Not sure if I mentioned that someone was a bit stressed out about me being able to drive and it wasn’t me 😇 yeah I got in to the motel around 2 am and yeah I had a few wobbly pops but I have faith in myself .... so when I woke up just after 7 am and saw that Kathleen was getting ready I actually breathed a sigh of relief that I actually did wake up on time . Shook the cobwebs out of my head and by the time the shower was available I had my wits about me enough to respond to Kathleen’s remarks 😛 she was surprised I got up and for good reason since today we have to go pick up our rental car . It will be the first time I have to drive on the left side of the road which I consider the wrong side because back home I drive on the right side , and I’m sure you can figure out right from wrong lol ! After showering up I got my bag packed up and we headed to the motel office to get our shuttle to the airport where the Avis rental office is that we booked from . I was more then happy to leave that dingy motel ... what a dump .
We got to Avis picked up our car and hit the road ....right off the bat I can tell you it’s weird , your gears are on the wrong side and the blind spot is weird to turn around to see through ... all my senses want me to drive on the right side but I have to get my shit together and drive for a few hours to get to Hobbiton . Thankfully there isn’t a ton of drivers on the road and soon enough I find myself on the highway driving smoothly but the only thing I constantly keep messing up is that I’m using my windshield wipers to make turn signals lol 😝 yeah they are on the other side . At some point I hope to get used to them but for now I will deal with it and white knuckle it to my destination . Yeah I’m a bit nervous but I’m staying aware of my driving and working hard not to drive on the side of the road that I’m used to driving on .
We arrived at Hobbiton without a scratch and I’m gonna keep this as short as possible .... we arrived a bit early and asked if we could take an earlier tour and we were bumped an hour and got on our bus and went to The Shire . It’s beautiful there and the set is amazing with all 44 hobbit holes still in tact and the grounds are kept in great shape . The farmer that owns this land must be making bucket loads of money per minute ! Apparently around 3500 visitors a day paying good money to visit the place that dreams were made . I have no qualms with it at all and I appreciated seeing the set especially since I work in the film business and the whole time I was there I could only imagine how gruelling it must have been to drag gear up and down those hills all day but the end product is really worth all the work and I would have been more then proud to say I worked on those movies . The whole tour was a couple hours and was worth the money spent and was worth driving to see . I’m not gonna ruin anything for anyone thinking of visiting New Zealand .... just go do it !
When we got into the car I backed out and began driving on the right side and there are parking lot attendants and the first one waved at me to go on the other side and I blew him off and then there were another few waving for me to go to the other side and then I realized that I’m driving on the wrong side of the road hahaha ! Good thing someone told me or I would have carried on driving normally lalalala .... oops ! Next stop is Rotorua where we are staying the next two nights and we are staying at the Holiday Inn which is a really nice hotel with a big room and probably no bed bugs 😉 when we arrive we get our room key and of course our room is way way way down the hallway and my gear is still wet so I gotta bless this room with some hockey stank . Once we get into the room we notice we have a great view of steaming hot pools and the view is gorgeous . This is by far the best room we’ve had on this trip so far and we are hoping the next hotel is half as good .... but we have our doubts .
After settling in we get a shuttle into the city center and we go to see Lake Rotorua and we see the black swans and a biplane and it’s nice and quiet and very beautiful . We walk through the park then head to the food area which has all sorts of great food selections but I have craving for chicken and we decide to check out the Nando’s which is Portuguese styled chicken from a South African restaurant which seems to be adorned by my friends in England ... not all my friends but a good portion ! It’s the closest thing I’m gonna get to Swiss Chalet or St. Hubert . We have really been overspending and at this point we decide to go on the cheap from here on ... at least for a few days . The food at Nando’s is not expensive at all and that was the eye opener and we got stuffed and decided to walk back to our hotel which is about a 35 minute walk . On our walk we decide to go visit a grocery store and grab some fruit and stuff to mix drinks as we picked up a bottle of gin at the duty free on the way into Auckland . The walk back was nice and quiet and we enjoyed seeing the stars in the sky as we talked about our plans for the next few days and when we got back to our room we had a nice gin and tonic and I calculated my spending and realized I’ve spent way more then I had planned .... the main plan for tomorrow and the next few days is to go shopping and grab groceries . It’s time to start making sandwiches and eating on the cheap . No more $100 lunches or at least until I find a place with some good oysters hahaha !