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On the road to Brian’s place

NEW ZEALAND | Saturday, 8 December 2007 | Views [555]

We headed out not knowing what to expect of the North Island?  We had heard many different versions of what was ahead of us, some good and some bad (if NZ could have bad?) but we came this far and we were going to see it for ourselves.

As soon as we left Wellington the difference from the South Island scenery is very obvious, no Snow capped Mountains, Rain Forest or Waterfalls; just rolling Green hills to the left and seashore to the right.  Our home for that night was Bushdale Farm, but on the way we were going to stop off at a couple of areas Em had chosen to check out the Surf, the first was Riversdale Beach.  Sorry to say the jinxed Surfboard had struck again, no Surf here; BUT we did chat to a local surfer who advised us of Castle Point.  Lucky for us, this was our next planned stop on the way to our bed for the night.  The JINX had been lifted, we went to where the surfer advised us and there it was 3 ft glass clean Surf for Em to play in.  She was so excited to have the chance to get in, she took the gamble that on this beautiful Blue sunny day it would be warm enough in her Surf bikini and Rash vest; well that lasted until the first wave hit her J  I’ve never seen her paddle in so fast, if she paddled that fast on the board she would catch every wave she went for, if not she would be paddling fast enough to make her own waves.  She didn’t stop at the water line, she RAN to the van and without even explaining she put on the wetsuit and ran back to her board; shouting ‘colourful’ things to me about the cold sea as she went.  Only to be seen from a distance for the next 2 hours, while I sat on the sand soaking up the sun.  It came to the point where I had to ‘politely’ ask her to come out so we could head off.  She finally came out of the Surf, but not until I had driven the van from the beach (yes you can drive on and park on the beaches here) back to the carpark and threatened to leave her there.  After our night on the farm, again we had the place to ourselves; we headed out the next day to check out the beaches on the way to Gannets Cottage at Clive just outside Napier.  Well we checked the beaches for Surf, but the Jinxed surfboard was again playing up; there was no surfing to be had this day.  We came across some great beaches, but with no Surf or wind; neither Em nor I were going to be playing today.  In hind sight this turned out to be a good thing really as this drive was a long one, we did pass the longest place name in the world; a hill called TAUMATAWHAKA ah! Bugger typing that look at the photo.  We stayed at Gannets Cottage for 2 nights, and had a great relaxing couple of days waking up the sound of Cows, Pigs, Sheep and Chickens.  After this it was off to Brian’s Place, a very highly recommended hostel that is build as a few huts on the hillside; and has  Long drop or we would call them ‘composting’ toilets. 

Brians Place
is on the East coast, and is the first hostel on mainland NZ and probably in the world to see a sunrise due to the date line thingy. AND WHAT A SUNRISE on both days.  We didn’t need any form of alarm clock here as the ‘room’ which was actually a hut build on the hill, faced directly to the sunrise and with only net curtains; our 0530 hr’s wake up was a natural one.  We were here for 2 nights, so we used this to have a day exploring the local area; well that was a short day!  Not a lot on the east coast, other than beaches with little or no surf; so back to the hostel for a relaxing afternoon.  One strange thing about here, the sun rises early and by 0830 hr’s it is in the low 20 deg’s and by 1030 hr’s it feels like 25 deg’s plus; it’s only when the afternoon sea breeze comes up does it start to cool down.  Brians Place was good, what an atmosphere here; everyone so friendly in such a small place (yet another gem of a hostel that we have stayed at) But as with all good things, it has to end and it was time to move onto our next stop Opotiki (pronounced Om-pot-he-key)

Tags: On the Road


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