Friday, May 23, 2008

The Northland

12/26/07: I took the Stray bus - which is kind of like Kiwi Experience - up to the Bay of Islands. Rob was the driver, he was pretty cool, but really scary behind the wheel. Gunter Jansen was a German traveler, and the only other person on the bus. We stopped for a small hike through some indigenous forrest, and at a local beach that was really beautiful. I took a swim but it was cold cold cold. That night Gunter and I went out and argued about capatalism. It was the first intelligent conversation that I had since arriving. Little did I know how rare these would become.

A Northland Beach

12/27/07: Fishing today! Went out on the bay for 6 hours, and it was great. We all got about 7 Snapper each. I also got Mackerel and Trevally. I took my catch back - which was about 3 KG, and gave most of it away. I had Mackerel sashimi that night. Actually, one Irish bloke I was fishing with dared me to eat it raw on the boat, which is a joke for me I could have eaten the whole thing. Gunter and I made the rest for dinner the next night.

A site for sore eyes

12/28/07: Today I took a day trip up to Cape Rienga, the most Northern Point in New Zealand. After that we went sandboarding - different from what I had done in the past, the was more like sand body boarding. Still great fun, my jeans were filled with sand up to my waist. After that we took a drive down 90 mile beach, which is actually something like 60 miles. Those crazy Kiwis!

That cloud of dust is me

12/29/07: I rented a bike and took out to Haruru falls, which was nice, but not spectacular. After that I took the bike on the ferry and went across to Russel, a really cute town on the other side of the bay. After some chowder on the beach I went to the beach, and hiked along the tidepools for a couple of hours. After that I returned the bike and went out for a couple of beers.

The view from Russell

12/30/07: There is a boat that does overnight cruises on the bay, so I hopped on this for the night. It was good fun, a bunch of other travellers and some Kiwis were on board. There was fishing, target practice, the fish we caught for dinner, and then nightime kayacking. The bioluminessence was the brightest I've ever seen. After that some of the folks broke out guitars and played until about 2 A.M.

The Skipper with my Gurnard - he was kind of a dick
12/31/07: We went diving for mussles today, which they made fresh back on the boat. We also cracked them open under water and had thousands of fish swimming right up to us, literally eating out of our hands. Back on the boat I tried raw mussles, sea urchin roe, and of course cooked mussles. Tasty! Then I hopped a bus for Auckland to meet some people for New Years Eve.

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