nz: northlands

Rollercoaster Ride

Woke up to another tragically overcast day but as it was our last day in the Bay of Islands it only made sense to jump on another

Hole in the Rock from a distance

 boat to check things out.  We settled on a tour that took us through the hole in the rock while searching for dolphins.  What we didn’t factor into our decision was the weather and water conditions.

One of the dolphins

To make a long story short – the sea was very choppy with swells which would make for a really rough ride.  The best way to describe the ride was that it was like being on a rollercoaster on the water and it was best to hang on while getting soaked by the ocean (okay that was only for the handful of us that decided to sit outside but I happened to be one of them so…).  The most surprising part of the day was that despite the 3 meter swells in very choppy waters, a boat that wouldn’t stop rocking, and maybe being surrounded by tourists who couldn’t keep their breakfast down – we found dolphins flocking in the water all around our boat.  Since the seas were too rough to get out to the hole in the rock, I’m extremely glad this wasn’t a “where’s the dolphins?” moment (sorry, inside joke where the accent just can’t be translated into written word).  By the end of the trip – the rains had come and it clear that it was time to go home.

Categories: NEW ZEALAND, nz: northlands | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Collision Course

Cleanest part of me after rolling around in sandy mud

When the day started off yesterday, I thought that the collision that I would be witnessing was the Tasman Sea colliding with the Pacific Ocean.   WRONG.  It all happened during sand-boarding stop on the way to Cape Reinga.  A sandy mud patch and I collided and I’m afraid to say that I think I was the loser in the end.

I left the top of the sand dune at warp speed and may have struggled to maintain control near the bottom of the dune like an amateur.  But have no fear, I was able to straighten out my board like a champion and for some idiotic reason thought it would be a great idea to glide over the mud to the other side where our bus was parked.  Unfortunately for me, as soon as I hit the water/sandy mud combination at the bottom of the dune – my board hydroplaned and I was launched in the air.  Before I could react to being airborne – I came crashing down in the biggest sandy mud patch in the area as I lost control of my board and did this flip roll thing that ensured every inch of me was covered. 

hanging out in my towel

Needless to say, I was drenched and covered in sandy mud.  At first everyone was concerned if I was okay but then as they soon as they noticed that I was laughing at my own retardiness – they all joined in.  It only got worse as I didn’t have a change of clothes and had to spend the rest of the day in a towel.  The strange looks at Cape Reinga as I walked around wearing nothing but a towel and a hoodie was hilarious and well worth the adventure.

Categories: NEW ZEALAND, nz: northlands | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Add A Dash Of Mambo


Now that the holidays have passed – my Stray adventures have begun with the first stop being the Bay of Islands.  I woke up at the crack of dawn just to haul ass to make the bus.  One word – Exhausted (actually, sleepy might have been the better choice but too late for that now).   Thankfully, I wasn’t alone as the rest of the bus seemed in the same state and so the driver put on sleepy music and let us get down to business.  After a marvellous cat nap –it was time to get serious about the business of travel.

The business of travel this particular day was awesome as I was able to squeeze in all things that I love

Hanging around on a tall ship

 – hugging trees and being on the water.  The day started off with hugging one of the oldest trees in New Zealand and ended with sailing on a tall ship on a bright, beautiful Sunday afternoon.  Heaven – according to me but would not have been possible without Mambo’s assistance. 

Mambo was yet another quirky kiwi who did everything in his power to ensure that we got to experience as much as possible – boats were held and quick 5 minute tree-hugging sessions were put into place to ensure that we did as much as possible.  If that wasn’t amazing enough, he also recognizes the different between things and people (an interesting conversation about creepiness and possibly an interesting game of M.F.K).  After a good laugh – it was time to head to bed in preparation of the next day but it was just that little dash of Mambo that added sunshine to my very first day on Stray.

Categories: NEW ZEALAND, nz: northlands | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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