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Christmas in New Zealand at Endless Summer Lodge.

NEW ZEALAND | Tuesday, 8 January 2008 | Views [1218]



We left Henderson Bay very early the next morning, everyone did before the Germans got up; best thing for everyone as there would’ve been some major words exchanged by all.  We headed to Ahipara on the Southern end of Ninety Mile Beach (it’s actually 62 miles long) taking a stop off into the Ancient Kauri Kingdom workshop just North of Kaitaia, it’s has pieces of wood carving that seems to have passed over into the world of ‘Art’, the Art centre in Wellington should have this in it’s halls; rather than the 2 Weetabix and a piece of MDF.  We looked around this place for over an hour, and if you had the money you could spend some serious £’s in here.  We had to stop off for the Christmas shop in Kaitaia, described in the Lonely Planet as ‘The highlight of no ones trip to NZ’ we have been advised not to leave the van unattended while shopping as it’s a place of concern even in the supermarket car park.  Well we reached the lodge, no work going on here; and we have a double room right at the front over looking the beach and sea.  Now all we have to do is sit back and wait for Christmas, Surf and wind.  We awoke on Christmas Eve to a glorious Blue Sky, very little wind and no surf; everyone was busy preparing for the coming day as we all had to do at least 1 dish for Christmas lunch.  As the list got longer and longer of the various dishes people were preparing it became apart that this was going to be a HUGE lunch, everything on the list you could thing off (22 people from 6 different nations) but NO Roast ‘spuds’ (Potatoes) at Christmas!  Em’ changed all that by adding the good old British favourite to the list, along with a Puff pasty Cheesy swirl.  The faces looked a little strange at the ‘Cheesy swirl’ on the list, but wait until tomorrow we kept saying.  After the shopping trip to get the ingredients, again me sat in the van whilst Em battled the long lines (thought the UK lines were bad!) We headed back to the hostel for an afternoon of Sun, Sea and Surf (well small surf) oh and did we say SUN; can’t get used too Christmas in the SUN.  They have a saying in NZ for sunscreen, it’s on TV and posters everywhere ‘Slip, slop, slap and wrap’ and believe me we needed it.  It was just too hot to ‘lay’ around so we headed off to book our Quad bike 4x4 tour of the Dunes for 0800 on the morning we leave.  We settled in for our Christmas Eve drink and said our Merry Christmases to the German contingent as they celebrate on the Eve of Christmas.  We were woken up on the 25th December 2007 to the shouts of “Santa’s coming, Santa’s coming” our host was so excited that Santa was coming down the road on the back of his Land Rover being escorted by the local Fire fighters, sirens and lights on letting everyone know that he was on his way (as if we didn’t know by the shouts from the hostel host)  We headed down to the road as we were all ordered to do, and there he was; a Maori Santa throwing out sweets to everyone.  The children were running everywhere, and the Fire fighters made sure that he took every road on his way around; even over to the camp site at the end of the road no one would be missed.  That gesture by the local Fire fighters seemed to set the ‘HAPPY’ mood that we all carried for that day, despite the rain that came in about mid-morning and stayed to celebrate with us for the rest of the day.  No matter about the rain, we were all under the covered canopy with beer, wine and BBQ at the ready for our lunch.  As the various dishes were being made and then put out for lunch at 1300 hr’s sharp as ordered, the smell of everything seemed to fill the air and mixed with the sounds of a Christmas mix CD of songs and Carols; now that was strange!  It’s raining and we were all sat in shorts and tee shirts on the covered decking drinking beer or wine whilst eating a mixture of every dish you can thing of.  The strange looks that Em received at the Cheesy swirl was soon replaced with smiles, and request for the recipe as everyone of them was eaten (the only dish finished clean, I would add) Fat, full and a little more than drunk we sat around with our Santa hats or the traditional cracker hat and the less sober of us had both on; chatting and talking the usual ‘Drunk Christmas afternoon’ rubbish.  Some retired for a kip, but the more sober of us decided to go a walk along the beach for a hour; no sun but still hot enough for a paddle in the Sea on Christmas day.  We went to bed slightly more sober than most of the hostel, and a lot drunker than a couple of ‘well behaved’ people.  Boxing day, OUCH!  Some heads were pounding, some beds were occupied until well after 1200 hr’s; some people were not seen until well after 1400 hr’s a good day was had by all.  Thank you to all at the Endless Summer Lodge at Ahipara.  Some of us got a second wind after lunch on Boxing Day, as the afternoon sea breeze kicked in it was off to the beach with Kite and buggy to have a play at racing the cars on Ninety mile beach.  When we arrived the wind had really kicked in, so Em gave me a hand at launching the Kite safely; that went well and then it happened!  Bringing the Kite into the power window, the true power and fun started to kick in; not many cars around at this time so loads of space to head down the beach as fast as possible.  The sight of a 3 wheeled buggy with a person sat in it holding onto a large Kite overtaking your car must be strange, but that’s what was happening; bring the Kite into the power window and just ‘HOLD ON’ waving back to the children as you pass the car.  As I passed 1 car the passenger looked across to the driver and she held up 1 full hand of fingers and another 2 on the other, 70 KPH maybe? I put my thumb up to acknowledge her with the thought that I’ll never know for sure, but what a feeling to over take a car at that speed with my butt 50mm from the floor and my face hurting from all the ginning going on inside my crash helmet.  That was such a fun 2 hr’ buzz it’s hard to explain, if only Em could drive I could’ve buggied the full length of the 62 mile beach; wind was in the right direction for a one way trip and the tide timing was just right but she legally drive so I didn’t get to ‘go all the way’ today L  The next day we were leaving, but not before our Quad bike 4x4 tour of the Dunes. 0630 hr’s OMG did we really book this trip realising that neither of us are good in the morning, should we just cancel?  We are so glad that we didn’t, with Em riding on the rear of the Quad (she would ride us back, illegally late) we headed out past the surf point, over the rocks towards the beach around the point; it still baffles us as to how they drive their cars around here to the Surf breaks?  We passed the Seaweed collectors ‘homes’ on the beach and headed into the dunes following our tour guides advice to follow his tracks due to the large ‘drop offs’, you would cause some major injuries if you rolled down some of these Dunes with the Quad coming down after you.  It’s amazing what is hidden from the people who only walk along the beach front, the Dunes seem to go on for ever with a beauty that can’t be compared to anything we have seen to date; maybe seeing the Dunes from this different prospective was what was needed to appreciate them as they should be seen by everyone?  As we left the Dune area to return onto the beach front that’s when Em took over the driving, she had great fun rolling over all the rocks and stuff with me on the back enjoying the chance to look around.  BUT it wasn’t until we were heading back along the road 2 km section that it dawned on us, ‘Em doesn’t have a driving licence’ too late now Em; just don’t get caught or were both going home early!  We were on a great high after this morning, so much so that we have decided to try and extend our stay by 1 month until the end of our Visa; but we’ll see?

Tags: Party time


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