Trip Start May 18, 2003
272Trip End Ongoing
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After about an hour Sebastian asked if I wanted to drive and it felt great to get behind the wheel again. These roads were a dream to drive on; a mixture of straight stretches broken up by winding curves up and down each hillside. All of course with spectacular scenery that had us repeatedly saying how fantastic it was to be on this road trip.
Our first stop was Paihia, a popular destination with all the tour companies as we soon found out. A quick comparison of the Lonely Planet and Rough Guide singled out Pipi Patch Lodge as a suitable place to rest for the night. At $20 we thought it was a bit pricey for a crowded 8-bed dorm this far north of Auckland but we made the most of it. After a hearty meal we headed off to see the NRL Rugby Semi-Final on the big screen next door to hopefully see Auckland Warriors (the only Kiwi team in the league) to get through to the final. They just about pulled through by the skin of their teeth 17-16.
Once back in the dorm room we discovered that the Pipi Patch Bar/Disco was still very audible and realised that places frequented by the tour companies were probably going to be of a similar ilk.