Charlotte Ellery

Joined February 2017
  • Day671

    Thank goodness for kind people

    December 19, 2018 in Fiji ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

    Today could have been a complete disaster if it hadn't been for one man, Peter. It all began with us checking out of our hotel, leaving behind a horrible amount of plastic bottles that you pray get reused or recycled and getting a taxi to the bus station. Our destination was Suva, the country's capital and once at the station we found the stop we needed to depart from. There was one bus already there but it looked so cramped and it was a company I hadn't read about online. We decided not to buy tickets from them and wait for the one at 11am like we had planned. As we were waiting a guy named Peter approached us and offered us some of his Fanta which we kindly declined genuinely believing we were about to have another bad experience with a local like we had the last time we were at this bus station. We engaged in polite conversation and discovered he actually works on a resort on one of the islands and was travelling to see family for 3 days before going back to work again. We slowly realised he was actually being genuine. We soon learnt that we needed to purchase a Vodafone travel card and the only way to get on the bus is by scanning your card and getting a ticket. He said it's a system they introduced recently to prevent drivers overcharging tourists and pocketing the extra. Instead of getting on the bus he took Nick to show him where to get a card. I waited with the bags for an anxious 5 minutes before they came back. It turns out the whole bus station had run out of cards, this meant we couldn't get on the bus to Suva. Not only did Peter miss his bus to help us out he also gave us his spare travel card so we could top it up and get tickets. Unfortunately the next bus at 11:30 was full after going to the airport so we couldn't get on that one either. I felt so bad and kept apologising to Peter for him missing that bus. He said he believes in karma and will always help people when he can. This was apparent when he helped two other couples at the station as well. The first ones didn't want to listen to him at all even when I joined in backing up what he was saying. Luckily they were only going to a beach nearby so could buy a $10 single use travel card, not the reusable ones we needed for a larger amount of money. They were adamant they didn't what to do this as they'd lose the $3 left on the card. They were quite rude to Peter about it and I did say to them that it's an option of losing $3, paying 4 times as much for taxi there and back or not going to the beach. Eventually Peter bought them tickets for the way there on his card, I'm hoping they paid him back, and then they only needed a $5 card for the way back. This all went on for an hour over $3 and even after he helped them they were still very rude and unappreciative. Luckily the ticket sales for the next bus were open while this was happening but Peter wasn't queuing with Nick because he was helping this couple. I managed to get Peter's card and get Nick to buy his ticket as I was worried with so many people crowded around that he wouldn't get on. By this point we'd all been there for 2 hours. Eventually the bus came and somehow they managed to fit 5 seats in each row where every normal bus only has 4. It was an uncomfy ride being half sat on a seat but somehow it managed to go quite quickly. We watched both couples he helped get off the bus and eventually Peter left too and all we could do was thank him with huge smiles and waves. Thanks to him we made it to a rainy Suva, hopped in a taxi and got to our hostel. I'll never forget what he did for us and it's made me want to be more aware of people around me when I'm out and about at home to see if anyone needs someone to stop and take the time to help.Read more

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  • Day670

    Exploring Fiji's reefs

    December 18, 2018 in Fiji ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

    Today was so aweosme. It did start slowly as we had to wait for 5 more people to show up that were meant to be on our tour today. We'd been picked up and checked in before being asked to wait at a cafe on the harbour front. The bad thing about the snorkelling and island tour we did today was that you don't have to pay upfront when you book, instead you pay when you check in on the day so this does mean you don't have to actually show up and this was clearly how these 5 people felt. After almost an hour and half of waiting and I went to the desk and spoke to the lady who was very understanding and told me they wouldn't be waiting any longer to set sail. We were on the boat and on our way only 15 minutes behind the original departure time so luckily those people didn't impact us too much. There was only 5 of us in the group so we were able to lie out on bean bags at the front and just enjoy the ride to our first reef spot. Nick was rather happy when we were offered a huge platter of fruit to share on the way. After an hour and a half of cruising along it was time to get on our fins and jump into the beautifully warm water. We were instantly surrounded by tropical fish and as we swam even closer to the reef the numbers only increased. We followed a guide who pointed out all the unusual creatures, sometimes picking them up which we didn't agree with though. Both of us wore trousers to protect the sunburn on our legs and to stop it getting any worse. We spent a good amount of time in water before it was time to make our way back to the boat. As we swam into open water away from the reef both Nick and I felt like we were getting stung a lot. We noticed hundreds of little jellyfish which we were told were harmless but around them as well were lots of tiny ones you would barely see. These and what the crew called sea lice can give little stings so I think this is what was getting us. Before we got back on the boat one of the crew spotted a turtle swimming below us. He was diving down after getting air and soon disappeared into the darkness but it was quite exciting to see it still. Back on board we headed to a nearby island to have a bbq buffet lunch. The food was very welcoming after so much swimming and the scenery couldn't have been more perfect with it's white sand beaches, turquoise waters and palm trees. After we ate Nick and I went for a wander around the area and beach before it was time to get back on the boat. We headed off again to another snorkelling spot which was much shallower in depth so it was easier to see all the coral without diving too much. Here we saw many sea cucumbers and seahorses which looked nothing like the seahorses you see in an aquarium. Luckily there wasn't anything stinging us in this new area. After another great time exploring we were on the boat and on the way back to where we started. Two of the guys spent time making amazing creatures out of coconut palm leaves and we were given a fish, a bird and a cricket. It's a shame we won't be able to keep them seeing as they are made from a plant but it was good to watch the process. After another fruit platter we were back on shore and thanking our crew for a wonderful day out. We rounded our day off with watching the sunset followed by a dance/sword throwing/fire show on the beach put on by the hotel. Not a bad day at all really.Read more

  • Day669

    We're so out of practice

    December 17, 2018 in Fiji ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

    Today we attempted to explore Nadi more on our own. We were a little apprehensive about it as we've developed both a fear and a level of confidence of stepping out of our comfort zone from our travels. It was a little unhelpful that the receptionist at the hotel told us we just pay cash for the bus which isn't actually the case. We discovered when we boarded that we needed to purchase a $5 travel card. Luckily though we could use one for both of us so only needed to get one. The bus wasn't the worse we've seen but it certainly wasn't a comfortable ride. They were playing music though which was a welcome bonus. We made it to Nadi bus terminal and our first thought was to work out where we needed to get back on the bus. Luckily as we were discussing this a gentleman approached us and showed us the bus stop we needed to be on for the way back. At first he came across really friendly, asking where we were staying, where we're from, that kind of thing. He then asked us our plan for the day and we said we were off to the markets. He passed us over to a lady and said she'd show us where it was. As we were walking we did feel very relaxed, she achieved this with her friendly personality. We began to realise something wasn't right when we turned a corner and were heading down an alley that didn't look like it would lead to any tourist market at all. Turns out that she lead us to their own personal shop. We knew then we'd been scammed and she explained that all the products sold here were made in the villages and wasn't mass produced. We didn't buy it but couldn't get out of the kava ceremony she began performing for us. She invited us to drink kava which we declined and after that was over we were invited to look around at what we'd like to buy. We did a courtesy loop before making for the exit. What made it worse was they were all sat by the door so as soon as she realised we weren't buying anything she said "well a donation will do" but we just exited quickly and thanked her. We pretty much ran away at this point and got ourselves into the fruit market before awkwardly passing the man and woman as they headed back to the bus station obviously to pick up their next targets. We felt like such fools for not picking up the signs earlier but you do want to see the best in people and not believe that everyone has a hidden agenda. You just have to put an unfortunate guard up in countries like this where they believe just because we come from a wealthier country that we have hundreds of pounds to spend on huge wooden swords. We felt a bit sour after that and it did taint our visits to the real markets and we just avoided going too close to any stall. Instead we explored a few shops, bought a few things we needed before deciding that was enough of Nadi town centre. We made our way to the bus stop and happened to meet 3 English girls who are staying at our hotel and were on the bus to town with us. Luckily one girl has been living here for 3 months so when we found out the bus was 40 minutes away she told us to come with them on an alternative bus and then once we got off she put us in a taxi and made sure our driver only charged us $5 for the ride. It was so nice after our experience earlier to have someone genuinely help us. Although I'm proud we ventured out I don't think it was our best day of exploring. I'm hoping at least when we visit the island we are staying on for Christmas we don't have to have such a guard up but we will see.Read more

  • Day668

    Let's go surfing!

    December 16, 2018 in Fiji ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

    Nick was pretty excited about our trip today to finally give surfing a go. I was quite apprehensive about doing it but was trying to be open minded and give it a good go. We were collected from our hotel at 12pm because that's when the high tide was so this gave us time to have a relaxing morning and a good brunch before heading off. Our teacher for the day, Godfrey, was very welcoming and relaxed about the day. We made the trip to Natadola beach, one of the best beaches to visit in Fiji where we were to have our lesson. On the way we stopped at his house to collect another rash shirt and were give fresh mangos off of his tree which were delicious. We were with another girl called Grace for the experience who was originally from the Philippines and she showed us how to eat a mango without the need for a knife. It was messy but does mean we can buy some during our future travels without worrying about having a knife to use. We changed into our swim suits and rash shirts before Godfrey set up our boards on the beach to practice the technique on. The steps to take involved lying on the board with your hands under your chest ready to then push up the front of your body followed by lifting your bottom into the air before moving your back foot to the middle of the board and standing up as you bring the other foot into position. It was relatively easy on the sand but I wasn't optimistic that it would be as easy on the water. There was minimal waves on the beach but we all headed out to where the few waves were and lead on our boards waiting. Godfrey was stood in the water waiting for it to look like a good wave was coming in. He then lined one of us up and gave us a push and said the steps as we went to help us. Nick went first and was brilliant, standing up on his first go and riding the wave as far as it went before it disappeared. I on the other hand did not have such luck with my first go. I struggled to get to standing and with all the steps to remember continued to just fall off the board every time. Nick did have a few times where he didn't get up but overall be was really good at it and continued to perfect the technique. Amazingly after many many tries I got to standing! Everyone who had come out to surf cheered as I managed to do it. I only managed once more but it felt so good to achieve it a couple of times. The girl Grace we were with left after a while to get her phone and video us doing it for a travelling video she is making. The quality is poor and blurry but I managed to take a couple of screenshots of Nick from it. It was a great fun experience despite the fact we both now have extremely painful sunburn on the back of our legs from lying on the board waiting for a wave. I'm so pleased Godfrey gave us shirts or we'd have sunburn on our upperhalves too I think it's something we will definitely try again in the future as long as we are both wearing a wet suit that covers our legs!Read more

  • Day667

    Maybe we should of planned more in NZ

    December 15, 2018 in Fiji ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

    After rearranging the furniture in our room to be able to put up our mosquito net we had a pleasant nights sleep last night in Nadi, despite the huge grasshopper we had to get out of our room that came under the door. Our accomodation is in a hotel away for the beach that is connected to two other hotels, the main one being Bamboo Backpackers. I'm so pleased we aren't staying there because it's where the bar and restaurant is so it's incredible noisy at night. After a lazy start we headed over there to have breakfast this morning and check out today's activities. They offer different day trips and tours but we weren't sure if the prices were reasonable or not so decided we needed to spend today properly researching what we want to do here. It became a bit daunting initially until we realised that Fiji has a website called Bookme, a discount exercusion website that we used in New Zealand. It's an easier way to scroll through all there is to do here and also see if any upcoming dates have any discounts. We know we want to visit some of the islands near by but it's surprisingly more expensive than we realised to do this. In the end we've chosen to go on a snorkelling trip which visited 2 snorkel sites and the has lunch on one of the islands. This way we get to do a fun activity with the added bonus of getting to visit an island for an hour or two. The other bonus is you get taken to good snorkelling spots and snorkel from the boat where as other trips drop you at an island and you have to swim out from there. The other activity we've booked is to have a surfing lesson tomorrow. This was reduced by $40 so that was a rather nice bonus. The reviews are amazing and it's the perfect session for beginners apparently and seeing as it'll be our first time this is idle. It's been something Nick's been wanting to try for a while now. We discovered that the cafe bar at the front of the hotel does amazing banana smoothies and the restaurant itself offers quite an extensive menu although for tonight we played it safe with a pizza. After feeling like our brains had been frazzled by information we went for a stroll down the beach. To say it's the not the nicest beach is a bit of an understatement but it's a beach none the less. The locals seem to enjoy spending time here. Two things we definitely weren't prepared for are the heat and the mosquitos. I've already been bitten 4 times on my arm, probably from the same mosquito. The sun is also very intense so I think it'll be a stay where we spend most of our time layering up sun cream and insect repellent. We rounded our pretty chilled out day with a swim in the pool. It was nice to just relax knowing that we have achieved something with our day despite not leaving the hotels! It's a shame we didn't plan more before leaving but sometimes that's just the way it goes with travelling.Read more

  • Day666

    We've officially left New Zealand

    December 14, 2018 in Fiji ⋅ ⛅ 32 °C

    Today has been a whirlwind of emotions and pretty go go go. We stayed in a lovely Airbnb last night and I wish we didn't have to leave it because it was the comfiest bed we've had yet. We packed up our car one last time before setting off early to run some errands around Auckland. Managing to dodge most of the rush hour traffic we were at a post office near the airport for when it opened to send one last parcel home. Our next stop was to the bank to send all our money from our NZ accounts to our UK one. We discovered from other backpackers an awesome site called Transferwise which uses the simple concept of the money you pay to them goes into their NZ account and then the pay out you receive comes from their UK account, so the money never leaves NZ really. It's such a good idea because we got hundreds of pounds more doing it with this site than we would of with the international exchange rates from banks. Once that was completed it was a last stop to a supermarket to get some toiletries and then we were off on our way to drop the car off at 10:30am. After fuelling up at the airport we dropped it off on time and then were given a lift to the international departure terminal. We waited a while, eating snacks and drinking our water before going through check in. We queued for about 45 minutes before getting our boarding passes and dropping off our luggage. Soon we were upstairs eating Japanese food reminiscing about our time here in this wonderful country. I'm so sad to leave it and the people we know here and I don't think we're prepared for the shock we will get being back home with so many thousands of people around. We decided to have a check on our transfer and see how it was going and annoyingly we discovered our NZ bank accounts had been locked, despite doing it in branch and being reassured this wouldn't happen. We had no credit on our phones either but luckily Nick found somewhere to buy some top up and I called the bank. After 15 minutes or so of going through different people and confirming details my account was active again and the transfer released, the lady then did the same process with Nick. I'm so so so pleased we checked before we left the country as calling from Fiji would have cost a fortune. Feeling more relaxed we passed through security and eventually boarded our first flight in 16 months. We were given seats by the emergency exit which was great for leg room but did mean we couldn't access our fold out TVs until we were in the air where as everyone else had a good 30 minutes head start on the films. Luckily the films weren't great and my TV wouldn't stay upright anyway so we both gave up on films. Instead we enjoyed flying in such gorgeous weather watching Fiji slowy coming into view. After touch down and being hit by a huge wave of heat we met our transfer lady who was taking us to our accomodation. We had a bit of wait for another flight to land and then another long wait to actually check in but as soon as we walked into our aircon filled room it was amazing. We spent the evening having dinner by the beach and watching the sunset. Just like the day our time in New Zealand has come to an end. I never thought I'd love a country so much as this and I know that we will be back, it's just a matter of when not if.Read more

  • Day665

    Of course I fell out the boat

    December 13, 2018 in New Zealand ⋅ ☁️ 21 °C

    Today's photos are a little bit makeshift as they are screen shots taken from a video. As our leaving present Bruce paid for us to go white water rafting at a made man centre in Auckland. The only day we could really fit it in to our schedule was today. We were conscious of the fact that we needed to drive about 5 hours from Russell so we left early, this time taking the much quicker ferry. We ended up getting a free ride because the ladies card machine wasn't working and she refused to take the little cash we did have saying the trip was a Christmas present. At 2pm, after a bit of shopping, we turned up to the Vector Wero white water park where we met the 5 other people we'd be sharing a boat with. They were all on a work team building day together. After a safety video we were suited up with shoes, helmets, life vests and given a paddle each. Our guide seemed to be very experienced and gave us lots of different commands to listen out for and remember, the most basic being forward paddle and back paddle. Soon enough we were going up a ramp ready to give the course our first go. It's a lot scarier than I imagined and it's quite hard to try and paddle when all you want to do is hold on. We often bumped into the sides but I think that's probably quite common. We managed to do it though and after a gentle paddle over the lake it back up for round two. Nick and I got to sit at the front for both of these rounds which was pretty exciting. It was such an adrenaline rush and amongst the laughing and screaming you have to keep reminding yourself to listen and paddle or get down into the boat when told to. On our third lap around the two guys from the work team went at the front and Nick moved to the back while I went second from the front. This time around we tried to "surf" at the bottom of the waterfall which involves paddling straight into it and getting enough water on the front of the boat to hold you there "surfing" for a few seconds before the current takes you away. It was somewhere amongst the excitement of doing this that I fell out. After we started moving downstream again we were all so happy about what we just achieved that I don't think any of us were prepared for the next waterfall so as we went down I didn't grab the rope in time and went over the edge backwards. The first photo shows me in the water with everyone wondering where I'd gone. It's amusing to watch the video and here the commands being shouted at me because I didn't hear any of them. It was a crazy few seconds of trying to get air as I was getting swept down stream. I was saved by our helper on the side who amazingly managed to throw a rope to me and have it land on my face. Only because I felt it was I able to grab it because I couldn't see anything with the water in my eyes. He pulled me out of the current and I was able to climb out before getting back into the boat. I must of bashed my elbow at some point because it's missing a chunk out of it now. After finding my paddle we did one last round before going down a 4.5m drop waterfall which was awesome! Overall it was an amazing afternoon, the best ever leaving present and the perfect way to round off our time here in New Zealand.Read more

  • Day664

    Sailing across the bays

    December 12, 2018 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    Nick did extensive research into which tour we should take around the Bay of Islands and it definitely paid off. We went on an excellent tour on an old sailing ship with only 8 other people. We set sail from Russell at 10am, initially using the engine because there was little to no wind at that time. The boat was beautifully made and the operators of the tour were such friendly open people. Despite the initial cloudy weather we ended up with a day of sunshine and we very naively didn't put sun cream on. Luckily the guys had some we could borrow. It was so peaceful crusing along the waves towards large islands in the distance. After an hour or two we came to the first island we could stop at. It had a few boats already docked there and we were told it's the most popular to day trip to. There was even a hostel boat where guests can stay in dorms over night. As cool as it sounded it turns out they pretty much have an all night party on board so it definitely isn't our thing. The crew made the decision to cruise around to another island instead of mooring here. We entered a beautiful bay with turquoise waters, a white sand beach and rocky forest as the backdrop. It was something off a postcard that's for sure. In groups of 4 or less we were transferred over to the shore on a small inflatable boat. We had the option to go snorkelling, swimming, kayaking or hiking up to a view point. I decided I wanted to visit the view point so as Nick got changed ready for a swim instead, I began a very steep climb up into the trees. The forest was buzzing with life and I saw so many Tui and Tomtit birds flying around. Eventually after getting very hot for the climb I came to an area of benches which looked down on the Bay below. The trees have fully taken over though and you can't see as much as you once could I imagine. It was still beautiful. We'd been told of a second view point over the other side of the hill I was now on so I carried on the path to find this one. As I stood on the benches I could see an amazing view of all of the islands out in front of me. The water looked so inviting and blue from this height. I spent so long admiring it that birds started to get use to my presence and were swooping and diving all around me. It was quite a magical moment. I dragged myself away and began to descend down to the bay. When I got back I couldn't see Nick at first but eventually I realised he was out kayaking. I watched as he explored nearby rocks and shorelines. It was so peaceful just sitting on the beach listening to the waves rolling and the wind blowing through the trees. Soon came the time to go back to the boat and on board we were served an amazing chicken salad for lunch. It was so good and it's definitely something I will try to replicate when we are home. After some drinks we hoisted the sail because the wind had picked up and began our journey back to Russell. On the way we just so happened to catch up to a dolphin tour boat and as we sailed past saw the pod of bottlenose dolphins swimming in the waves. As we watched we happened to see one jump high out of the water which was just incredible. Our ship doesn't have a license to stay and watch the dolphins so all we could do was sail past so I'm pleased we got to see that moment before we carried on. We had to wait for the wind to be strong enough and in the right direction before sailing into Russell's harbour which did make this journey back drag a little but it was relaxing to just be out on the open water. After such an awesome day we made pizzas for tea, did laundry and packed our bags ready to venture back down south tomorrow. Nick's been plastering on the aftersun all evening on his legs which are now glowing pink after his half an hour kayak. He won't forget to cover them up next time that's for sure!Read more

  • Day663

    Lots of mosaic art

    December 11, 2018 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

    It was another big driving day for us today as we drove the 6 hour journey up to Russell. When we visited Northland last time it was during a 5 day storm. We managed to get up to Cape Reinga and avoid the rain while up there but as we headed south again we entered back into the storm. The weather for Russell then was predicted as 4 more days of rain so we just decided to skip it and come back in summer. You do forget how far away everything is when you plan these things though and it definitely makes you appreciate how close everything is to each other in the UK. We had a bit of a lie in today and with still sore legs began today's drive. We successfully navigated Auckland's highways and carried on highway 1 northwards. After a few hours we needed a break so we stopped at a cute cafe that was attached to an art gallery. I was pretty excited to discover the exhibition was for local artists and everything was under $500. Unfortunately though there was no pieces that I was really drawn to, not even the mosiaced Daleks. We sat outside and I drank my first ever salted caramel flavoured latte and just enjoyed being stationary for a brief half an hour. I'd messaged Bruce about our plans knowing they spent a holiday in Russell and he said we needed to visit some public toilets in Kawakawa. Bit of a random request but we decided we had to check them out. It was further north than we realised but we soon arrived at the small town. There in the centre was the toilets, a block that had a tree growing up through the roof and was covered in tiled mosaic patterns and glass bottles. It was a rather funky interesting design but I quite liked it. After visiting the supermarket here to grab some bits for tea we carried on North. There's a ferry you can take to Russell or you can opt for the road option. On Google the road seemed to only take an extra 20 minute so we chose that way to save money on the ferry. It was a long stretch of gravel narrow road with so many bends that you just had to hope there wasn't another car coming in the other direction. We made it eventually to Russell though and after checking into our cabin we went to explore the town. We've booked onto a sailing tour for tomorrow around the Bay of Islands so we found where we need to meet for that and visited some of the shops. Everything was beginning to close for the day but we enjoyed walking around. It has a very French feel to the buildings and it's definitely a cute little town. Huge trees with purple flowers were in bloom which added to the astectic of the place. We spent way too much money on the strongest, sweetest hot chocolate we've ever had from a chocolate specialist shop and sat overlooking the water trying to drink it. After a simple beans on toast meal for tea we got all our stuff ready for our tour tomorrow. After two days of driving it's nice to know we will be doing something different tomorrow and don't have to take the car anywhere.Read more

  • Day662

    Never have our legs ached so much!

    December 10, 2018 in New Zealand ⋅ ☁️ 18 °C

    Getting out of bed this morning was a struggle. Our legs are definitely not liking us much today for what we put them through yesterday. Unfortunately as well today is the day we have a 4-5 hour drive to take us up to the last Top 10 site before Auckland. We decided we needed to take things steady and have regular breaks to give our legs a stretch. We packed up the car once more and began today's journey. Our first stop was just shy of an hour north to the Lava Glass centre. We visited here in winter and bought a stunning vase but unfortunately the glass blowing demonstration they show was closed due to renovations taking place. Its always been on the list to come back to with the hope that this part of th centre is running again. Walking in I was pretty excited to see the new pieces on display. We mentioned to the cashier how we'd been here before when it was closed and a manager who overheard us came out and gave us free entry into the garden when we bought our tickets from the glass blowing. She insisted we needed to see the new pieces out there. We luckily joined the demonstration at the perfect time because the guy Chris was just about to start a new piece. He was aiming to create 12-14 swirled vases that day. The technique we watched turned out to be pretty rare, two bands of coloured glass are spiralled around each other inside a clear glass vase. He went to Italy to actually learn this technique so it was a privilege to be able to witness him create it. It's an amazing process to watch in action and to see glass being heated into something that is so pliable was quite surreal. You almost forget that this material usually is so rigid and delicate. Once he'd completed the vase we entered back into the shop to have a look around. I couldn't resist buying two Christmas baubles for our future tree. Probably the most expensive baubles I will ever buy but certainly the most unique and beautifully made. The glass sculptures in the garden looked even more impressive in summer with the light reflecting through the rainbow of different colours. After a quick coffee we hobbled back to the car to carry on north. After a couple of hours we stopped in Hamilton by a lakeside cafe and garden for some lunch. We sat under a palm tree eating our food with about 20 optimistic sparrows, ducks and pigeons around us. It was a lovely tranquil spot. Once again we were on the move and eventually after a lot of windy country roads made it to Orere Point where we were to spend the night. When we arrived we decided our cabin was a bit rubbish, especially when they charge an extra $10 for some bedding. Instead of paying that we paid $30 to upgrade to a one bed apartment with it's own kitchen, lounge and bathroom. In comparisons it's a 5* suite. We took a stroll down to the beach to stretch those muscles and spotted several Tui birds on the way in their favourite red flower trees. We were half tempted to go swimming but the water didn't look the cleanest so instead we explored the beach trying to keep sand out of Nick's blisters from yesterday's walk. It's always nice if we can at least have an hour of exploring each day especially after a big drive like today.Read more

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