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Big World; Small Adventures
25th Feb 2006 - 27th Feb 2006
Bare back in the middle of nowhere

I really could have got used to the spa's and beach at Lou and Jamie's, not to mention their great hospitatiliy. It was also lovely to catch up with friends Tina, Robbie and Stef to see how they're settling in over here. However, adventure called so I picked up some wheels and drove north up the coast. I passed some beautiful vistas and stopped more than once to take a few shots, including Pakiri where I took a stroll along a white sandy beach and stopped at the Crushed Pipi Restaurant for a delicious spicy falafel salad. Driving in NZ is a complete joy and the roads are wonderful. Plus my car has power steering and brakes that don't need to be told twice (no offence to your car Tim!). Of course when you go off the beaten track a little it has a tendency to turn into a gravel track but heh, that's part of the fun - driving 20km/hr for 30km to avoid too many gravel chips to the paintwork of your hire car!

I reached the Bay of Islands on Thurs night and am lucky enough to be staying in Jack's Bay with a friend of a friend called Carl, and his daughter Ginelle and son Rob. They have a gorgeous wooden house perched on a hill in 20 acres of land with sheep and horses plus 2 fluffy cats and a huge poodle pup (3 ft tall!) called Ben. Yesterday I wandered around the picturesque town of Russell, which has a line of 19th century houses along the waterfront with a pier and a number of small bays. I ventured over the wooded hill to Long Beach where the wind was headed straight in off the sea so there was quite a chill. Luckily, having learned now to smother every inch of me in factor 25 I avoided burning. My forearms are still recovering from driving but so far I think I've avoided any serious sunburn. Of course there'll be plenty of opportunity today as we going out for a horse ride. Me on a horse! I hear you say. Well yes, it's going to be an experience. My last experience on a horse was actually more of an experience hitting the ground in a variety of catapaulted positions, but then again I was about 8yrs old and me and a friend did break into a paddock and tried to ride a horse bare back with no experience! Hopefully this time I'll do a little better.

Next: The Big Cat
Previous: Long Haul Flights and Spa Pools

Diary Photos

Views of Bay of Islands from a horse

Views from the 'ranch'

It's not much but we call it home!

Sunset over Russell (Bay of Islands)

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