On Thursday I hobbled around and got on my bus for 7.45 with all my bags. Even one of the drivers saw me struggling and said come on hobbler and ran off.. Jeez whatever happened to someone helping you when your injured. We went back up to Mount Eden for our first stop and were told how the Stray pass works. From here you could see the Waitemata and Manukau habours. When we got back on the bus we did a speed talking activity where we moved seats and got to meet people on the bus. It was a 44 seater so as you can imagine after a while it got boring moving around and asking the same questions but it was a great way to meet people. We then headed to Cathdral Cove, the Coromandel Peninsula and did a stop in Thames on the way up. Thames was once a thriving town when there was a gold rush in 1867. We stayed in Hahei Holiday resort and it was a nice enough place with only a 5 min walk to the beach. I had a little stroll on the beach and called Jess and she came and picked me up and took me to the Cathderal cove lookout. Sadly it has recently been washed away so its very dangerous to walk to it but we got a few piccies and just catched up with each other. The last time I saw her was mid September but it did not feel like that :) We then had a Corona on the side of the beach and chilled out. She then dropped me back as she had work and I was going to the Hot Water beach with the group. She left her car so I could take it down to the restaurant later and hang out when she was working. Hot Water beach is amazing. Sadly as you can imagine a total tourist spot but basically you go and dig up a spot and the water will be roasting. There are natural springs underneath which heat up the water. I have never seen anything like it, totally cool and it was theraputic for my foot :) It was great fun. The sea there was WILD and they had rescued people that day so we were warned against going into it. Not that I would of anyway, I am a bit of a wimp when it comes to wild seas. Later on the gang had a BBQ but I used up some of my food and then drove to meet Jess. She was mega busy but we managed to chat and I rested my foot. We finished the evening with a delicious chocolate moose dessert. When I got back to camp about 11.30 everyone was sleeping so I hit the bed. Only thing was I was frozen. I did not have a duvet and I had my own room (nice ladies did that when they saw my foot) I did not sleep great but oh well there we go. I was not sure whether to stay or go the next day with the group to Raglan. It was a really nice group as well so I decided to leave with them.
The next day we went to Raglan. It was named after Lord Raglan after it was used as a base during the Land Wars. The towns known history goes back as far as 1,000 years when the Tainui waka of the local Maori people first landed during the Great Migration. Legend has it that they saw Mt Karioi in the distance and after what seemed an age finally got there. They named this area Whaingaroa meaning 'the long pursuit'. We stopped at the Kauri scenic reserve on the way through and took some pictures with the 2 identical trees- twin Kauri trees that are meant to have healing powers. I gave it a good hug in the hope it would help my foot. On the way through Timmy our driver would tell us that the area was perfect for growing weed. Many times people would plant them it would grow but the police would never find the culprits as such. Once they went to try and move a ton of plants and in the process they got caught in the propellers and the plants flew everywhere creating even more plants. We stayed in Karioi lodge and it was a really chilled out place. We headed into town and had a look about and then went to a bar for a few drinks. After this we headed for $5.50 fish and chips which were nice (still not as good as home to me, I am a chip snob) When we got back I went for a sauna and there were 4 gorgeous brown swedish girls who I chatted to. Later on I chilled out with the group whilst the boys played pool. Me and Sarah Jane then went for a walk to see some glow worms on the end of the drive. Pretty crazy really! They are so bright!!