Oceanic Playground

Trip Start Apr 21, 2010
Trip End May 31, 2010

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Flag of New Zealand  , North Island,
Thursday, April 29, 2010

Well, DURING the upload of last night's blog, we were alarmed by a sudden noise. And when I say this, I mean a NOISY SCARY ALARM WENT OFF IN THE HOTEL. "WHOOOP... WHOOOP.... WARNING. FIRE ALERT. PLEASE EVACUATE THROUGH YOUR CLOSEST EXIT...." Over. And over. And over. So we did as instructed. Thankfully, we were already in the lobby using the wifi, so we were fully clothed. Our fellow patrons of this lovely hotel, weren’t as lucky. Pyjamas, bath robes, towels... you name it. And it wasn’t exactly balmy at 11:30pm in Paihia last night. So we all congregated in front of the building, took roll call via room number and waited for the fire brigade. Which, as it turns out, consisted of a bunch of burly locals with pagent sashes on that said, “Fire Warden”. Made me and my passport (which was in my room) feel so safe. But then the rugged dressed up ones turned up. It seems that someone thought it was a great idea to light a smoke in one of the hallways, thus sparking the alarm and our fellow towelled lodgers quick exit from the building.

But, in the end, THANK YOU CHEEKY SMOKE STEALER. Because you gained us all free breakfast compliments of the hotel for the inconvenience. It was a fantastic breakFEAST too.

So after our bellies were full of yum yums, we headed to Russell which is across the sea from Paihia via ferry. Russell used to be home to nothing but whalers and whores, but now it’s considered Romantic Russell. And I see why it gets this name, the town is positively gorgeous, and as far as I saw, Whore and Whaler Free. After a stroll shoreside, we booked our first adventure tour, and then walked up to Long Beach. Not California, just in case you were wondering. It was ri-donkulously beautiful. After walking back to the shore, We wanted to see the famous “Hole In The Rock”, which is at the tip of the Bay Of Islands. But instead of taking a little pleasure cruise tour, we determined this was too boring, so we went via Mack Attack. Cruising at 44 knots, (70ish K) with Volvo turbo-charged performance diesel engines on the choppy Pacific Ocean, flying over waves through the Bay of Islands. YEAAAAH! You know, if they hand you a survival jacket when you get on the boat, you know it’s gonna be some kind of fun. And it was. We actually went through the hole in the rock, crusied around Cape Brett, and scared the shit outta me zipping in and out of the Cathedral Cave like a cheap whaler in a whorehouse. It was WICKED.  Gets the heart racing, if you know what I mean.

Back to shore, coffee, ferry, back to Paihia, where I had a divine NZ Shiraz, and my first NZ lamb shank. Although I was not in a hottub while I ate it, it slid off the bone like Chopz’s board shorts in the ocean. (did I mention that he hasn’t bought new board shorts since he lost weight? LMAO!! CRACK ALERT!) Crap. I shouldn’t have said that. He was nice enough NOT to throw me in the freezing cold ocean today, after he reads this, I have a feeling my luck will have run out.

So yeah. OH and I saw like, 5 Tui’s. As in the avian variety, not the yeasty variety. Yeasty variety was Lion Red. Tuis are pretty, and they make a BEAUTIFUL sound when they sing.  Signing off till next time! Ka kite ano!
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Dave Townsend on

Awesome Amber - keep having a great time and the photos are great.

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