Ah, the good life...

Trip Start Oct 28, 2004
Trip End Aug 08, 2005

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Flag of New Zealand  ,
Thursday, November 11, 2004

Today we drove into Paihia in the Bay of Islands. We took our time driving, stopping in Kerikeri for a hike. Paihia is a cute little beach town and seems to be the central location for all backpackers. Mike knew of a friend here who he met in the Cook Islands. We got in touch with her and turns out 4 other people he knew from the islands were here too. Within our first hour here we ran into Henning and another guy we had met from Auckland. This is a town were backpackers get sucked in and I can totally see why. They party all night and lay on the beach during the day. And that's exactly what we did.

Accomodation is very expensive here and we opted out of paying any hefty fines. Uh, that's why we bought a van. We pulled the van over at the beach and cooked dinner right there near the water. Henning joined us and we had a tasty dinner of pasta and bread. We met up with everyone at spent the evening dancing away at the bars. We aren't accustomed to staying up so late so we were back in the van by 1:30 or so. Apparently everyone else stays out until 3am or so. We definetly slept in the van parked in front of the hostel. Everyone adores out van and some guy named Woody said we should call it the Big Top since we bought it from a clown. Although we've been calling it Angie as of late.

Mike woke up with the sun and woke me up along with him. We let Molly sleep and he and I laid on benches on the beach. A very large duck took a rather unusual liking to me and laid at my feet which obviously freaked me out and then continued to follow me around when I would try and escape his evil ways. Mike slept through the whole thing so I'm begining to question his place in the van. He is well aware of my situation with birds and yet he allowed the duck to peck his beak into the bench...

We grabbed Molly and found a fantastic hidden beach set among the mountains. It was the unofficial topless beach of the Bay of Islands and while many people took advantage we feared getting sunburnt in all the wrong areas. The sand is nowhere near the quality of Siesta but the water is a crystal color of blue. It's cold, but beautiful. We laid on the beach for hours just sleeping and reading and planning our further travels. Mike and I swam from our island to another about 500 yards away. He was a swimmer as well but he seriously doubted if I was. I guess I'm a bit out of shape to say the least. Molly and I are doing a great job of getting tans without getting burnt. You won't recognize us when we get home. We've been hanging out these past two days with Hannah from England, Mike's friend from Fiji. After our countless hours on the beach we went with her to a waterfall just outside of town. It was a nice little adventure and it was fun watching Mike jump off the rocks into the water. Molly and I are adventurous but we drew the line there. The water was way too cold and the fall was a long way down.

Hannah was gracious enough to let Molly and I take a shower in her dorm room and cook dinner in the Hostel kitchen. Love living in a van. We're getting quite creative about not spending money. We were sad not to shower outside tonight but have to admit that a hot shower was nice.

Tonight is more of the same. Going to the bar and then sleeping in the van. We're heading out tomorrow as not to get sucked into the fun town. We're not sure as to whether we're going to Corromandel or to Rotoura.

At this rate we might never come home. One day of travel and one day of doing nothing and laying on the beach. Seeing the whole country, both islands, could take awhile...

Miss you all. Come visit.

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