well its been another busy few weeks in the North Island and it feels so good to be out and about travelling again After leaving Auckland for the final time - hurrah! i boarded the Stray bus heading towards the Coromandel and some sunshine. A few of the guys from my Northland trip were on the bus which was good and we had a new driver - Wozza. You will notice that all the stray drivers have nicknames, some pretty ordinary - others not so. But Wozza, i have no idea what thats all about! We drove around the peninsula and stopped off in a town called Thames for a pit stop and some food (were having a group meal tonight so needed supplies and alcohol!) and got to Hahei - our overnight stop quite early. Hahei is literally a campsite with a backpackers on the beach and is so lovely. The main reason to come here is the nearbly Hot Water Beach where you can literally dig a hole in the sand and have your own little hot pool - tide dependant of course! We rocked up at around 4ish and started to dig - it was so cool! although u had to be careful where u dug as some of the water is literally as hot as boiling water...not my idea of fun somehow......but we managed to get a little space and have a go at it...that is before the waves destroyed our efforts and resulted in a very sandy and muddy rush to get out of the hole :o)
After a quick shower back at the backpackers we headed out on a little evening walk before dinner to watch the sun set. We walked to a place called Cathedral Cove, which is essentially a large arched cavern that is only accessible at low tide - it was an amazing sight and i took rather a lot of pictures....oh well :o)
Dinner was roast chicken, salad and Kumara (a NZ form of sweet potato) which we all helped cook, well, when i say we, i mean the girls. We made the boys wash up afterwards :o) and the evening was spend chatting, drinknig and wondering to the beach to watch the shooting stars and satellites - which we saw LOADS. it was very cool.
I decided to stay another day to just chill out and take in a few more of the walks in the area so after everyone left the next day i pretty much mooched around, went to the beach and did a few more walks. The next bus arrived at around 3ish with another group of people - so i had yet again a whole new group of people and a new driver. This time around it was Thumper (whoes name comes from the fact that his mum runs an angorra rabbit farm) Again the evening was spent drinking, chatting, listening to music and playing cards - its quite a chilled out place and was good to get away from the big noisy backpackers.
After 2 nights here i left on the bus with the new group and thumper, heading towards Raglan - a surfers mecca! along the way we headed to Paeroa where the NZ famous L&P drink comes from (kinda like a lemonade but with a more fruity taste) thumper has a bit of a sense of humour and liked to wind us all up - he told the bus we could go to the back of the big bottle statue and there would be a tap where we can get a sample from - so what did we all do? walk around to find there was no tap. He thought it was hilarious. i never believed a word he said after that - seriously he has this sense of humour that you cant tell if its serious or another of his lies - so we all decided not to believe him :o)
Raglan is a tiny little place but has amazing surf so of course a few of us put our name down to have an afternoon of surf lessons - i mean how hard can it be? famous last words....it was soooooo hard! i stood up a few times but by the end of it i was so tired and aching. i dont know why people do it. A much needed sauna was required afterwards along with a huge pub dinner and a few drinks! Again i spent 2 nights here as it was such a lovely little place in the forest. After saying goodbye to thumper and the rest of the bus a few of us hung out and went into town, played scrabble and chilled out on the rope course that they had at the lodge. Again we had another sauna and just had a few beers listening to the birds and the sea.
Tomorrow were off to Waitomo and then onto our overnight stop, so i will update you all on that soon....pictures will be up by the end of the week as the internet is a little slow where i am and would take FOREVER to upload.
love u's all