It's been a while, but i'll try to remember everything that we've done in the last month!! While Jacqui was still here, we drove up to Auckland to meet up with Ally, Jack's friend. He arrived at about 7am, so we drove through the night to pick him up at the airport. All feeling pretty tired, we headed north of Auckland to a place called Orewa, where we spent the whole morning in the hot pools there - very nice! The weather was awful, and didn't actually stop raining for 2 days! We were going to stay at a place called Leigh that night, but ended up going a little bit further (i can't remember the name of it- Jacqui will know...) and we stayed in a campsite (we got a cabin, didn't want to put our tents up in the rain!) which had a table tennis table, so we had a tournament that night, and that's about all you can do in that weather!
The next day we headed up to Tutukaka (probably the most amazing place ever!) where Jacqui and I went diving at the Poor Knights Island, which was amazing. Unfortunately the sea was a bit rough so the boat journey was interesting - i was very nearly sick. The diving was still pretty good - after about 5 metres down you couldn't feel the roughness of the sea anymore, and i'm told it is possible to be sick in your regulator, but i really didn't want to try it! After the first dive we both felt fine, and the second dive was great - we went in to a cave, saw lots of fish, spanish lobster and lots of other things.
Jack and Ally went surfing that day, up the coast to Sandy bay. Jacqui left the next day to get her flight from Auckland, while Jack, Ally and I went on a fishing trip with a Canadian guy called Rob and the skipper of the boat called Lou - our boat was called the happy hooker, finished off with a lady in fishnet stockings catching a big fish... classy!
Everyone caught something, i caught Kawera (i think that's what its called) and a snapper which i took home with me, Jack caught some snapper too, but, Ally went one (or maybe 100) better than us - he caught a 4 foot 18kg Mako Shark!!!! It was crazy, it took about 10 minutes to get it on board! Lou fillited it for us, and we had shark on the bbq for dinner that night, and the next night... and we left some for Rob and his family... and we gave some away at that campsite, and the next.... there was so much of it! Really tasty though!!
We stayed 3 nights in total in Tutukaka, then headed to Ahipora, where we actually booked in to a hostel then realised that there was a campsite on the beach for $10 per site, so we got our money back (which was lucky!) and headed there instead. The reason it was so cheap is that the only facilities there were was long drop toilets... pretty gross, but we only stayed there one night, and the beach was lovely! Jack and Ally went out surfing there again.
We headed south the next day, went through the forest with the big trees - Kauri trees i think (i don't have my book with me so i'm forgetting all the names of things!) they were huge, pictures don't do it justice. We also had to get a car ferry over the Hokianga harbour which was pretty cool, just a 15 minute ferry. We stayed that night at a place called Bayleys beach - the beach was nice, but the water was really rough so couldn't go surfing. We hired some quad bikes, only had 2 between the 3 of us, we set off down the beach, Jack had his own and I was on the back of Ally's then Jack's broke down! I rode back to get help, and the womand told us to leave it there!! So we all came back with one quad, and didn't pay for the other one - at least we saved some money!!!
We made a really long trip the next day - bear in mind that the van was running rubbish, and we even got down to 1st gear sometimes to get up hills... it was also doing about 200k to a full tank of petrol....! not good! We arrived in Raglan that evening, stayed there for 2 nights. It was a bit disappointing, we didn't get any surf because there was a huge storm - our tents nearly got blown away on the second night so we hired a cabin for a little bit more money.
Looking for more surf, we went down to New Plymouth in Taranaki and drove along the surf highway. We stayed at Okura for a night, it had a really nice beach, and the campsite was right on the beach. After that we headed to Opunake - the surf was good there, but the town was dead! Everywhere seemed to be deserted actually! We had a really cool cabin there and stayed for 2 nights. We bought a skimboard aswell which was good fun.
We headed for Taupo after that, which was the longest drive of all. We set off down the 'Forgotten World Highway' - to find that it really was forgotten, they'd forgotten to tarmack some of the road, and the highway was actually an unsealed road for about 30k's!! Mr J held up ok though. We got to Taupo and checked in to a hostel. The next day Ally and Jack did a bungy jump - i didn't if you didn't jump you didn't get your money back and i wasn't going to risk it!!
The next day we headed to Rotorua, stopping off at the craters of the moon on the way. We went out in Rotorua to see Jack's friend playing in a band which was good. We headed back to the mount after that as i was starting work again. Jack and Ally had 3 days in the mount surfing etc, then Ally went home on the Wednesday.
That Friday, we bought a new car - Mr J was costing far too much money in petrol! We got a Toyota Corona 1990 (or Reggie, as he is now named), got a good deal for it too. It runs like a dream compared to Mr J, and it's fuel efficient and easy to drive - nice to be able to get in the car not panicking that youre going to break down in the middle of nowhere! We sold Mr J to a brazilian guy on the Sunday, so we managed to get rid of him!
We're both back at work now, and living in Papamoa (suburb next to the Mount) with Chloe who i work with and her boyfriend Adam, and their two kittens Aston and Ruby!
Not got much planned till July, but if we have any weekends away we'll keep updated!!
Hope everyone is well - will put pics on soon!
Linsey and Jack xxx