Hello Everyone! I am offically and unemployed traveller again! I have a really nice leaving thing with another girl at work and then Sunday morning jumped on the Stray bus and had a 10 hour journey to Auckland. Noy much to say about that really. I'll really miss Wellington and All my friends, but I'll be back sometime at the beginning of next week so I'll get to catch up with everyone then.
On Monday we took the bus to Hahai beach in the Coromandel peninsular which was beautiful and kayaked to Cathedral Cove. Mercury Bay, where we were staying was the first place that Kupe, the legendry Maori explorer discovered. Legend has it he came from one of the Pacific islands, probably somewhere near Tahiti, and after observing migrating birds for a few years jumped in canoe and decided to follow them, discovering New Zealand. He somehow managed to return to tell people about it and a few years later, in around 1340, a man called Hai led a group who settled in Hahai, or nose of Hai as there is an island shaped like his nose. After the Kayak trip we went over to Hot Water Beach, and area where you dig in the sand and hot water springs up, making your own Jacuzzi. That was really fun, and a very different activity. After that we had a BBQ and got to know each other a bit.
Tuesday we set of for Raglan, stopping in Paeroa for a bit. The town is 'World famous in New Zealand' for the L&P or Lemon & Paeroa. Its a drink made from the naturally carbonated spring water, lemon and other herbs. Unfortunately it is now owned by Coke and no longer made in the town but they celebrate it. We got to Raglan, a surfer hippie town, in the afternoon which was a nice little village but the place we were staying was about 20 min drive away. It was also up in the bush so there was a 40 min walk to the beach adn unless you were surfing you had to walk. It was totally pointless, nowhere near the town or the beach. The thing is Stray has prefered accommodation, and they operate their surf school out of there so unless you book yourself ahead of time, you tend to stay where they recommend. It also means the group stays together and you don't have to plan anything but in this case it would have been better to stay in town. I left the next day, but a few people stayed to surf and I'm glad I did.