Up north

Trip Start Jun 30, 2004
Trip End Feb 14, 2005

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Flag of New Zealand  ,
Sunday, October 3, 2004

Hello all

Its all good at the mo. Currently north off Auckland in an area called 'The Northlands' (clever eh?). The girls wanted to go and see this famous lighthouse right at the tip of the island, so that's where I'm heading. It should take us a few days to get there. The north so far is kinda picturesque. It's a lot like England in the respect that there is a lot of greenery once you leave the big cities. Its all farmland, but the farmers have got pretty cool house's on acres of land. There are sheep, cows and goats for 100's of miles. The further north we get, the steeper and more plentiful the hills, the windier the roads (these things hug the mountain for dear life) and the thicker the rain forest. I didn't even know New Zealand had rainforest. The weather is just as unpredictable as the Uk and skips between rain and RAIN!!.

So I've seen some glow worms in a cave(ooh!!). Apparently, glow worms are only found in Australia and New Zealand. They just looked like green dots on the ceiling of the cave. And I had to pay $10 to find this out. I could have guessed really, as the name gives it away. The cave itself was pretty cool, but you had to go through the cave with a guide, and they had built a wooden path with a handrail for the peeps that don't like getting their feet wet(holds head in hands). Apparently the cave is really old and touching damages it or some paff like that. The worms were cool though. They were set out in formations on the roof on the cave, though I don't think that was our benefit. I'm not sure about the worms, but the guide certainly had enough make-up to light the way without the use of a lantern . And it was a guy!!

Went to some gallery about the life of Ghandi which was really cool and weird, seeing as Ulli and I had been chatting about him and Hitler the night before. It was cool. They had a 3 hr movie about his life, loads of groovy, hippy quotes plastered on the walls. Also been doing serious amounts of walking. Decided to go on a bush walk through the rainforest, and we followed this river for about 2 miles until in turned out we eventually were looking down on the river from 100ft (where did that hill come from?) There was this really cool waterfall (I've seen loads now, but waterfalls are still cool). Follow the path and it leads right to the foot of the waterfall (almost) and it was really loud. It has been raining loads recently as well (like UK?), so the river is in full flow. The path continued across the other side of the river, but it would have involved some Indiana Jones style stone hopping to reach the other side, everyone but me wanted dry feet.

Also have been up to the Bay of Islands, which is exactly what it says. A coastal bay, with a lot of islands in it. It looks cool, but the weather was shoddy and the sea had picked up a gear or ten when we got there. Pretty much though, it has just been driving through little picturesque villages. The kinda place people go to retire and die. Ha Ha Ha. But everyone is really friendly. Different from the Fijians, but its cool. Maybe, it's to do with the pacific!!!

Living in the van is going ok. There are daily arguments between Ulli and Mark, normally about the different ways they drive (what a retarded argument to have). I tend to sleep in the back with my feet up and staying well out of it(ha ha nothing changes). Sleeping goes that you have to sleep in the tent 1 night and then get a night in the van. We've been sleeping on the side of the roads and in people's farmland. Cooking is done from a gas stove, washing dishes is done in the stream/river or nearest sink and showers obtained by sneaking into hostels and campsites and using theirs. The evening entertainment is provided courtesy of Moi, playing an assortment of songs and painfully teaching mark how to play, so something gives me the impression that he is not TOO serious about taking it up. Despite, some initial doubts, I'm kinda looking forward to travelling with everyone.

So that's about it. Once we get to the north, I think we are coming back down with a pit stop in Auckland again (to wash, e-mail, etc), before we see the rest of the north island. Once we get to Wellington, we cross to the "its sooo much better than the North Island" South Island.

Oh and I finally put some pictures up for the Fiji entries, so check 'em out.


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