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Bay of Islands to Whangarei
Seasons greetings all. I'm writing to you from Auckland but let me recount my previous few days before I dazzle you with the big city again!
I had a nice, relaxed Christmas day at a backpackers in Paihia in the Bay of Islands and I got to share lunch with Timo (the tourer from Belgium who I met on the West Coast).
On Boxing Day, we did a "Swim with the Dolphins" tour in the Bay. It was a real buzz to find ...
... dive spot was back where we originally planned to dive before being gate-crashed by the commercial boat. This spot is a massive archway which extends above and below the water, with a pretty damn cool sea cave at a depth of about 16 metres. We kitted up again (back into cold and wet wetsuits… eurgh), jumped in and made our way to the mouth of the cave which turned out to be huge and full of a school of blue mermaids (pretty big fish). Coolest part of ...
We travelled up north making good speed.
Our second stop was in Whangarei which was 100 kms from Warkworth and took us about an hour.
We went to the Information Center and established that for the Abbey Caves we wanted to see, we probably needed to have brought helmets, flashlights, pick axes, boots and a rope! Not really for 2 x 60 year olds, a 90 plus in a wheelchair and a 14 year old!!!
... manages to get a head and part body into the boat. Around noon, Steve calls stumps, even though we are still experiencing some activity, so we retrieve our lines and return to shore. Steve then sets about filleting our catch so we can take it home. What a feast - over two nights we enjoy grilled kingfish and snapper followed by kingfish risotto both superbly cooked by Louise and Peter. The remaining fish is frozen and left for the unit's owners. Day 5: We ...
... looking slightly more expert with a helmet hanging from her backpack-wondered if we were on the right path, but it was just a case of following the main path and there was middle cave. This is a short one, about 90 through, and with a 'tricky climb out' at the end. More pitch black, and this time it occurred to me that my tiny torch was doing a great job, but without it I was banging into the rocks, and I'd had this thing for years without using it: how much battery life could there ...