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.