Got the bus today to Whitianga on the Coromandel Peninsula. Stopped at Mt Eden (a volcanic crater) on the way out of Auckland and got another good view of the city from up there. Arrived in Whitianga (actually pronounced Futianga as we found out when the driver didnt understand where we wanted to go!) in the afternoon after a stop at Cathedral Cove beach which we had to do a half hour walk up and down very steep tracks to get to! a bit energetic for us in the heat! Arrived at our hostel late afternoon - it was really nice, we had a big dorm room with a view over the beach as it was literally just across the road. Wasnt very good weather there though - it was really windy and the sea was too rough to go swimming in. Found out later that there was a tropical cyclone on the way! great! spent the evening at the hostel doing some tv watching instead of braving the wind!
Next day was just as grey and windy but we walked into the town in the morning to have a look around. Most of the shops were closed (those that there were!) so spent the morning doing a bone carving class. We carved our own necklaces in a traditional Maori fish hook shape out of cow bone! (sounds more disgusting than it was!). Took quite a long time to do but turned out well! Didnt do much in the afternoon but drink tea but went out to the cinema in the evening to see a funny English film. Got soaking wet walking there though and sat in the cinema with sopping wet clothes! Then we went and found a nice pizza restaurant for dinner and luckily the rain had stopped for us to walk home afterwards!
It rained! and it rained! the tropical cyclone had arrived overnight! spent most of the day at the hostel hiding from the rain outside and watching tv! everyone was doing the same though so talked to a some new people and cards as always were good entertainment!