my guide helped me lifted my leg up I fell right to the ground! I landed with a quick soft thud! I can be quite the klutz at times! Years ago when Sally took dance classes I took a summer class with her. We were supposed to dance across the room doing jet├ęs across the room. I couldn’t stop and ended up crashing into the wall! We all had a good laugh at that!

We remounted after lunch and I was able to walk, trot and canter on the ride back.

Dismounting at the end of the ride was a lot easer as there was a mounting block!

After my ride I asked to check out the wine cellar, which was in the building I showed you yesterday.

It was gorgeous.

There was a bottle from 1967 that I wanted to google a price for but couldn’t find it on line. Not sure if it is vinegar now or superb. It’s not mine, so who cares?

Steve’s fishing locations are all pretty much inaccessible unless you chopper in. It would take days of hiking to get to where he goes via the helicopter. Yes, this is an extra fee, but if Steve doesn’t fly to the spots where the water is fishable, he can’t catch fish! Here are some pictures from his trip today.

I went to town with one of the other guests here who is a non fishing spouse. She needed to mail a package at the post office.

Lake Taupo. A former caldera like Lake Tahoe. It is the largest lake in the Southern Hemisphere. In Taupo I bought three pairs of pants as I thought that I had left a pack with seven pairs of pants on the bed at home! Three weeks vacation with one pair of jeans and two dress pants wasn’t going to cut it for me!

A beautiful fish that Steve caught! This fish was 8.25 pounds! The fish was 26 inches long with a girth of 16 inches. This was Steve’s personal record to date, so I would consider the trip a success so far!He fished the Rangatikei and caught five fish for the day. This stream was bigger, but easily crossable at the tails of pools and wider riffles.

The helicopter approach for Steve’s pickup at the end of his days fishing.

This is where it landed!

The view on the way back.

Appetizers after fishing was beef on a bun.

Chicken pate (not raw).

This I never really figured out what it was!

Nor this one!

Beautiful flowers in the lodge.

Romaine hearts with a chorizo creamy dressing.

Roast pork with twice baked mashed potatoes.

A vegetable medley.

Flan for dessert.

How many pairs of black pants do you own?

How much clothing do you bring on vacation?

Steve’s beard looks a lot less white today. Do you think he packed some Grecian Formula to darken it up? Just asking for a friend.

Poronui, Taupo New Zealand. Tuesday November 17, 2015

Today it is supposed to be sunny and 69 F! Since we are in the Southern Hemisphere, that means we are in late spring!

I wonder what’s for breakfast.

The beautiful spread of fresh juices, coffee and granola.

The sandwiches for the guides and fly fishers!

Delicious banana apple muffins.

Cantaloupe with raspberries.

Omelette for Steve.

Fried eggs for me.

After breakfast we met Duncan, Steve’s guide, and I checked out where the helicopter would land.

Steve with Duncan his guide.

Flyagra for flies that sink instead of float.

Steve’s gear ready to go.

Waiting for the helicopter to arrive.

The helicopter lands outside the lodge. Helicopter flights are an extra charge. A very expensive extra charge, but if you don’t fly out, you won’t find fish!

Loading up and they are off!

After I saw the anglers and the guides off I decided to take a walk to find someplace comfortable to read (besides our cozy cabin with comfortable chairs, a coffee table for my feet, a kettle to make tea and a drink stocked refrigerator. Remind me again why I wanted a walk?)

Over the stream that ran behind our cabin I wandered. If it hadn’t have rained so much in the past few days Steve might have been able to fish here.

I found an outdoor pavilion where barbecues were probably held.

Then I wave Hi to the horses, I was planning on riding the next day.

I thought I finally found my perfect spot. Sofas, lots of natural light and a beautiful trophy specimen on the wall. I think that it was a 16 pointer! Although the room was pretty, the chairs all faced inside and not toward the view. Plus there were so many flies buzzing in the room I couldn’t stand it any longer!

So I trudged back to the lodge but by mistake took the upper pasture because I saw the lodge in the distance. Unfortunately I was supposed to take the lower pasture!

So after walking back and forth I finally figured out my mistake and made it back in time for lunch.

A lovely garden salad.

A cheese plate and fresh grated beets.

While I was reading today and exploring Steve was off fishing. Here are some pictures Steve took from the helicopter, some of the places that he fished, and the fish that he caught!

After Steve was done clambering in the streams Steve had to hike to a meadow to wait for the helicopter to pick him up. Steve told me that I would have divorced him if I would have gone along. He is right. I stroll, I don’t do whatever he was doing!

Steve fished theUpper Mangamarie above tree line. He described it as follows: It was super clear, about 200 cubic feet per second. It was tough going due to gorge sections that require scrambling “up and over” cliffs and deep pools. I caught 3 rainbows. Steve has told me since that it was one of the most difficult days fishing that he ever had. Not only were there cliffs, but he had to climb them wearing waders and his fishing boots!

Two of the fish weighed 4.5 pounds, one was 5.5 pounds.

Later in the afternoon the helicopter returned Steve, Duncan, and the rest of the anglers and guides. Then after showering and changing it was time for dinner.

For appetizers we had bacon wrapped figs, they looked too rare for me to eat!

Curry chicken wings.

Green lipped mussels, which are a Kiwi (New Zealander) favorite! Mine too!

Cheese straws.

Meat with vegetables.

Chocolate lava cake (lava was set and not oozing.)

Can you believe how white Steve’s beard was?

Would I have physically been able to clamber all those rocks like Steve did?

Weren’t those bacon wrapped figs disgusting?

Poronui Lodge, Taupo New Zealand. Monday November 16, 2015

You are probably wondering what happened to Sunday as we left Poughkeepsie on Saturday. New Zealand is 20 hours ahead of New York time, so it is very confusing! We totally lost Sunday but will get to relive two Sundays on the way back home!

After landing in Auckland, we transferred to a little plane to take us to Taupo which is located on the North Island of New Zealand.

New Zealand is composed of two large islands, North and South. We would be staying one week on the North Island in Taupo at Poronui Lodge and then take a flight to the South Island where we would rent a car. As Steve is not good with his left and right, clockwise and counter clockwise I have some trepidation with him driving here. (Like the United Kingdom, driving is on the left side of the road.)

The plane was very small. There were less than 15 people on our flight including the pilot and copilot!

But still big enough to fit Steve’s big beard! He did get it trimmed after our trip West during the month of September!

Outside the airport you can see the large Norfolk Island Pines. When I was in college I had a small Norfolk Island Pine in my dorm room. They grow quite large here.

Poronui is a large hunting and fishing lodge. They also have large Manuka bushes and many hives for bees that produce Manuka honey. Manuka honey is said to have many healthful properties. Here are some dairy cows for that beautiful New Zealand butter.

There are also red stags that are raised here, the Chinese use the horns for medicinal purposes. Think aphrodisiacs!

It is spring here and very rainy. The landscape is so lush!

Steve is outside our cabin. Come on inside! The outside is nondescript, but the inside is really great!

The living room, with a gas fireplace.

Looking toward the bedroom.

The bedroom. Steve says howdy! I did not make Steve sleep on that little bed. I kept my suitcase on it!

The bathroom with a heated towel rack.

From the bedroom looking toward the deck. What a beautiful place to read or just relax and enjoy the view!

This was the view outside our room.

I may need to put this on a loop for a relaxation tape!

We had a little fridge with complimentary drinks. Alas, no Champagne!

Lunch was quiche and a lovely salad.

Sunflower seed bread with gorgeous New Zealand butter.

Chocolate cake and chocolate truffles for dessert.

There were also fresh humongous chocolate chip cookies that need more chips!

Steve did not fish today as it was the first day. He will go off tomorrow. Not sure what the fishing will be like as there has been a lot of rain lately. Fingers crossed he will catch some monster fish. That is why we came here! Our package included fishing for me also, but the fishing is supposed to be technically difficult, and the terrain difficult also. So I will likely not go out with him. What else is new? Ha Ha!

We gathered in the main lodge for dinner. Here I am checking my messages.

Chicken mousse that Steve and I did not try as we don’t care for innards.

Mushroom soup.

Fried pork bellies.

Deep fried venison chorizo in a fry basket.

Dinner was roast New Zealand Lamb with vegetables.

We also had tomatoes with peppers, and a gorgeous salad of fresh spinach with shelled peas. You have to look pretty hard to see the peas, but they are there!

Dessert was a lemon tart with strawberries, garnished with whipped cream and rhubarb sauce.

At this lodge wine and alcohol is included in your rate. Sometimes it can make for some very drunken guests. The guests here are all acting appropriately so no chance at any great stories tonight. Perhaps tomorrow? Dinner conversation ranged from books we were reading to the lack of snakes in New Zealand vs the plethora of snakes in Australia to bar code readers and how bar codes are everywhere.

At most of the lodges that we have been to the guides do not eat with the guests. At Poronui the guides eat next to their angler and also serve and bus the tables. I don’t like it so much, as that means that Steve has even less chance of talking to me. I would rather be the center of his attention. Alas, that will not be the case here!

Yesterday there were showers on and off. Tomorrow the weather is supposed to be sunny with a high of 69! Steve will be off flying in a helicopter to catch some wily trout. Or so we hope!

Should Steve drive on the South Island?

Do you like him better with or without the beard?

Did you know that 1/3 of adults have ophidiophobia?

Did you know that is the fear of snakes? It is the most common phobia.

Off to New Zealand! Saturday November 14, 2015

I’m back! Have you missed me? My renewal for my WordPress account is coming up for renewal, so I best get my money’s worth and post some memories.

Off onto another recap of a past trip! This trip was Steve’s retirement present and I got to tag along! We were off to New Zealand for three weeks, and you get to come also. Lucky you! For those of you who know nothing about New Zealand, it is comprised of two islands. North and South. Those are easy names to remember, unlike many of the rivers that Steve will fish!

We will stay in Taupo on the North Island for one week and then rent a car on our travels on the South Island. We will stay at three fishing lodges, and one fancy schmancy place that I picked out. Steve will fish from the fancy schmancy place also. Actually it’s not fancy schmancy, just really nice, but how often do I get to write fancy schmancy? How often do you get to read those words? Likely never again, but one of my goals in this blog is to improve the vocabulary of my dear readers!

Dinner on the flight to Los Angeles from New York. This flight was on United Airlines.

Salad greens with butternut squash.

Short ribs.

Gelato with strawberry and chocolate sauce.

Then milk and warm cookies.

Lost Angeles is so pretty at night with all the cars lighting up the road. Side streets look blissfully empty.

This airport has the worst signage. We thought TBIT on the departure board meant To Be Something Something. Instead it meant Tom Bradley International Airport. It was a good thing we asked someone, otherwise we would have missed our plane, and this excellent adventure would never have happened!

Then we needed to find the shuttle, and then the departure area, there has to be a better way! But finally we found the correct terminal!

As we were flying business we got access to a fancy lounge.

Newspapers in so many languages!

The lounge has won awards for nicest airport. I can see why. These are the outdoor fire pits.

Of course I found the chocolate mousse and a decaf cappuccino!

Not looking forward to the 13 hour flight form Los Angeles to Auckland, New Zealand. Total time form NYC to Taupo, New Zealand our final airport is 26 hours! Ouch!

Here is Steve enjoying his little nook on the Air New Zealand plane.

I forgot to turn the flash back on, but the first course was a lovely tomato and mozzarella salad. The lighting on the plane was a calming purple hue. It was very restful.

I chose the parsnip and spinach soup for my entree. When I have a long plane flight I often just have the soup for my entree.

Can’t skip ice cream with fruit for dessert.

Somewhere over the Pacific Ocean at sunrise.

Breakfast was a fruit salad.

Croissant and toasted fruit bread with orange marmalade.

Then more carbs with the whole wheat waffle with dried fruit and cream anglaise. No pictures of Steve’s food as we were behind each other. I am sure Steve had the omelette!

Here is a map of our flight.

You can see a close up of the Pacific. This is where the tectonic plates are colliding and one is going under the other.

Steve will not be happy with these next two pictures but I don’t care. And since it is my blog, I get to post almost anything that I want. Steve does get to have the edit finger function and remove stuff that I might get in trouble with. Let’s see what happens here!

Anyway, there are certain haircuts on guys that I really like. This is one of them. Steve does not like to wear his hair this long and since it is his head, I let him wear it however he likes to wear it.

The guy changed his clothes before he landed. Perhaps he was meeting someone who liked his hair the way he wore it. Or perhaps his lover would rather he wear his hair shorter like Steve does!

One time a long time ago, I got my hair cut short and my ears pierced. Steve almost cried when he saw me. Now I try to let him know if I am going to do a drastic hair change!

It is strange getting used to the time. It is Monday morning around ten. Back home it is Sunday afternoon around four. We lost all of Sunday traveling but will get two Monday’s coming back!

That’s it for today, or tonight, or tomorrow in that case as we left on the 14th of November her and will arrive in New Zealand on the 16th!

Do you have a dream trip for when you retire?

Or are you already retired and you went on your dream trip already?

Do you wear your hair the way your significant other prefers, or do you say “To hell with you!”?