Thursday, August 11, 2005

Bay of Islands ...Fiji to follow

yeah I have wireless access again and that means I can upload a load of photo's and so much more...

any way I still have to tell you all about final days in New Zealand.

As I have said before I really wanted to do the north island properly so I headed up north to the bay of islands with the Kiwi Experience again. The Only problem was the early start in the morning. 7.20 am... I don't work well at that time. The early part of the day was taken up with the driving and then stopping off briefly in the lush green fern rain forests. I had already seen with chantel the photo's from the bay of islands but still the Kauri trees we saw there were pretty spectacular.. These things live for about 4000 years.. But since all the old ones have been cut away the oldest one you will find is about 2000 only. Basically because we ripped them all down for wood! Nice one!

The afternoon we had a choice of doing an activity. So I and others Stacy included went to swim with dolphins... .Seriously. Just check out these amazing photo's of the experience.. I think we were a little unlucky as the dolphins were not in a properly playful mood but while snorkeling we saw a pack of 5 dolphins and they swam within about 2 meters of us all... The only problem was that the water was bloody freezing... And they only gave us shorties to wear... not really enough to keep us warm. But hey, I have now swam with dolphins how cool is that.!

Then we headed to our hostel for the night in Piahia , the Pipi patch Lodge. Some how I managed to convince a load of them to come with me to the karaoke that was on offer a few doors down at a quiet local bar for backpackers.. it was hillarious , as we walked in there was another person killing a song... Can no one actually sing in this world! We had a blast also as we watched 2 guys in a sort of a dance off for the attention of a girl it did turn kinda of sordid after a while!. Hilarious to watch.

Next day we hooked up with awesome adventures, which involved us Sandboarding on sand dunes, which when we got used to the gentle slope we proceeded to a more dangerous slope with bumps and jumps and a final slide across a flat river flow into reeds. It sounds scarier then it was. Also that day we headed to the very north of the country and saw where the Tasman and pacific ocean meet. We also did some boogie boarding in the sea. This was the first time i had done it and along with Melissa we had a complete blast doing it. Everyone else was worried that the water would be too cold or chicken to do it.. What ever. I am glad though I took with me my rash vest from surfing a really useful thing to have I tell ya.

Part of the day trip around the area here involves riding this big bus on the 90 mile beach and every now and then we stopped to check out dead animals. From penguins, gulls, seals, jelly fish and more sea food then you can shake a pot of sweet and sour sauce at.

I should also point out, I have discovered that I really, really love (and I think I am good at it as well) cooking for lots of people. In the two nights we were at the Pipi patch I cooked for 10 people one night then 7 the next. Everyone was stunned with the quality and quantity of food bought of seemingly miniscule budget like my apricot and sausage stew with pumpkin potato mash! Sweet as Bro.

But as all things do we had to head back to Auckland and leave Piahia. But had a made some new friends in the form of Mel and Marcy. Who are currently with me over here in Sydney... More to follow