Posted by: Huw Thomas | February 21, 2011

Where rocks float

After a hot day on the bike it’s always great to jump into a lake or river for a swim. But today was the first time I’ve nearly had a collision with a floating rock!

We’re now in Taupo – where as well as geysers and hot pools there’s also lots of pumice stone lying around. (Or in this case, bobbing in the lake.)

The first summit of the day

Getting here has been a bit of a….. so and so. We took two days. Yesterday we started at sea level, climbed to 750m (2,400′) then went down to 400m (1,300′). Then back up to about 750m.

That’s about 1,100m (3,550′) of climbing – not counting the little ups and downs on the way. And they were nasty hills – lots of long, straight, steep climbs. Today wasn’t quite so bad but we were still feeling a bit on the weary side. Which was why the lake – floating rocks and all – was very welcome!

Before that we were in Napier. And purely by chance arrived in time for the city’s annual Art Deco festival.

L: Aerobatics from the Warbirds. M: Dancing in the streets. R: Vintage car parade

Napier was flattened by an earthquake in 1931 and then rebuilt. As a result, many buildings are lovely examples of the Art Deco style and the city celebrates its heritage every year.

We sat on the beach watching aerobatics, listened to jazz and big band music in the streets and watched a parade of hundreds of vintage cars. And looked at the thousands of people wearing period costume.




  1. Huw and Carolyn,

    Please post or email us to let us know where you are, that you’re alright…and what we can do to help.

    • ShelterBox is sending 300 boxes to help house rescue workers. Don’t know what else if needed in Christchurch at the moment.

  2. Just heard about the earthquake in New Zealand. There are ironies in your visiting two countries where disaster occurs during your visit and leads to shelterbox deployment. I’m sure you didn’t arrange it, but what a profound example of why these are important!

    Here’s hoping you are both safe and that there is less damage than anticipated.

    • Yes, it puts things into perspective. We were in Christchurch just weeks ago – with a ShelterBox display outside the cathedral. Just where the spire landed.
      We’re both okay but feeling for the people there.

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