En Zed Delivers
Trip Start Oct 10, 2010
15Trip End Jun 29, 2011
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We began our NZ journey by flying into Christchurch. Now unless you live under a rock, you should be aware that Christchurch had been recently devastated by an earthquake. When we arrived, there were over 70 people sleeping in the airport because of the lack of available accommodation. Although the quake hit over a month ago, the entire downtown was still roped off and off limits. Even the famous Hagley Park was mostly shut down. We looked into any volunteer work, but most the work that was being done at that time was contracted out to professionals. Christchurch is known for being more English than England and the beauty of the town was still evident.
After Wellington, my addiction kicked in again and I headed straight to Hamilton, and on to the small beach town of Raglan. Raglan is an awesome, super small town. I showed up there with some rainy, windy weather, so I stayed inside with some fellow surfer travelers and watched the movie, The Endless Summer. In the movie, they feature Raglan for one of their stops, and soon enough, the weather calmed down and we got some clear skies and great waves. I was able to surf Manu Bay (the wave featured in The Endless Summer) with a small crowd, cleanish conditions, and about 4-6 foot faces. It was really amazing. I was also able to surf Whale Bay (another left hand point break) with only a handful of people out as well as Ngaruni Beach break with only a friend of mine to share the waves with. The surf forecast looked flat in Raglan, so I made the call to go to the opposite coast on the East.
http://chaletsurf.co.nz/) that was directly across the street from Wainui Beach, the main surf break in the area. My call to go to Gisborne payed off HUGE. The swell I saw in the reports hit and I was surfing some of the best waves of my life. There was never a crowd, there were always offshore winds in the morning, and it was at least solid overhead most days. I surfed a couple of times a day and saw some seriously powerful waves ranging from super hollow beach break A-frames to a fun right hand point break. Between Wainui Beach and nearby Macarori Bay, I had over 8 surf breaks within walking distance, and even more just a short drive away. The location of the Chalet is amazing, after a solid sesh, I could chill out in their hot tub and watch the surf, which was just across the street in plain view.
Sadly, I had to leave Wainui, but I was happy to get away without breaking my new board (or me) in that surf. I went up to Auckland, where I checked out the city for a bit before leaving NZ. New Zealand met and exceeded just about all my expectations. To get around the country, Waldo and I took a bus or hitch-hiked. I think we hitched about 20 different rides and we were picked up mostly by some awesome locals. If you ever see a hitch-hiker on the road, please never wave at them or give them a thumbs up... its a terrible thing to do. I'm headed now to cross the Pacific to where I don't think I'll be doing any hitch-hiking and explore South America!