The weather here in New Zealand is officially more schizo than back at home. It can turn from bright sunshine to pouring rain and back again about eight times a minute! I've become adept at whipping out my kagoul at very short notice and Jim even got his mac out for the first time in the entire trip yesterday (vanity preventing him from doing so thus far).
We mooched about Paihia for a few hours before catching the ferry to Russell just across the bay, previously nicknamed "the hellhole of the Pacific" and, according to Charles Darwin, full of the "refuse of society". It's tidied up its act a bit since then and is quite a pretty little village, populated by B&Bs, cafes and colonial-style housing.
We did a short walk up to Maiki (Flagstaff Hill) - recommended walking time 20 minutes, Jim and Gem walking time 10 minutes. There was a nice view up there over the entire bay. However, we could see a wave of rain approaching from Paihia so we hurried back down the hill and dived into a cafe until the weather was good enough to get the ferry back.
And that was about it for yesterday due to low funds and bad weather. There had been talk of going on a sailing trip whilst we were up here but the sea conditions have been too rough. So we're heading back to Auckland this afternoon, just for the night, ready to hop on the Magic Bus and start our journey south tomorrow morning.
Miss you all loads x x x