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I have finished my two week stint as a HelpX volunteer in the Bay of Islands. What have I learnt in that time?
1. I haven't had a complete personality change in two weeks into a happy, loving hippy. It took less that five minutes in the real world before I was back to silently seething and judging people. How the skull of the hostel receptionist hasn't imploded into the vacuum where his brain ...
... Kauri Park, where we walked through the preserved natural forest on a carefully made trail was wonderful. The trees and other plants were fantastic, especially after quite heavy rain all day yesterday. Among the tree ferns we spotted the Silver Fern, standing out among the colours of the forest, ranging from green to orange, silver, brown. A beautiful start to the day. Further north lay Hokianga Harbour, once used as a port, but now purely ...
... just as we are leaving.
They are a lovely couple who chatted on and I had to drag us away - after all we have a whole country to see. It is much cooler than Tahiti. Only around 20 degrees at midday and cooler in the morning and evening.
On their suggestion we visit the A H Reed Memorial Forest which is just a few Kilometres away and have a lovely early morning stroll along forest paths and an elevated walkway.
Then their ...
... announced another cruising boat had seen orcas just outside the bay. The boat did a U-turn and went over there. After few minutes circling around, they appeared, two of them. Oh.my. god. I couldn't believe my eyes. Again, they were cruising around the boat, unafraid. The captain mentioned that the presence of orcas could have alerted the dolphins we had seen earlier and may be this was the reason why they were not playful earlier. ...
... running and jumping off way higher cliffs than us. One's where if you didn't run and propel yourself off you would actually hit the rocks below!
We headed back to camp and cooked a really delicious chilli con carne and Matt came to join us with his friend Steph. We started drinking and went out to Thirty30 for a few drinks, managing to buy a weird tasting ginger beer which was pretty gross. Everytime Matt went to the toilet us girls just poured some of ours into his ...