Trip Start Feb 17, 2005
123Trip End Feb 27, 2006
Paihia is a very idyllic little beach resort reminiscent of Lanzarote, and I plan to spend the next week just chilling out and treating it like a holiday...work can wait! There are so many activities and excursions to choose from, and so far I have held back as I want to assess which ones are the best/cost efficient options.
Yesterday was nice as I checked into my hostel...a huge improvement on the hostels in Auckland. There were just 3 others in my dorm - 2 Irish girls and 1 guy from Chile
I then bumped into 6 of my fellow BUNACers! I knew that they were coming up here (couldn't get rid of them!!) and it was nice to see some familiar faces. I said I'd meet up with them later for a few beers. In the meantime, I went for a long walk along the beachfronts and enjoyed the scenery that was on offer. It really was nice and I hardly saw another soul as it was about 6pm. It was quite addictive really as I seemed to discover cove after cove that was completely deserted!
I returned back to my hostel and had a nice long chat with Javier, the Chilean guy. He is really nice and he enjoys speaking to me as he wants to improve his English. Before he came to New Zealand, he couldn't speak much at all but he has picked up a lot and he made me promise to correct him if he made any mistakes! He also found it quite amusing that I returned from the supermarket armed with a loaf of bread and 4 tins of beans! I guess that beans on toast isn't as popular in Chile as it is in England!
At about 9pm I gave Steve a ring and went and joined the others at Pipi Patch Bar
Today has been another good one. As I might have mentioned before, I used the website www.backpackerboard.co.nz for a number of months before I came to New Zealand. Well there is a superb message board on there with a lot of like minded people, and one of the people was a girl called Nicole who had moved to Paihia last month to work for a while. So we arranged to meet up for the day and do this nice walk that she'd heard about, and it turned out to be very enjoyable.
I met her at 11am. She said she'd be wearing a turquoise top, but wouldn't you know it, there was ANOTHER girl at our meeting point in a turquoise top. So I must of appeared quite silly going up to a random person and saying "Are you Nicole?" Never mind though. The real Nicole emerged minutes later and she drove us to the forest. The plan was to walk through the forest and go to Angel Falls, then come back the same route.
It probably took about 45 minutes to reach the waterfall, but it was nice chatting to her about New Zealand and stuff, and it was cool because we were shaded by the trees. It reminded me of Wentbridge Woods a lot and it would have been great to have Amber here! Eventually we reached the waterfall and it was stunning (photos to follow next week). I really wish I could have jumped in the water but I refrained as I didn't take my swimming stuff! It was so peaceful there and I could have sat there all day, but Nicole needed to get back and pick the family's kids up from school (she was kind of like a nanny).
Back in Paihia, we had a quick drink and talked about skydiving. She is doing one on Thursday as it is her birthday and so she is going to let me know what it's like. There is a chance that I'll do it next Monday on my birthday but I'm not sure yet. It works out at about 90 pounds for a jump from 9000 feet with 30 seconds freefall. I'll keep you posted...
So it's been a nice, pleasant start in Paihia. I love the chilled out atmosphere here...it really is just like being on holiday! I plan on doing some swimming with the dolphins tomorrow, chilling out on Thursday with a couple of walks with Steve, then maybe the overnight cruise on Friday with Aaron.
There is a lot to do here!