10 October 2005 Lake Taupo

Drove N’s car, following her and E in his car, to Lake Taupo, through an exciting range of landscapes – sheep pasture, angular foothills, rainforest, pine forest, volcanic desert and lakesides reminiscent of the Scottish highlands.

Stopped  at the Southward Car Museum where, as well as a nostalgic encounter with the first three cars my family ever had – a Standard 8, a Morris Minor Traveller and a Ford Anglia – we saw a car owned by a gangster accomplice of Al Capone, complete with bullet-marked three-inch-thick windows, a bomb-proof floor and the windscreen divided into two so that the passenger side could be flipped up to allow a gun barrel out.

Finally before Taupo we stopped at the ‘Thermal Wonderland’ – an extremely volcanic area of bubbling mud pools, deep hell-like ravines full of sulphurous steam, lush mineral-rich forest and pools of iridescent colour.

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