House by the sea
Trip Start Feb 12, 2011
49Trip End Jul 09, 2011
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Ok so we have been exploring the far west side of new zealand in the province of taranaki, and staying in the town of New Plymouth. I left you with a rather painful encounter with a mountain last week, that seems so long ago now.
We spent wednesday on buses heading back up to Rotorua where when we hopped off the bus my uncle was waiting for us!! so cool to see him again! we hopped in the car and raced across country hopeing to get to the town of mokau (mo-cow) where he explained were the most amazing whitebait fritters! When i say race across country, its not like in england where you can hop on a motorway and speed at 80-100mph up or down country, no no... even the main roads here require a certain level of rally driving as you wind up through the mountain ranges, huge drops on the sides and the occasional remnent of a landslide
Thursday after a lovely breakfast of fresh fruit and muesli (by a brand called vogel - its really good!) we headed off into town, my uncle had taken several days off work and so we really did get to see so much which we wouldnt have been able to do half of (there is no public transport over here!! everyone has cars!) so thankyou tons to him! We pottered around the town taking in the many shops and sights, and the famous wind wand sculpture - it cost thousands of dollars, is routed in tons of steel and is a huge bendy pole with a light on the end that gets really pushed around by the wind
Friday on persusion of the others we dropped into see an emergency doctor about my ankle, i was so worried I was not going to like the news but luckily after a fair few prods yanks and pokes she said she was pretty sure its a sprain and not a break therefore strap it up good, have it elevated as much as poss and take some pills to stop the pain when walking and most importantly keep walking! woop just what i wanted to hear!! We headed down to the harbour, it was a beautiful day and jumped on chaddy's charters, an old isle of man rescue boat with a local old man who knows his history we speed towards the nearby islands. learning all about the boat, and legends of the land and sea we were rolling around on the waves and diving up and down on pretty choppy sea (this is a good area for surfers, good swells!) we saw seals lazing around and flapping their flippers at us - unbelivably cute! avoiding the trecherous water smashing into the islands (where back in the day maori tribes had hidden their women and children in the wars for up to 3 years!!!) we were guided around the rocky outcrops and crayfish were pulled up in their catchers into the boat right infront of us ready for the guy to swap with the baker for bread! hungry from the sea air once back on dryland we pottered next door to the Pipi cafe (unfortuantely not named similar to me but after the pipi shellfish in nz =) ) and tasted prawns in butter and garlic with crusty bread, amazing. just over the balcony we could see huge stingrays who have taken a liking to the feeding they get in the harbour, they were really huge
We drove around the otherside of the mountain (quite an undertaking! this thing is massive!) and headed into the goblin forest...i really felt like any second we would come under attack by the elves or orcs from lord of the rings. the trees are all old and knarled, moss hangs down from their branches as they twist there way upwards and outwards, beautiful little tracks wind around them, we followed one through them, climbing over sprawling tree roots and making our way down the side of the stream and to the bottom of the waterfalls. It was lovely, diving off the rocks and landing with such power that quite a deep pool formed at the bottom and if you stood close enough you got a bit of a shower too =) Next we climbed up through the forests to wilkies pools, a hole chain of pools collect on the different levels as further upstream the river flows through them, the water is crystal clear and we enjoyed leaping around the boulders to see as much as we could. That night we had worked up an appetite and we were treated to dinner at a mongolian resturant, you pick you food, follow the recipe for the sauces and hand it all over, they cook it with huge chopstick like things on a massive hot plate before we tucked into our recipes, delicious!!
Saturday the guys got their active heads on and we arrived at the surf club, they joined a couple of other islander guys and started their surf lesson with an amazing women, really blonde hair, really brown and has obviously been in the sun all her life, she was really nice and called daisy, child from the flower power 60's my uncle and aunty thought
Sunday was extra extra fab, as an awesome treat for my 21st my uncle and aunty treated me to a ticket to the world famous WOMAD festival. I cant even begin to describe, think of the biggest beautiful park, on so many levels, stages all sizes within the trees, amazing sunshine and the biggest variety of bands from around the world, inuit throat singing, irish acoustic guitar singing, of course maori culture performances, chinese dragon performances, brazillian martial arts contests and dances, rap, hiphop and our new favourite band - mongolian rock/punk/country!!
We've made the journey down to wellington now, loving it, more next time
Lots of love always,
run out of internet time so will contine asap =) love to all xxxxx