With a couple of weeks spare before we go to Oz, the plan for Paihia was to chill out on a beach for a bit, soak up some sun and try to save a bit of money. Paihia is a small town in the Bay of Islands which is notorious for hot weather and stunning beaches. As we're in Paihia for a little while, we've managed to secure a cheap deal on our accommodation. We're staying in a studio apartment hidden in a forest which has its own kitchen, bathroom, lounge etc. This may not sound like much to you guys back home, but considering some of the places we've stayed in, this is pure luxury. The beach is only a 10 minutes walk away and the night life is pretty decent considering how small the place is. On our first night here we went to a BBQ with some of the guys from the Magic bus. There was a really good crowd of us and the 3 of the people we met are going to be in Sydney the same time as we are, so we're planning to meet up for Xmas dinner!
We went on the Cape Reinga tour the other day which was a really fun day out. Cape Reinga is the northern most point of New Zealand and is renowned for the lighthouse on the cliff (see Paihia photo album), the 90 mile beach and the awesome sand dunes. The lighthouse is pretty cool because you can see where the Tasman sea meets the Pacific ocean, it's pretty hard to see from the photo's but seeing it for real looked cool. My highlight for the day was definitely dune boarding down the sand dunes. The sand dunes are very steep and it was agony to walk to the top... dune boarding to the bottom made it all worth while despite eating sand all the way down!
A few days later we went out on a half day fishing tour. Fishing is definitely something i want to take up when i get home, such a fun activity to do. We were fishing for snapper fish and the cool thing about the trip is that you get to cook whatever you catch. We both caught about 3 snappers each and they were all a fairly decent size.
Rachel went out on a horse trek the other day which she apparently really enjoyed. For those that know me, you'll know that me and horses don't exactly get on. Whilst Rachel was out riding Black Beauty, i decided to spend the day in a sports bar watching the Ashes. Oh what's that? 30oC outside, golden beaches and clear blue seas? No thanks, I'd rather sit with a 60 yr old Kiwi chap and plough through copious handles of Lion Red beer. This was the 5th day of the first test which was a great day to watch it! As the game went on, a few more of the barmy army joined us and there was a crack-a-lackin atmosphere in the pub. Rachel joined us after the trek and a few of us went out that evening to celebrate England's performance!
We leave Paihia for Hokianga on Sunday before we make our way back to Auckland to fly to Oz on the 11th December. Speak soon folks, stay cool. xxx