So, to continue…

After our rafting trip and a raucous all-night New Zealand type partay in our campground, we enjoyed sleeping in and waking to…the music of the all-night New Zealand type partay.  (These Kiwis are not kidding around with their partying).  We had been invited the day before to join the festivities, but as the evening wore on, I fell asleep on the little bunk in the caravan listening to Sam, Laura, and Sarah chat, and the next thing I knew it was morning.  Does it give anyone pause to know that these were summer staffies celebrating something or other…and that it was the entire staff from the BUNGY-JUMPING business in Mangaweka??  I opted out of visiting that particular offering today.

After a bit of tidying up at our campsite, off we go again on the road.  This area is stunning in its beauty, and is very different from the agriculture of the southern part of the North Island, and the mountains of the South Island.

Me and Laura at one of her homes

So here’s the greatest part of this post:  on the road on the way here, we drove for miles alongside….Mt Doom!!!  It’s at the southern edge of the race lake!  You can see it from the swim, bike, and run course!  Mt. Doom!  The Mt. Doom!  Who the hell put Mt. Doom in sight of my race??  I choose to see it as a sign of good fortune:

can you see Frodo and Sam?

So I got my first view of Lake Taupo and it took my breath away.  It’s a volcanic lake and it is GORGEOUS.  I will attempt over the next few days to catch it digitally, but I’m afraid I won’t be able to convey its beauty.  It is crystal clear, its banks are green, its colors are 40 shades of blue.  I can’t wait to get in it.

Beautiful Lake Taupo - with Mt. Doom in the distance

And finally, here is my little haven, my accomodation for the week.  Simple, clean, functional.  It’s in a campground on the lake (they call them Holiday Parks here), about 3k from town.  It’s peaceful and quiet and I’m so glad to be here.  I’ve spread out all over the room, which will have to change when Jesse and Sam and Laura come back, but for now it works.

the sleeping wing
the business wing

Tomorrow I’ll ride the bike around town, on the ride and run courses, and there’s a group Splash and Dash tomorrow evening (1k swim and 5k run) that I’ll join.  I’m looking forward to exploring the town and swimming in the lake.  I have to get the wetsuit dipped for didymo – sounds like a venereal disease, but it’s just an algae that is troublesome in the lakes in New Zealand.

I’m having the time of my life – my body feels great, I’m so ready, and I can’t wait for Saturday!

Thank you again for all the kind words of support – they are food and water to me as I prepare for this event.  I’m trying to remind my Achievement Personality Disorder self that it really is the journey, not the destination, and your words constantly remind me of that.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart….

…and thanks for reading!