|Cows love NZ|
|Sheep speckle the rolling hills.|
|Picturesque scenery of farmland.|
The road plunged into a deep valley with huge rock faces and we cautiously navigated our way to route 54 towards Taupo. I ended up with a bit of a road headache at 2 pm and Mike took over driving. The roads are paved but super narrow and twisty , so I had to just close my eyes at some of the mountain passes over the valley, for it looked like our car could fall over the edge of the hills and into the lush green valleys below .
We stopped at a trout farm to go to the restroom and we saw a Tui bird, NZ's own beloved black bird, about the size of a raven, with two conspicuous white feathered tufts on its throat.
Zack decided that he wanted to go potty after they closed the restrooms at 3:30, so we were out of luck. After deciding the bushes were not an option, he wanted to go back to the car and drive to a better toilet.
We got to Lake Taupo 25 min later and finally found a rest stop along the beach where Zack could go.
Finally, we climbed back into the car and found our hotel at 5 pm or so.
Twin Peaks Lakeside Inn was nice in that the rooms are suites with a kitchen, dining area, bathroom, and two areas to sleep.
The Jolly Good Fellas restaurant and bar was loud and the service was a bit slow. Zack and Ben were squirrelly from the long ride and squiggled in their seats and blew bubbles in their lemonade with straws . Dinner was unremarkable, except for Mike's . He had a beef and onion "pastie"which was like beef stew inside a flaky calzone - shaped croissant.
The boys took forever to settle down and go to bed, and Mike and I watched most of the 3 Muskateers. Nightfall brought some peace to the exhausted travelers searching for Hobbiton.