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  • Day36

    Day 36/72: Kayaking and Driving

    December 2, 2018 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    We woke up in our campervan feeling very chuffed with ourselves that we'd had a good night's sleep. The sky was clear and sunny and the day beckoned. We had our cereals of choice, museli and cocopops, and packed up the campervan ready for the off.

    We wanted to kayak around the bay of islands as it looked very beautiful, however the kayak tour place said the tour around the islands had been cancelled due to waves and weather, so we could only rent kayaks that day. Not to worry though, we duly hired a kayak and after assuring the guide that we weren't going to drown, paddled out into the bay, and upstream along a shallow estuary towards supposed waterfalls. As we paddled we sang and looked at the wildlife around us, herons and black and white cormorants flying around. We caught up with a huge tour group of people from a cruise, going in all directions over the river and as we paddled by we felt very glad we hadn't spent double the money on that particular tour.

    As we rounded a bend and came across the waterfalls which were surprisingly big! The water crashed over the rocks and made for great watching from the bottom as we hid behind a boulder and took photos. After we'd looked our fill, we paddled back against the tide in equally good spirits. We dodged the tour group again and came across a Maori boat, headed by a couple of huge Kiwi's in full tribal gear, grunting and calling to the 30 or so tourists paddling. As we passed by, the captain bellowed and as all paddles raised into the air, everyone turned their heads in unison and gave us a war cry!

    The kayaking finished, we got changed and got back in the van. A long drive of around 5-6 hours was ahead, so we set off, initially for the campervan hire place to pick up the satnav charger they had neglected to give us the day before. The trip was uneventful, the roads a motorcyclists paradise, and the scenery constantly keeping us alert and interested. It can be best described as driving through a mix of Scotland and Wales. Either winding mountain passed or dead straight over flat plains, they made for great driving. We picked up the cable without a hitch and carried onto next destination, Coromandel and hot water beach /Cathedral Cove. They're a long way out, as you'll be able to see on the map, but well worth the drive.

    We arrived at the chosen campsite and had a spot high up looking over the sea. We had a quick wander on the beach, and then made a dinner of spaghetti and tomato sauce (there may be a theme to our meals for a while). By then, night had already fallen, so we set up for the night and listened to the pitter patter of the rain, and the crashing of the sea as we drifted off to sleep.
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