Tuesday, February 12, 2019

There's beer at the barn

We left Whangamata headed for Matamata and the Hobbiton movie set. The road was still curvy and we even got some rain through the Karangahake Gorge.
At every turn in the road I marveled at the sight of the Tree Ferns. It looked like we were in Fiji!
Just before Matamata was Wairere falls. We decided to stop and check it out. It was still a bit rainy and it looked like a fairly strenuous hike, so we skipped it in favor of getting to Hobbiton. Guess what? The Hobbiton tours were fully booked for the next 5 days. Oh No! That was the first sightseeing stop we had on our map from the beginning - it didn't occur to us that we needed to make pre-arrangements. Silly I know, you should always think about crowds for popular attractions like this during high tourist season. We much prefer to leave our schedule loose so we can follow serendipity, so we get over our disappointment quickly when things don't work out. It's how we roll. 
So ... back to the falls we go. The weather had cleared up a bit, and we now had all day free. WOW what a gorgeous hike. We ended up feeling grateful that Hobbiton didn't work out because this hike was SO rewarding. 

It was long and steep and hot. We felt very accomplished to complete it - and rewarded with the waterfall view at the end. Melinda had stopped before the waterfall and took a dip in the stream. We picked her up on the way back. Jim took the lead the rest of the way. I commented that he was acting like a horse that wants to get back to the barn. He responded "There's beer at the barn."

Combined with our beach walk in the morning - we recorded over 17,000 steps this day.

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