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Many Adventures of a Nomadic Poet A young poet with Asperger's makes travel his passion, and away he goes...

Bay of Islands

NEW ZEALAND | Monday, 9 January 2006 | Views [803]

            Today was my third day in Aotearoa. I’ll tell all. I woke up at 9 AM after my alarm clock kept going off. It was annoying, but, oh well. I finished packing and I went up to the restaurant and had breakfast. They had the same stuff as yesterday. The best part is the view of Waitemata Harbour. After breakfast, I went and got some Tim Tams and a Diet Coke for the upcoming bus ride. At the lobby, I met a very pretty girl from Brazil named Monica. She’s 35. I got a picture with her. At 11:30, our tour guide came. His name is Mike, and he’s from Christchurch. Today was the beginning of my big Grand Explorer. Monica is going to be on part of the tour. I signed up for the optional Excitor Hole in the Rock jet boat ride at the hotel and then we started loading our suitcases into the Contiki coach. At 1:00, our ride was underway. We went across the Auckland Harbour Bridge and started heading north. Mike told us that Rangitoto Island is one of the most circular islands in the world. The New Zealand countryside is absolutely gorgeous. I just couldn’t take my eyes off of it. Everything is green, absolutely nothing brown. Along the way, we passed through Orewa, which is where Sir Edmund Hillary was born. He was the first white man to climb Mt. Everest. He is also on New Zealand’s $5 bill. About an hour into the drive, we stopped at Warkworth Museum. I took a picture of the dunny and of the three different Warkworth signs. At the gift shop I got a key chain and a piece of kauri rock, which is similar to amber. After about a half hour, we were on our way. We saw sheep, which New Zealand has a lot of; 14 sheep to every one human. The landscape is just so green. I’ve only been here three days, and I’ve been treated so well. It has been sunny every day and the weather has been very nice. On the way, I also noticed that the vegetation began to change because we were moving north. Mike pointed out the New Zealand silver fern, a symbol of this beautiful country, and the New Zealand Christmas tree, which gets its name because it flowers around Christmas. We then passed through Whangarei, which is pronounced like “Fangarei,” because in the Maori language, “wh” is pronounced like an “f.” We also signed up for our tours on the ride. I really wanted to go swimming with the dolphins, but I want to do the Cape Reinga tour more, and that tour takes all day. So, I signed up to go to Cape Reinga. We arrived in Paihia at 4:30 and prepared for the Excitor! The girl had us dress up in life jackets and coats, and she went over a safety briefing. The skipper took pictures before we got on the boat, but I didn’t need any. The boat ride was awesome. I sat way in the front and we were going about 40 knots and it was rockin’! I was enjoying the scenery as much as I was the ride. After about twenty minutes of jetboating, we reached the Hole in the Rock! What a spectacular formation it was! I most certainly have never seen anything like it. We went through the hole and around the rock and then went into this dark hole which hadn’t been entirely bored through yet. I was told that geologists say that it will take about another 15,000 years for it to go all the way through. It was so amazing! We went around for awhile and the skipper showed us this face on the rock, which happened to point straight toward Hawaii. It looked similar to New Hampshire’s Old Man on the Mountain (which is no longer there). We then started heading back to the beach. The rock formations are just breathtaking, especially with all the green. We rode past Russell: New Zealand’s first capital and the city where the Treaty of Waitangi was ratified. After we got back onto shore, we returned our jackets and I found out about parasailing, which I might do after I get back from Cape Reinga tomorrow. We then headed to our hotel, which I’m sharing with three other guys: Kris, from Australia, Tom, from Ireland, and Paul, from Belgium. We unloaded our luggage and walked up to the hotel restaurant for our dinner. I ate BBQ ribs, peas & corn, fruit cocktail, and some rolls. At 9 PM, we took a walk down to the clubs, which are popular with the backpackers and young travellers. Tom bought me an Export Gold beer, which is a New Zealand beer. It’s also the first beer I ever had. It was good, one was enough for me. I had a Red Bull afterward. There were a lot of pretty girls there, especially this one girl from London. After awhile, I walked up to the shore to watch the stars, which are really beautiful out here. They’re not as good as out in the Mojave Desert, but they’re better than in Auckland or L.A. I pointed to one of the tourists I’m with about how Orion’s sword is upside-down in the Southern Hemisphere. I walked back to the room at about 11:00 because I wanted to call my mom, but I couldn’t find my phone card. Hopefully I didn’t lose it. Anyways I stepped outside to gaze at the stars and to thank the Lord for bringing me here. It’s wonderful. It’s getting late and I have to be up at 6:30 to go to Cape Reinga. I’ll tell you all about it tomorrow. Good Night

Tags: sightseeing

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