Day 24-26: Opua and Paihia

I have a week up in the sunny Bay of Islands, where I aim to relax, explore and work in my WWOOF host’s garden. I have no idea how much I’ll be seeing or doing, but I’ll try to keep it interesting.

Saturday
The property is only 2km from town, but it’s secluded enough that there is no noise or light to bother me in my cabin. After ten hours of solid sleep I was ready to demolish some weeds.

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Around lunch time it started raining so I retreated indoors and watched Lord of the Rings. After a bit of napping and browsing some nearby activities, it was dinner time.

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The household was moving towards raw veganism and it really surprised me. I had misconceptions about it, but they were very quickly dispelled. When I visit cafés I used to frequent in Perth, I’ve found my traditional brunches (like cowboy breakfasts with pancakes, bacon and maple syrup) replaced with what I call “quinoa nonsense”. Lots of really expensive things I can’t confidently pronounce. I assumed they were expensive because they required a lot of effort, but JP assured me that all you needed was a good food processor and dehydrator. All the food has been simple, colourful and tasty, so I’m pleased that I’m trying new things and my mind is opening up each day.

Sunday
My body clock has resynched to wake up just before sunrise, so I can sit on my little porch and enjoy it. It was time to tackle the bigger weeds today, I wasn’t going for the easy ones though, I wanted the nasty ones. When I’ve been cycling and I’ve had to walk on the kerb, these spiky, weedy grasses have attacked my ankles. So I was ready to take vengeance on them all.

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One of the little guys

After two hours of victoriously decimating the weed population, Linus came over to invite me on a day trip to Paihia, the beach town 5km away. I took way too many pictures, so it was a challenge to pick the best ones. It’s an amazing place, full of colour, life and natural beauty.

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I ended up running around with Linus while JP went with Willow to meet a French friend he hadn’t see in six years. We went to the park and some playgrounds, where I realised that keeping up with a four year old requires some hard core cardio fitness. I’ve lost some weight during this trip so my pants try to fall down when I run, so that was challenging enough already. Nonetheless I kept up and I was rewarded with coffee gelato and a break in the park, where a jazz band was playing nearby.

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I saw heaps of cool things as we walked along the street and basked in the sunshine. I’m definitely glad I picked this place for my last week in NZ

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That’s Linus by the way, I didn’t just creepily follow some kid around all day.

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Tonga!

The kids went to build sandcastles and play along the beach a bit longer, so I took the coastal walk back to Opua. Unfortunately my phone died at English Bay, so the last kilometre is unstrava’d and you’ll have to trust that I did in fact finish it.
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There were heaps of different tracks along the way, from rocks to marsh to forest.

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So many oyster shells

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I climbed a lookout tower to get a picture of the bay, but the hatch up the top was locked and I couldn’t get on top.

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My best shot from between the rungs of the ladder

I made it back to the house and ate a lot of food, eating just a croissant and an ice cream that day could only last so long. I think everyone was exhausted by the end of the day, the kids didn’t even argue with their bedtime and I was in bed by nine. In my cozy loft bed, it doesn’t take much for me to doze off.

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Monday
Today was spent gardening and enjoying the sunshine. I’ve made a lot of plans for the rest of the week, so I didn’t mind having a boring day. It was tough work though, it took a lot of work to pull out the giant weeds, but I managed to make some progress.
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Before

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After one day of hard work

I was feeling a bit sore as I climbed into bed. It was probably from wielding the pick axe and doing squats all day, while trying to not slide down the hill. But I slept well, knowing I had completed a good day of work.

3 thoughts on “Day 24-26: Opua and Paihia

    • Nah day 23 was just the last cycling day but I plan to do a bit of cycling around here though. I can take my bike on the ferry and ride around Russell, so that should be fun.

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