|Up early, organised myself, various duties to be done. Hobbled down to breakfast on crutches, Moya followed with wheelchair in tow but I managed the trip to restaurant without her help.
Many of our companions were well ensconced there at this stage but Moya had to serve me as I have yet to manage cornflakes on the one leg.
This was one time I would not be having the scrambled eggs and bacon which had become my staple breakfast diet for the last 8 days, time to give the eggs a miss.
Great chat around the table with our fellow traveller's, the leg is always a talking point and was I suffering any pain? which thank God and Nurofen plus has rarely occurred over the last two weeks.
I did my usual on Internet, but as the gang assembled in the hotel lobby it was time to join them.
Moya dragged our various bags downstairs, bus arrived and I took myself off on the crutches, while various friends helped Moya with our luggage.
We left Tauranga and headed east for the fishing port of Whakatane where the rest of the gang would go to the volcanic White island.
Myself, Moya and Marie from East Limerick decided to give the trip a miss for various reasons.
The country side on our way was very picturesque; most of the land was in grass interspersed with Kiwi orchards.
Roger our guide gave us a brief history how the kiwi has become a vital part of the local economy. The kiwi orchards are surrounded by very tall neatly cut conifers to prevent frost damage. The kiwi plants are grown on network of timber trellis and the plants grow downwards, the ideal fruit picker must be less than 6 foot tall to collect the fruit.
We came across very large herds of dairy cattle in small paddocks, there was no trampling the grass as I have seen many a time in west Clare, these cattle eat the grass down to the ground.
Two things I found very disturbing on this journey were first of all, at the edge of water course, the grass was burnt as if weed killer had been used and this must have effected life in the streams, the second thing which was pointed out by Pat the ex-farmer, the cows tails were cut a practice banned in Ireland over ten years ago.
We arrived in Whakatane around mid-day and the seafarers were briefed on the expedition by a Kiwi whose name was Patrick Sullivan; I wonder was he any relation of O'Sullivan Beara who left Ireland after the battle of Kinsale.
The three land lubbers headed down town, first stop was the Irish Bar called The Craic, coffee was ordered and the menu examined, we were pleasantly surprised, food and drink were half the price of Auckland.
After cup of very pleasant coffee the women deposited me at the Internet shop where I updated my travel blog.
Back to the Irish bar late afternoon for food, drink and some very pleasant company.
The seafarer's landed back on shore as we reached our bus, perfect timing.
Rotorua beckoned and after 50 kilometre drive we arrived in our hotel.
The entire group were looking forward to the 4 night stop over, we passed a number of volcanic lakes but as it had got dark we could not appreciated their beauty.
Check-in at the hotel was very efficient; the so called room for my likes seem to be miles from the bar.
We watched the South African v Namibia, which was all one sided.
My decent into the bar area was a right old laugh, but we managed the steps.
Shortly afterwards a number of hotel employees arrived with a ramp, more suitable for bob sleight than my humble craft.
We had a sing song and a great chat with some of our fellow travellers; by the way I did my party piece on the West Clare line.
Late to bed this evening for a change.