December 2, 2015
It was going to be a busy day because we had a long drive from Paihia to Rotorua. My BIL & SIL decided to go on a half a day trip to Cape Reinga in a plane and we decided to stay put because of my daughter. I knew that she wouldn’t do well on a full busy day.
So we decided to stay in Paihia and have a quiet time till they return. We got up at 7.30 am and the reason we got up early was because the sun was out way early. Seriously by 6 am we have the sun out and if your windows face the sun then you will have a bright sun in your face in the morning which end up waking Anya.
Moving on, we decide to spend the day in Paihia Town. The town center was just 5 min drive from the place we were staying. We checked out of the hotel and went to town. We saw an Art & Crafts show in the town and we decided to check it out. There were lots of talented local artist showing their wares. One of my favorite was the handbag shop , of course. It was hand-made and I loved the design of it but it was expensive say about NZ$200. I just drooled and moved on.
Next shop which impressed me was the natural skin care tent and I got a rose cream for my skin. I love the smell of roses. The cream is all natural ingredients and I just love how passionate they are about their products. Anya was fascinated by the Kaleidoscope tent. She was looking at all the different types and we ended getting a DIY Kaleidoscope kit which the owner told us how to make it.
We then walked along the main street and then had some ice cream. I went into the Pharmacy to check on their products. I found the Paw Paw ointment which was in my wish list and I didn’t realize that they sell them in NZ too. I also found some cute fridge magnets in the next shop. FYI, I collect fridge magnets from all our travels .
By they time In-laws returned from the trip, it was about 1.30 pm. We had our lunch at Amazing Thai Restaurant and then started our journey to Rotorua at about 3 pm. It was an 71/2 hour drive to our destination and it was bad because Anya got bored and cranky. She hated that long drive and by the time we reached there, we were at the end of our collective patience.
Note : Once you come out of major cities, keep in mind that the shops and cafe’s close at 4 pm .
And yes, I am not kidding. We thought we will stop when we are hungry but once we passed the 4.30 pm mark, we couldn’t find any shops. And since we took the fastest route to Rotorua which ended up following the back roads, We couldn’t even find a gas station. We finally found a gas station at about 9 pm and ended up getting Cheetos and drink. By the time, we reached the place we were staying, it was 10.30 pm.
The house we stayed in was about 20 km away from Rotorua city. It was in-front of the lake. The roads were very narrow like one car roads. Since we were so hungry, we had some ready-made briyani and just slept. We were so tired from the long journey and hoped that the next day would be better.