New Zealand
The Great Lent begins on March 2nd. Usually at this time we give up alcohol, meat and sweets. This time we decided to ease the task - there is such a delicious wine. In short, we decided to hold a post every second day) At the same time, I will try to do without meat at all and without rum (which is simply really good here, Cuban)

The next morning we took the kayak further. The weather was cloudy, we decided to make a stop on a deserted island. Landing was unsuccessful due to large waves. Our kayak turned parallel to the shore, I got out and began to catch our things. Everything ended well, the kayak did not roll over, but our seats were full of water.
It turned out a wonderful! The meeting with our familiar jewelers was fun and exciting - we could really be friends if we lived here. On the way from the cafe we met his friend - a real fireman! So cheerful) Karina updated her dreadlocks right on the street in front of the railway station.

Then we visited an interesting festival on the street - "Parking". The idea is that different artists, performers are allocated a parking space on the street and they can express themselves as they want. And passersby vote. We really liked everything. For example, a young guy built an"obstacle course" made of gravel, sand, boards.

And everyone could drive in a wheelchair. The idea is to be more attentive to the needs of people with disabilities.

Another project was to monitor the pressure of car tires: if they are poorly inflated, rubber micro-particles goes into the ground and water. Three women in white overalls suggested that passersby paint on old tires and make prints on large sheets of paper. Super!

Another pair of people came up with a game about Wellington's famous women. In the end, they played the flute and improvised a short song about one of them. Almost like a playback theater. We are trying not to drink, keeping our fasting. Oh.
We had another wonderful full day. Finally visited the Saturday market. And products, and hand made food, and a flea market, and musicians! And the sun, and even the heat. Another tram museum, an amazing exhibition of works (bone carving, Owen Mapp) and a unique Anglican church of the last century, which were decorated inside the Māori. Detachment of the head - everywhere carving, ornaments, idols. Such a mixture of everything!

Tired, hungry, dined at 5 pm.

Then I rushed to wash the car while Karina on the black sand beach was sunbathing. And, apparently, I worked under the sun without a panama hat and a T-shirt and got some fever.

And tomorrow is a big hike: craters of extinct volcanoes, lakes, forests, mountains. 6-8 hours on foot!

I worry a little. And one leg has not yet healed. But you have to go tomorrow - then they promise 2 days of rains. (We leave for the place at 6.30.)
Tongarino National Park.

We were very lucky with the weather! On the way there were often signs like"Are you sure you want to continue?" It's not too late to return","Further it will be much more difficult!","If the wind and rain - turn back! ".

But in this sunny weather, we did not notice anything dangerous.

Karina found us one stick in advance. At first I refused, but in the end I thanked her very much. And for the fact that Karina insisted that I walk in real boots)

It was a serious day trip. Stunning views of the extinct volcano, the valley. Very unusual landscape. Almost lunar. Here and there, steam escapes from under the earth. Lakes are multi-colored with a special chemical composition.
In the morning on the way we came across a city park with springs. Small but beautifully decorated with smoking craters. We shot a funny video.

We went to another park - Tepuya. Karina is delighted with these bubbling, gurgling, rumbling puddles.) Yeah, the infernal spectacle. Maori called it the "Gate of the Devil." Although, some bathed and cooked until now. Karina says that she is delighted, perhaps because she herself is seething, bubbling, and then ready to explode!) Especially Karina was delighted with the geyser. And good weather.

Then we went to the amazing Redwood Forest. Huge sequoias brought from California. And the ferns that Karina loved so much. She talks with them, hugs and photographs uncountably) Wonderfully walked, had a bite to eat right in the forest a simple meal.

At 18.30 we were already on the show in the Maori village. There were a lot of people. First, we were seated at the tables and began to find out who was coming from. It turned out 20 countries! The leader in all languages spoke a few words, and with humor. Then they took us for a walk, showed food preparing on hot stones, a Maori boat for 20 people, shows with songs, martial dance, Maori games. Everything is talented and with humor.

The dinner was amazing. We violated the fasting and decided to try the meat cooked in such an interesting way. Well, a glass of wine, since such a thing.

After dinner, we took a walk around the village. It was dark, awkward and funny. They promised to show local fireflies. At the exit, we asked:"And where are the fireflies?"

-"Oh, but you didn't hear when I said look to the left ?!"

We were the last visitors, we walked ourselves at the end.

Where to spend the night? Darted into the city, to the official parking for campers - there is no place. And again we returned to our beloved Redwood. We even found a sign that campers can stay here. Karina has already fallen asleep. But the ranger arrived and said that only in the afternoon it is possible.

But he said that there is a meadow nearby - it is possible there (although there is no sign). Karina transported us right there in her underpants)

Still full moon.
We arrived in the vicinity of Rotorua. This place is famous for volcanic activity. It smells of sulfur everywhere. The earth is hot in many places - they even cook food in it! Many springs with hot (very) water, colorful lakes, there are geysers.

We walked for a long time in the park with gurgling puddles and sulfur fumes. A very unusual sight for me. Just got in the car - it started to rain (and there was no rain here for a month). And we are in bathing suits, we wanted to stay in a hot spring.

And suddenly the glass in our car cracked and began to fall apart. Why? We still have not understood. And the rain is whipping. We bought large garbage bags, sealed with electrical tape. And rushed to the city. We barely had time before closing - 5 minutes before we arrived for repairs. They take a look, said, they will call tomorrow morning.

We were happy to visit a local hypermarket - had a good time there and ate delicious food in a Chinese restaurant. We spend the night in the parking near the lake. The rain does not stop (

But tomorrow we planned a lot, except for glazing. And we also had a"plug" in the water popping up - we lost water along the road, and suddenly it appeared on the floor in the shower-toilet
Today in the morning we were on a bicycle tour along the old railway track. Super! Great double right on the rut! And through the tunnel with flashlights! Wonderful ride. We planed to extend the route right up to 100 km!

Now we spend the night in a wild place, not even camping. Close to Te Araroa. The strongest wind, rocks, ocean.

In Switzerland lockdown. Here also begins leapfrog - people buy toilet paper, rice, salt. I hope that in a month NZ will not be closed. It's hard for many friends in Europe - there is no work due to quarantine.

And we had a fight yesterday, today raked and drank red wine. ????

We saw an interview with an epidemiologist who supervised during the bird and swine flu. He says everything is tricky and exaggerated. And statistics can prove it. And it's hard to diagnose. And closing the borders will not help. In short, it puts people in shock and the economy into the black hole. Already an investigation happening.

It turned out that they did not organize excursions to the white island, but to the whale Island, which is nearby. And the company is called "White Island". The difference in English is small - White and Whale. So we visited the beautiful Whale Island. The group was small - only 6 tourists, 2 guides and a captain of a catamaran. Apparently, the coronavirus is coming. You can't bring fruit, vegetables, seeds to the island. Shoes must be disinfected. So we took crackers and cheese. The walk along the bay and to the island took only 15-20 minutes. Sometimes we jumped quite high on the waves. So I had a special experience in the toilet with this.

Whale Island 20 years ago was completely empty and naked, without any vegetation. They say rabbits ate everything. Now there are a lot of trees, birds, there are even parrots. There are no rodents. But just in case, there are traps.

On the beach, it's worth digging into a little sand and it immediately becomes very hot. So you can dig holes and mix hot water with ocean water. We walked around the island - it is amazing how quickly trees grow here, birds breed. Handsomely.

Over the past 10 years, scientists have twice installed expensive equipment to monitor the activity of the volcano. And both times the next day an eruption occurred. It seems that White Island does not want to be in control:)

An amazing meeting: among all 6 tourists (with us) there was a young couple from Russia. Moreover, it turned out they were from Nefteugansk (Siberia), where I spend 5 years at school! And their grandmothers are in Ukraine. Double coincidence! They told me a lot about life in Nefteugansk. Amazing meeting!

After we came back we went to the tourist information center. For the first time I had to communicate at a distance of two meters. Both for them and for us, the situation was awkward. They joked a lot.
We learned that the markets were closed on weekends due to the coronavirus, so we were in no hurry to get there. But we were waiting for another surprise from our old car: this time the battery ran out and we could not even start the engine. They contacted the company, the master arrived (fairly quickly),"revived" the battery for a while, said that it was necessary to visit the workshop place. And we went happily back.

We had dinner in a car looking at the bay - a strong wind rose in the evening. The next morning they promised the ain.
Today we are not in a hurry. Good morning: breakfast, exercise, shower, walk along the ocean. The car started up)

The repair place said that we have the wrong battery, not for diesel. Good guys. Workers contacted the auto company and insisted that they pay for a new suitable battery. Hooray!

Karina found a working beauty salon and joyfully went to the procedure. I went for a walk around the city. I found a museum closed for an indefinite period, as well as a tourist information center. And the boat trip office was also closed. Almost all cafes, shops were closed too. But some still worked. After 48 hours, everything will be closed, except for banks, pharmacies and supermarkets.

The streets are empty, I have already seen rare passers-by in masks.

We found a great stylish unusual store, and it is open! Karina remeasured a bunch of outfits, I chose a ring.

Every time I am amazed at how quickly Karina comes into contact with strangers, how she disposes of herself, building trust and laughter. In general, I am also not a sociopath and a shirt-guy, but Karina is the best!

We are very close to Cathedral Cove - this is a wonderful reserve with many routes, diving, beautiful nature. We wanted to visit this place. But let's try tomorrow - may be they are still open?
We decided to go to Katicati. The museum is closed, galleries too. Post office works the last day. We are afraid to send parcels - what if they get stuck in Singapore?

Several gift shops are still open. People are no longer so friendly, some wearing masks. For some reason, a lot of traffic.

We decided on the advice of Tina to go to the hot beach today.

I see now such cardinal and quick changes in communication with local people. At night, several cars from the local town circled around our campsite (only 6 cars) and persistently offered to leave their area. We found out about this in the morning from our neighbors, we ourselves were innocently sleeping.

And in the shops, at the post office, in this nice town the atmosphere changed a lot.

I received a letter that I must send my passport for a visa. But today was the last day of me having this chance. So, I won't get it back within a month (quarantine period) at least. Phones are not responding.

Well, so good to have Tiina. Tomorrow we will be with her.

Singapore Airlines canceled flights. And here, according to their general theory, is safer.

Not the worst place to get stuck, anyway!) There are a lot of parks, the ocean, beaches - so grateful for this!) Everything will be Jazz!

We arrived at the hot beach. Found only expensive camping. In principle, we do not like these. Wild, free, right on the beach, without people and super amenities (there is always a toilet). But here is good, quiet, a lot of greenery.

Overwhelmed with emotions, we ate and drank red wine. Let's watch!