This week I have been mostly ......COLD!!!
So having arrived in New Zealand I have already invested in some warmer clothes, the cold is a little bit of a shock to be honest with you! I booked in to a hostel for the first night but the guy in my room had a habit of shouting in his sleep so I booked out again the next morning! Julie and I decided that whilst in New Zealand we should see a real live rugby match so I went and bought tickets for Auckland v's Tasman. We watched the game blissfully unaware of the rules but on the plus side I have declared that numbers 9 and 19 are my new boyfriends (its good to have a reserve) although they dont know this. Whilst in Aukland we also went up the skytower (the tallest building in the southern hemisphere at several metres high) although we elected to take the conventional route down (the lift) rather than taking the other option which is to throw yourself off it. We also went to the museum and the skydome and I can now recognise Jupiter, the Southern Cross and Scorpio when star gazing! In an effort to keep Julie out of the shops (she is a nightmare) we visited one tree hill which doesnt have a tree on it and ate at a cafe with teeny tiny portions. The waitress asked 'How was everything?' I replied 'Small' and Julie wanted the ground to swallow her up!
Having been in Aukland for a week I decided to take a trip up North with Stray travel, I say a purple chicken ( I think its called a Pukeko) and hugged and 800 year old Kauri tree. I stayed at a place called Paihia in the Bay of Islands and it is lovely, one of the warmest places in New Zealand as it is nearest the equator. On day 1, Ilse a dutch girl asked me if I would like to do a hike to see Haruru Falls, why not I thought. The track was closed but according to Tourist Information it was just a bit slippy and you could get round. We climbed round the fence to keep us out and wandered through sub tropical rainforest and mangroves on the way to the falls. After a couple of hours we came to the slippy bit. Actually there had been some land slides and we needed to climb over fallen trees and make our way across places where the path had just slipped in to the river below and all that was left was a wet clay wall...excellent! Luckily we made it and the falls were pretty good too but we made our way back along the road!
On day two I went on a day trip to Cape Reinga to see the Oceans meet. There are pictures everywhere of the lighthouse bathed in glorious sunshine right on the northern tip. We drove along the sand at 90 mile beach (actually 64 miles long, must remember that Kiwi's overestimate length) and the weather started to turn. By the time we got to the place we were going to go sand duning it was much worse. I struggled up the massive sand dune with my body board in shorts and tee shirt, while it hailed and the wind whipped sand against my cold skin. The trip down was fast and fun but once was enough for me in those weather conditions. When we got to the Cape we couldnt see the lighthouse at all through the torrential rain. My new irish friend, O'Neill and I decided the weather wouldn't stop us and we both jumped off the bus and ran. About half way there we realised we couldn't get any wetter so we walked. My trousers were nearly see through but on the plus side we had the place to ourselves.
On my last day up north I went to the Waitangi treaty grounds where I saw the largest Waka (war canoe) in the world and then went to 'romantic Russell' in the afternoon. In the museum they had a 1:5 scale model of James Cooks ship, The Endeavor and a massive 7Kg crayfish. It reminded me of Bedford museum in that it seemed kind of random. They did have other stuff as well of course.
Back to Aukland to book my trip South!