Friday, December 24, 2010

Travel Blog 2-11 Dec 2010

Continue my travel blog..

2 Dec
After checking out from camp-site at Roturua, we went to Te Puia (pronouce - Te Puya). It is a volcanic area with geyser (a hot water coming out from earth) and they converted this place to a Mouri Village. Firstly, they showed us how Mouri's treat their guests inside a Mouri hall. There was this Mouri culture show and showed the Hakka dance, a dance to intimidate the enemy. This dance is a ritual when the NZ Rugby team (All-Blacks) do before every game.

We were guided by a tour-guide (Mouri woman). She greeted with "Haire Mai" (welcome) and showed us Mouri homes, Mouri dishes, Mouri handycrafts & Mouri cultures. Nice to learn about other peoples culture. I went for another round of walk around the 10 acres Te Puia. Another nice walk through volcanic paths and hot springs. For me- this is my best place..

After finishing Te Puia, we proceed to Roturua town Centre. It was by the lake and we had a good picnic by the lake. We also feed the birds who joined us for lunch. Next, we went to Kuirau park, which is literally have many hot springs. We dipped our feet in the warm water, but the smell of sulphur was very strong. But they said, it acts as good mineral for the body.

Then we proceed to Lake Toupo, another gorgeous place by a huge lake. The lake is like an ocean. Very scenic drive along 50km stretch by the vast lake. We finally stopped at the National Park (Fakapapa) camping site, and as usual, having to connect electricity mains to the van. When we finally arrived at this place, it was raining heavily, and because this is high altitude, the temperature was 10 Celsius (cold). We spent the night in the van talking and playing computer games, after another wonderful dinner together.

3 Dec,
Went to Mount Raupehu, the highest mountain in the North Island. It is an active volcano. Even though it is summer, but the mountain is filled with snow-cap. It is a skiing resort, but it is closed in the summer. We took lots of pictures with Mt Raupehu as the backdrop. The next destination is Waitomo, which is 200km from Mt Raupehu. I had to drive fast to reach Waitomo, cos we were heading to a cave with glow-worms and the last show was at 3.30pm. When we left Mt Raupehu, it was 12 noon. I managed to reach the destination at 3.05pm and we got the chance to watch the worms glow inside a cave by boat. Mashaallah, the worms did glow and it was like a Christmas light in a cave. As it was our last destination before heading back to Auckland, we decided to stop by the road overlooking the farm, and cooking and eating like having a picnic. It was very enjoyable, having to eat in an evening overlooking a farm with hills & sheep on a mid summer in NZ. Then the last stretch was Waitomo- Auckland (200km) and we reached back to sisters place at 10pm unpacking and feeling really happy..

4thDec (Sat) - Me & wife went to Auckland museum. Main reason for going to the museum was to get free parking for 4 hours. Particularly like the Mouri & Polynesian history & culture. There was this section about Kiwis soldiers having to serve in Malaya in 1950s. Interesting.... Afternoon, when all the kids were ready, we went to shopping mall in Albany (another suburb), while I send back to campervan to change to a MPV. After hopping, we went to Mission Bay (another suburb) to have an evening picnic by the beach.

5th Dec (Sun) - Morning, went to French market in Parnell (another suburb) and proceed to Rose garden to take pictures. Interestingly, there is this rose called PJ Rose. Wife took a picture there, which she said represented her (Her name is Ros and lives in PJ). Afternoon, went to Beachlands (another suurb), to have lunch (Halal BBQ) served by Linda & Shane. Linda spent 1 year (1983) in Malaysia with my family as an exchange student and she still call me "abang". Good lunch and good walk by the beach as her house is near the beach. Linda also showed her old photos of her stay in Kajang. Bring back nice memories. After we say goodbye to Linda & Shane, we went to drive around Auckland at night looking at a giant Christmas tree in Ponsonby Street

6th Dec (Mon) - Went for a walk in the morning. Another trip to the museum for the free parking, before driving everyone for another round of shopping in Albany. After they finally finish their shopping at 3.30pm, had to rush to the rent-a-car to send back the rented car. We spent the night watching TV and sisters apartment after a nice dinner.

7th Dec (Tue) - Went walking alone in the early morning. Then went to Panmure (another suburb) with wife by bus, as wife wants to visit this patch work warehouse. As for me, had another good walk up Mt Wellington, near Panmure by myself. When we finally came back, the kids had gone to the museum with my sister, and we met them back at Chocolate Boutique - where we all have a nice chocolate cake & drinks outside the shop in the summer and waiting for the sun to set...

8th Dec (Wed), As usual, my morning walk along Domain. Then final shopping around Newmarket (another suburb) and Central Auckland. I had to go back to apartment with the 2 small kids & mother as they already very felt tired. Wife & teenage kids went to K Road to see secondhand stuffs. Dinner, we had dinner at Nando's (Halal) as the owner is a Indian Muslim.

9th Dec (Thu) Morning walk. No more shopping, just packing & cooking. All the kids went to watch movie (Narnia). In the evening, we took a car and went site seeking for the final time. Went to One Tree Hill, the highest point in Auckland. Took pictures on top of the hill with sheep and the hill as backdrop. Watch the sun set and mashaallah... beautiful

10th Dec (Fri), To airport, but not until I finish my morning walk. Had to check in early as mother needs a wheel chair while having to sort out the 6 heavy luggage. Flight was at 1pm, but by 11 am, we were already saying goodbye to sister & his hubby. Reached BSB at 6pm local time. Checked in Terrace Hotel and straight went to sleep at 9pm.

11th Dec (Sat), Woke up at 4am. Waited for Subuh. Went for morning walk in BSB town Centre and Kampong Ayer, a floating village. Checked out of BSB at 10am, spent 2 hours at "Gedung", the biggest shopping mall in BSB and straight to airport. No need to go to counter as we already got our boarding pass fron Auckland. Flight from BSB-KL was at 3pm an we were joined by many jemaah Haji Malaysia using agents from Brunei. It was really a "blessed" journey all the way. I can say that I achieved both objective (Silaturrahim & Melihat kebesaran Allah)

Alhamdulillah, everything is safe and sound. Thank you Allah...

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