Ok, so it's probably time to catch you guys up, considering I left you all, jumping out of a plane!
The following day we continued our tour of the Northland. Now we discovered very quickly that the Kauri tree is very important to these guys, oh so important, as you to will soon realise.
We were picked up in the coolest looking bus ever. The front was an artic cab and the back was a full sized coach with the front lopped off, this was a serious looking coach. We travelled north on big road 1, hearing lots about the orchards, mostly Kiwis and Manderines if my memory serves. We, after a little while and some extremely over priced sandwichs, arrived at ninety mile beach! Named so, you would think due to the fact that it is ninety miles long, YOU WOULD BE WRONG, its 65! Named so as a man I forget his name who was revolutionising farming at the time walked sheep along the beach, thinking they walked thirty miles a day and it took him three days, poor guy!
We drove along the beach, hence the mean looking truck! It is actually a public road, but not many people drive on it because you cannot get insurance to cover you, coz of the sand, salt and getting stuck-ness. But we trucked along no problem, it was really surreal. We covered the length of it, looking at cars that had not listened to the warnings! The only way out the other end was up a stream, at which point I was once again very pleased to be in the big men bus and finally arrived at the biggest sand dunes I have ever seen.
We parked up and all got given a body board and a quick lesson and headed to the top. Now, Dave and I, as many of you will know, gave up smoking around 13 months ago, and people tell you that if you give up by the time you're twenty one your lungs will recover, THEY LIED!! I am so unfit. I thought I was going to pass out and it was just walking up a hill. So finally (a long time later) we reached the top and........ threw ourselves down again! Now what was the point? Yeah it was really fun, a little scary maybe. In fact I was more scared about that than the skydive the day before. But for all the effort, it was so not worth it.
After I finally recovered and decided I was going on a diet, we headed to Cape Regina which was pretty ace. It is where the Tasman and the pacific meet. It was rather beautiful, no loos though mum, I was very dissapointed.
After that we headed back south, learning in great detail all about Kauri trees. They are the largest tress in NZ some of them thousands of years old and like sixteen metres around! We visited the Gum Diggers Forest thingy. This is where we got to see how way back when people kind of mined(not quite the right word) for gum, which is Kauri tree sap, or amber. The area is a pete marsh and preserved the trees and sap beautifully! Anyway, I'm bored so you must be!
Then we went to a shop where there is a staircase made from Kauri tree which is 45000 years old and ways 50 tonnes!!!! That was fun, plus we got to have fish and chips on the way home yum yum.
The next day we headed back to Auckland. We decided we wanted to spend Christmas somewhere a bit more home like, so we got in touch with our friends Auntie, who had already said we could stay with her. But obviously being Christmas we weren't sure. When we hadn't heard from her for a couple days we got a bit worried, but decided to hop on a bus and come to Taupo where she lived and hope for the best. As it turns out we checked Facebook when we arrived in town and she'd left us message telling us where she lived and worked and to rock up anythime, so we did!
And here we have now been for about four days I think! We had a lovely Christmas, which consisted of a walk around the town and a picnic by the Lake, and loads of movies. It's weird being here for Christmas. Lorraine, the lady we're staying with, is amazing really lovely, and has made us feel really welcome, but its not like home. No one decorates their houses, the shops haven't really either. It was a beautiful sunny day and I had cheese and onion sandwiches for Christmas dinner! Really weird, but that's cool. It's what it's all about I suppose.
Merry Christmas everyone xxxxxx