Cracked Ribs, Mountains and Hobbits

I mentioned in a previous post that I’ve had a bad cold for all of my trip so far – and I still do. Either from coughing so hard or bungy (or both), I’m pretty sure I’ve cracked a rib or two. It hurts to breath. It REALLY hurts to cough (unfortunately I’m doing that a lot). And a sneeze means a long chain of shouted expletives will immediately follow. I like to think I have a fairly high threshold for pain, but the constant cough on the ribs is torture. I think I’ve spent more on cold medicine and pain reliever on this trip than I’ve spent on food!!

Chris and I wrapped up exploring the South Island with a trip to Mt. Cook. It was incredible. It was a short walk out to the base of the mountain where a small glacial beach was – ice bergs and all! We were lucky enough that it was sunny – and were tempted to go for a swim!

Standing in front of Mt. Cook
Another of Mt. Cook

Around the corner from Mt. Cook was the Tasman Glacier. The Tasman Glacier is New Zealand’s longest glacier, and has been shrinking pretty significantly over recent years. You can see along the edges where the glacier used to come up to.

Tasman Glacier

Yesterday, Chris headed back to the states and I flew to the North Island to do a little more exploring. This morning I found a really nice little hike up to Wairere Falls on my way to Hobbiton! The falls were stunning, and the hike up was just as nice – it was like walking through a rainforest. Even nicer was the fact that it was completely peaceful – I didn’t see anyone else on the trail. 

One of the smaller waterfalls on the way up
Wairere Falls

After the hike I made my way to The Hobbiton Movie Set to geek out a little. I just watched the Lord of the Rings trilogy for the first time a few months ago – and I have to say the set was really cool. It was your typical New Zealand weather throughout the tour – sometimes sunny and warm, other times dreary and raining! 

Looking out at the Shire
Hobbit House
Another hobbit house
The famous Bag End

At the end of the tour they gave you a beer at the Green Dragon – and warming up by the fireplace with a beer was just what was needed! The dark ale that I had was one that you can only get there – you can’t buy it elsewhere!

After Hobbiton I drove to my AirBnB in Rotorua. I’m getting really comfortable driving on the opposite side of the road! I have to say…the views from my airBnB are one of a kind. Tomorrow I’ll explore Rotorua and then head to Taupo for a few days!

Lake Rotorua from the deck of my AirBnB
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