DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN"> January 2006


February 1, 2007 Thursday
We woke up and drove into Queenstown today. It was hard finding parking. While we were driving around looking for more than 30 minute parking, I saw a doctor's sign and we stopped to see him. I am running out of my medicine so I thought I should stop. He was super helpful and nice. After the doctors, we drove over to the pharmacy to drop off my prescriptions. Turns out that the doctor needed to write one of my scripts on a special paper so we had to go back to change it out. Jason had dropped me off so we walked all around town and to the doctors office before returning to the pharmacy. They filled most of them and some I have to wait until the morning. We checked into a hostel like the one near the glacier since we had beens spending the last 2 nights on the side of the road and we could use a shower. It was nice. We showered and then proceeded to do a pub crawl. We made it to 6 pubs. Not too many before we went to Hells Pizza and ordered a spicy pizza for dinner. While we were at one of the pubs, I noticed the the Chicago Bears are in the Super Bowl!! I saw a Green Bay packers group so I went over to confirm this info. They said they will be rooting for the Bears! I think it has been almost 20 years since they were in the Super bowl. Tomorrow we are going to do a long hike, the Routeburn trail, so we did head back a little early from our pub crawl.

February 2, 2007 friday
We woke up a little late and made it to the beginning of the Routeburn Trail and started our tramping at around 11:30. It was such a beautiful hike. You go over 5 suspention bridges and the rivers are roaring and incredibly clear! You can see to the bottom everything that is down there. There were tons of waterfalls littl and small going down the river. We hiked to the first hut in 1 hour and 30 minutes and it said it would take 2 and half hours. We were cruising. It was mostly all uphill. We made it to the second hut by 2pm the hut was so beautiful with views of the mountains and the creater below. There were snow on the mountains and it is really breathtaking. We decided to hike up to the waterfalls another 10 minutes and it was just incredible. There were huge wide falls to my right to my left and infront of me. It was just outstanding. I had Jason take a video to capture it's magnificense. We sat up here until it started to rain just taking it all in. We decided to start hiking down around 3pm. We were really exhausted when we finally made it to the bottom. I could not wait to take off my shoes and lay down. We drove back to Queens Town to stay at the same hostel as last night. It was so nice to take a shower and we just ate left over pizza and a huge salad. We watched a movie in the movie room and crashed fairly early. It was such an incredible day. Our view from the hostel out our windows of our van was of the lake and the mountains. So cool for $10 a night. Plus they supply all of the pots and pans and utensils to cook.

February 3, 2007 Saturday
We slept in until 8 am and took a quick shower and left to go to Milford Sound. We are taking a boat tour there. The drive was so spectacular. Even if we did not go on the tour this drive was so worth it!! We stopped at a store and picked up some food to heat for lunch and scarfed it down quickly. We were going to be cutting it close to make it to our tour time. We did not sign up in advance and are hoping they can fit us in. We passed a field that runs into a mountain and the field is full of yellow and orange flowers and it was such a beautiful sight to see. I took a picture and then we had to wait to go through the tunnel that goes under the mountain. It is only one way. It took them from the 1220's until the late 1950's to finish it. It is still really raw looking as far as the stone finish. In the USA they are all perfectly smooth and fit 2 cars comfortably including trucks. It was just cool. We arrived and rushed to get to the terminal and talk with the tour operators and we were able to buy a ticket. We packed our rain coats and fleeces and of course some snacks and headed up the gangplank. All I can say is that it was such a great tour. We found out from the captain of our ship that our cruise ship is going to come into here, at first we were bummed that we took the boat tour or rather spent the money on the boat tour instead of something we won'e already be doing. But, it was spectacular. Jason and I hung out with the staff in the pilot's deck and Jason even was able to helm the boat on the way back in!! Fiord (the captain) motored the boat right under the waterfall so that we all got drenched if you were on the bow of the boat!! He filled up water glassed that were sitting on the bow and we all drank that super sweet and fresh water. It was so cool! Poor Jason got the worst of it. We gave Fiord our information hoping he will join us sometime on a passage. We had such a great time. He told us we could just stay in the parking lot near the bar for free. I love having this van we have been able to stay for free most of the time. We watched an episode of Grey's Anatomy and ate lamb chops with mint jelly and potatos. It was so yummy. I fell asleep for 2 hours and Jason went into the bar to check it out. I woke up an hour later and decided to go in to join him. It was so fun. I walked up to the bar next to Jason (he had not noticed me yet) and I ordered a shot of tequilla drank it and asked for another and a beer and told him to put it on his (Jason's) tab!!! HA! Everyone was threatening Jason they were going to come get me out of the van and there I was. They were all nice. I think I had to drink a couple more shots that people kept buying me drinks. Mind you I was wearing sweat pants and the Paul Frank Tank top nighties that Natalia got me!! We danced a little and basically had a kick ass time. I hope we get to see the people we met again sometime in the future. They are all so cool!! We gave our website out so that they could contact us if they like to meet somewhere when they have holiday.

February 4, 2007 Sunday
Of course we slept in this morning after our 3am night!! I was happy I had taken a nap before I went out last night. We left the Milford sound area and stopped on one of the trails but took the side trail Scott(one of the locals we hung out with last night) told us to take. It was such a cool place. They all hang out there and swim and jump off the rocks into the water. It looked like a little grotto. The water was so incredibly clear and light blue. We just sat there enjoying it for 30 minutes. Then we walked up to see the waterfall that goes into that grotto area. It was nice but the other was so much cooler. We stopped by Fiords parents holiday park and store to say "HI" to them as we told Fiord we would do. He was telling us some stories and we talked for quite some time before we checked out the Museaum on the area and building of the tunnel. On our way out we stopped to see this huge tree that is hollow because a bunch of trees joined it in a high area. It was neat. On our way out to start to head to a different part of NZ we saw Fiord on the side of the road walking so we gave in the winter him a ride back the way we came to his parents place which was the Holywood camp sight. He say's he has 5 months off in their winter and that he plans to take us up on our offer to sail a passage with us. Life is truly intersting. So now we head out of the area. We stopped for another hike. We were craving a hamburger so we stopped in Te anau and asked a woman in a store where the best one could be found and she steared us towards the Tree Top cafe. The hamburger's were delicious and I also proved to Jason that a pint of beer is 20 oz and that I could finish an entire burger by myself if I was hungry enough. There was a couple from England next to us!! I love when I am right. We drove out of town a ways and stopped to sleep on the side of the road for the night. I love the South Island because in a campervan you can stay for free just about everywhere. You only pay when you feel like you want a few luxuries. LIfe is great down here. I think if we would have thought about it ahead of time, we would have invited some of our friends to visit us down here rather than all of them flying into and seeing only the North Island. The north Island is fantastic, but the South Island is spectacular. It is very raw and they have so many cute little small towns. Most of the fruit is grown down here and they just have stunning mountains ranges with the ocean right there!! I could see myself living down here. Queens town reminds me of a ski town in Colorado except maybe a little bigger. We stayed the night by the historic Clifford Swing Bridge in Manaeouri.

February 5, 2007 MOnday
Finally it happened for Jason!!! We found a farm in Tuatapere that had a sheep sheering tour in which you could sheer a sheep!!! The dogs brought the sheep into the area and I separated the ones that needed sheering from the ones that were already sheered. Then Jason had the opportunity to sheer his first sheep!! He was very excited. He only wished he could have done the entire sheep. They only let him do half, probably lucky for the sheep. Then we drove down the island further to Gemstone beach where you can actually find sapphires and other precious stones on the beach. Pretty cool, we stopped there to eat the best sausages in the world according to the sign. They were very spicy and delicious. We then went to the beach where Monkey Island is. We could not get to MOnkey Island because we would have to swim there and the water was just a little too cold for us. We next went to Jamestown beach then to Cosey nook and finally to Invercargill which is the southern most town on the South Island and where the worlds fastest indian resides. We went to the museum to pay to see the fastest Indan (motorcycle for those you have not seen the movie) and Jason was disappointed tofine out that it was not there just a replica. The real one was at a hardware store in town. We went to the hardware town where one of the Indian motorcycles that was a replica that was used in the New Zealand portion of the filming. The real motorcycle is on display in Auckland. We were bummed since it was really the only reason we stopped there. The rest of the museum was nice and very informative. We stayed in Kingston for the evening.

February 6, 2007 Tues
We drove into Queen's Town and decided to go to the Reggae festival in the park that started at noon. We checked in at the same Bungi Hostel that we stayed at before that was super cheap only $10. Jason went and signed up for his Bungi jump in the morning and then we packed some beers and snacks and left for the park. It was packed with people and they played great tunes all day. We moved from our original spot and met some girls that were from Queen's Town and ended up having hamburgers for dinner with them. It was a really nice day.

February 7, 2007 Wed
Jason did the Nevis Bungi jump the longest one their is. I did our laundry and cleaned out the van. on our drive we stopped in Cromwell to pick our own cherries. It worked out to be $8 a kilo which is a great price. We ended up picking about 2.75 kilos. It was so fun. We decided picking your own fruit is one of the most fun activities! We spent the next few hours driving Mt Cook and stayed at Hooker Valley Campground. We plan to do a 5 hour hike tomorrow. They have a few glaciers to see and a lake with big ice chunks in it. It should be fun. The views on the way there were incredible.

February 8, 2006 Thurs
We got up early and were getting ready to leave on our hike when we ran into Chantal and John Fransois. It was so incredible to see them there. They hiked the trail we were doing yesterday and said it was amazing. Unfortunately, we did not see them last night or we could have had dinner at least together. We need to leave right after our hike to get up to the wine festival that is near the ferry. We take the ferry on the morning of the 11th. It is going to be a long day. The hike was beautiful with views that were amazing from all around. We made it to the end of the train and decided to do some mountaineering to get closer to the glacier. We walked up the river until we could find a spot to cross safely and then climbed up the river and then up the mountain to the foot of the waterfalls and near the glacier. It was exhausting since it was a steep up hill and you had to be very careful where you stepped so as not to start a rock slide and slide yourself. We marked the spot where we crossed the river so that we would be able to find our way back. We sat up on the mountain just mesmerized by the glacier and the views all around us. It was so worth the extra 1.5 hours up. We ate some food and relaxed a bit before heading back down. It was a little more difficult going down but we successfully found our spot to cross the river and made it to the end of the trail in just under 5 hours. We were exhausted. We made some lunch and then started our journey towards Christchurch.

February 9, 2007 Fri
We stayed right outside Christchurch for the night and started our way up towards the Malborough region, where all the wineries are. We stopped at a seal colony. They were so cute and furry unlike the ones in the Galapagos. These seals were more furry. There were a lot of very very small ones jumping and climbing around on the rocks. We sat there for a while and watched them. It was raining on and off all day today. We got so lucky yesterday with our hike. We walked around one of the cute little towns on the way up as well and used the internet. Most of the day though, we spent driving.

February 10, 2007 Sat
We woke up today excited to go to the wine festival. We got ready and drove to the find where it was. It started at 10am and by the time we located it and arrived it was around 11am. We found out that tickets were $35 a person and included nothing but music. We also found out that to get a small taste it was $3 and a big one was $5 (a big one was not even a half a normal size glass) and the food was extra as well. Needless to say, we decided to skip it. We thought that since most of the tourists were at the festival we would have all the wineries to ourselves and we could spend what we would have spent on entrance on bottles of wine. It ended up being a great idea. We went to around 8 wineries and tasted tons of wines. Some very yummy and some we did not care for and we ended up driving back to the first one we went to to purchese 3 bottles of the 4 we bought. Wine country is the same everywhere. You have the very friendly ones and the very snooty ones and of course the imbetween. But, we had a great time. We even changed our ferry ride to take us back tonight so we would not have such a long day tomorrow. We picked up subway of all things for dinner and watched Grey's Anatomy on our computer on the way to Wellington. Not to Shabby of a day in New Zealand.

February 11, 2007 Sun
We stayed last night at a park right outside of Wellington. There was a nice bathroom there. It is nice in New Zealand they usually have public bathrooms in every town and usuall by trails or parks. But, the gas stations do not always have them. We spent the whole day driving. We stopped in a town to look through a Dutch store. It was nice they had tons of stuff from Holland for sale. I of course purchased some stroopwafels and some cats but they everything. It was fun. We also tried some cheeses there and bought some. It was a great stop. The rest of the day we drove. We took the scenic route this time though which was nice. We stopped for lunch at a scenic overlook and had a picnic. We almost decided to check out Ragland but it was more than an hour out of the way. If we went we would not get to our regional park until 9pm at the earliest and we really wanted to get there and have time to cook, shower, do dishes and for me to color my hair. We had a nice dinner of pasta. The shower felt so great. We watched the end of an episode at 10 pm of Greys Anatomy before we crashed. We had to pick up Curt and Rachel at the airport at 5:45. We set the alarm for 5:15am. It will be a long day tomorrow.

February 12, 2007 MOn Ragland, New Zealand North Island
We picked them up and left to head down to Ragland. on the way we stopped at a cafe for a flat white to go (expresso like a cappicino but without the foam). We also stopped to buy some fruit and avacados. We arrived there by 9am and the information booth was not open yet. We stopped at a coffee/bar place and ordered a red bull and jager. It was good. The bartender was very nice and suggested a place to go to stay. We then decided to check into a place first. We found a great hostel which was super nice and clean. They had a great kitchen facility and the rooms were spacious. We all stayed in one room. After checking in we went on a bike ride on the complimentary bikes. We went 3/4 of the way to the suggested destination when we decided to turn back. There were so many up and down hills, mostly down hills that we figured we would never make it back if we kept going. So we turned back after 45 minutes of riding and then just biked around town until we stopped at a place for a beer and a snack of garlic bread and calamari. We returned the bikes and decided to go and pick up some beers and make some food. We went and picked up some beer and then to pick up some food to cook up dinner. We ended up purchasing mussels and lamb chops. Dinner was great. We also had champaign and wine with dinner. We watched a movie while Jason and Curt went kyaking. Rachel went off to bed before they returned from their journey so I hung out with the other movie watchers. I was watching the sun set when they returned. It sets around 9pm here. We started watching another movie and then decided about 11pm that we shoudl go out. We headed downtown and everything was closed! They have a law that the bars can stay open until whenever meaning as late or as early. It is not aloud to close if there are a certain number of people in the bar though. We missed our chance since we left so late. But, everywhere else that we have gone out never even got started until after midnight. I guess it is not the same a small town.

February 13, 2007 Tues
Today Rachael, Curt, and Jason took a surfing lesson. They did so well, all three were up after the first or second try! I got some great pictures. The water was pretty cold but I braved it for a good photo. I had a nice time relaxing on a beach. It was great. We decided to go into town for some food and to figure out what we wanted to do next. We stopped by the hostel we had stayed at last night and they were all booked up. We went to the bakery and bought lunch and ran into the surf coach who told us about the backpackers place he is related with. We were able to get a room and went straight there to drop off our cold stuff so that we could free up our cooler. Then we packed the cooler full of beers and headed back to the beach. We picked up 2 hitch hiking surfers on the way. We found a great spot and Rachael and I just sat on the beach while the two boys surfed. They shared a board to save costs so they hung out with us half the time. When it was time to drop off the board some others joined us and had some drinks with us. We stayed until just about sunset and then went back to the place we were staying since dinner was at 8pm and it was already 8:30! We dropped our stuff off in the room and they went down to eat. I took a shower which felt amazing. We then hung out with some people staying there. Rachael and I ended up crashing earlier than Jason and Curt. Apparently there was a ride there you could do and it was scarey at night! They had a ball.

February 14, 2007 Wed
We woke up and decided to check out a waterfall on the way to the airport to pick Blythe up at 2:30. After we picked her up we went straight up to the boat stopping only for gas and some fish and chips for dinner. We got to the boat and crashed since we were going to get up early to try and make it to the place where you can pick up scallops. WE stopped by a candy outlet on the way which was fun. Of course, we rushed home to go get scallops and right when we left we found out that we are too late; today was the last day. What a bummer and let down. Hopefully we will catch some fish to make up for it!

February 15, 2007 Thurs
We went to the grocery store this morning while Rachael did some laundry. We picked up supplies for 5 days. Jason and I motored the boat up to the fuel dock to get some fuel and water. We then packed the boat up with all the supplies and left on a sail to Ukapuka Island. We arrived in the afternoon and went on a hike while the boys went fishing. I made some lamb shoulder chops for dinner they were really yummy.

February 16, 2007 Friday
Jason and Curt went to check the lobster trap that they had put down and it was empty. Then they dropped us girls off on the beach to go hiking while they went fishing. When they arrived to pick us up they had caught a snapper and another small fish. Blythe made ceviche and I made homemade garlic and herb bread, guacamole, Olive oil with pepper, aged gouda and a little salt for dunking the bread in, and roasted garlic. All was fantastic. We had wine too with dinner.

February 17, 2007 Sat
We left our little bay and headed over to Russel Island to walk around the cute town there. We had lunch there and then once again sailed back to our mooring in Opua. We decided to go out tonight since it is Saturday night! We went out in Pihia to a bar with a band that played cover tunes. Chantel and JF came with us. Chantel ended up playing the spoons with the band! After there we went to a dance club and danced our tushies off! We left around 2am for home since the girls got a little tired.

February 18, 2007 Sun
We woke up late and then took a drive up to see the Kouri trees. The were huge. We stopped at a little shop on the way up that sold all the gum from the trees. They were beautiful. She explained to us how she has to sand them down to get the nice luster and that it will change over time. Jason and I bought one. It was a long day hiking too see the different trees and to stop and read everything at the visitors center. We decided to head back to the boat for the night and tomorrow we will drive up to Cape Reinga. February 19, 2006 Mon

We drove quite a ways down 90 mile beach an then decided to go to Cape Reinga, where the oceans meet. It was a cool thing to see. After that we went and had fun riding down the sand dunes. We rented these boards to board down the sand dunes. It was a blast! It was a ton of fun. I actually only bit it once. Some of the wipe outs were pretty bad! We then decided we had better find a place to stay for the night, We found this cute little old hotel to stay in. It had a kitchen that I am not sure you could call it that, but it worked. Blythe, Jason and I shared a room. We stayed in Kaitara Hotel.

February 20, 2007 Tues

We went to 90 mile beach Ahipara and rentaed a kayak and the boys rented surf boards. us girls on the other hand, brought a nice big blanket with a cooler with plenty of cold drinks and snacks!! Although, Blythe being the adventure and used to the cold rapids of Coloraod took out the kayak! We made vodka and lemonaids for the beach and they were so good.We were havning a great time. These boys that looked to be just in College came to ask us for a match for his smoke and we said no we do not have one. They invited us to come back with them and hang out for a while. Blythe said yes of course so I went with her. They were funny guys. Jason did not like coming over to their car to say HI knowing we were already in it. They were nice enough and gave us some soda. Blythe went for a swim with them while I scurried back to our area with Jason. It was a funny day. I got lots of good pictures of Jason and Curt surfing. We decided to head back to the boat after a while. We were all getting bored on the beach. On the way home we picked up some pizza bread for Racheal and Jason and Blythe got Chips and fish, while I of course had gelato!

February 21, 2007 WedWe sailed today to Motuarohia island. We had fun hiking and fishing. No luck on the fish part but we even set a trap out in the hopes of lobster. It was a nice relaxing day compared to all the traveling. The weather was beautiful and we were able to sail the whole way there. We did get some mussels and clam and cooked them up for dinner.

February 22, 2006 Thur
We sailed to Moturoa and went out to the ocean to go fishing today. We were bottom fishing for Snapper mostly. We had not luck but it was a glorious day out and we had fun relaxing in the sun in the beautiful setting. In the afternoon Jason anchored on Moturoa and Rachael and I hiked up to the top of the island for 2 spectacular views of the Bay of Islands as well as the ocean. We also saw 2 other bays that were beautiful. It was all uphill though, so after an 1.5 hours we were ready for a shower and to relax on the boat. We made some chicken, lamb, and steak on the grill and after dinner the boys went fishing again and the girls watched "Failure to Launch" it was great. They came home for the end of the movie with a little grouper and snapper.

February 23, 2007 Fri
First thing in the Morning we cleaned out the rest of the boat and then the van. We also did the laundry for the new guests that arrive right after them. It was a tough morning but we finally left for Auckland around 3pm. We arrived but could not get into the BK Hostel and found another one that had a 6 bed dorm room that we stayed in. We were lucky and no other person was in the room but the 5 of us. It was the cheapest way to stay downtown. We decided to go out downtown so we all got ready to go out. Jason and Curt went to the car to get our stuff. Rachael and I straightened our hair. Rachaelís is really thick and took twice the time of my hair! Now I see why she braided it every day! We went to an Irish pub and found out Jason and Curt had already been there for 2 drinks while we were getting ready! They were supposed to get us a bottle of wine and instead drank at the pub. Typical. We had fun. We decided we had better get some food and walked around trying to find a place we would all like to eat. Rachael gave us a time frame that if we had not decided she was heading to McDonalds. She was starving! Her only requirement was that they have garlic bread! I swear that girl loves it more than Jason, something I thought I would never see! We ended up eating at this awesome restaurant. It was very eclectic. The food was fabulous and we even had Champaign compliments of Curt! (Thanks again Curt we all enjoyed it). After dinner we went to a few pubs, lounges, and even a dance place. Rachael went home a little early and the rest of us stayed out until around 3am. Blythe and I danced quite a bit. We took showers before bed. It was a fun night!

February 24, 2007 Sat

We went walking around Auckland today. We went to the sky Tower where Blythe and Curt jumped off the building!! Of course they were on wires but still super scarey stuff! Typical New Zealand fun! They were nervous and I do not think Curt would have done if Blythe would not have agreed to do it with him. I think her legs were shaking just slightly when she landed a perfect landing!! After our jumping adventure we went to the craft market and everyone got something to take home with them to remember NZ and something for their friends. After the market we were once again starved and walked to the Asian market to have Thai food. We had to walk up the big hill on Queens Street in order to get there. Curt almost called a taxi because it was up hill!! We were just a little slow after the night before! The food was fantastic as usual and we left to drop off Curt and Rachael. I was super sad to see them go. Hopefully, they will visit again soon! Jason, Blythe, and I went to our favorite Regional Park for dinner, shower and camping. We cooked up the fish they caught the night before we left. It was yummy. We were all exhausted and fell asleep early. Good thing too since we had to be at the airport at 7am to drop Blythe off and pick up E.

February 25, 2007 Sun
I felt like I was on an emotional roller coaster with everyone leaving and E coming in. I was so sad but also happy to see her. We left from the airport and went to an international festival near Auckland. It was cool they had tons of food from around the world and lots of crafts, cloths and Jewry. E bought a necklace and earrings that are beautiful!! They we both bought skirts. Hers mauve and mine army green. It was neat as well because they had a big stage set up and people were dancing their countries dances and playing music. It was very cool. After we ate way too many types of food and were stuffed, we decided to go see something else! We drove towards this cool black sand beach, Murrowai Beach, where we can stay the night as well. On the way we stopped at a bunch of wineries in the region on the way. We had tons of fun trying all the different New Zealand wines. We bought some snacks to have along the way. Toby and Michi decided to join us at the last winery. They were having some fest going on but apparently, when we arrived it was over. The wine manager was pretty buzzed and when E went to pay for her bottle of wine he went to the register came back and gave her the money back!! We all sat outside on a picnic table drinking the wine we bought and eating cheese, crackers and other snacks. It was a great time. Tobi and Michi came back to the black sand beach to stay with us and we continued to drink wine. It was a great night!

February 26, 2007 Mon
We slept it a little and when we got up E was already back from her walk on the beach. We took showers and then went to check out the beach. Jason wanted to rent a board for the day and wanted to see if the waves would be good. Michi and Tobi joined us for a while before setting off for home. Tobi is leaving on Friday and they have a ton of work to do before he does. He is heading to Germany to work for a couple of months. Jason rented a board and surfed for 3 hours while E and I just enjoyed the sunshine and had a few beers while catching some rays. I of course was slathered in the hightest SPF we have and I am not sure if E even put on 15!! She always was the sungoddess of our friends!! Never misses a moment at a pool! I was so happy to just be with her after missing her for so many many months or actually just under on year!! Jason's board was due back at 3pm so we went to the shop and they had a shower so we all rinsed off. We stopped at a bakery to get a meat pie, E's first in New Zealand! While we were heading to the boat, our belt broke on the van and we barely made it to a station to see what was wrong. We could not believe our luck when they actually had the belt we needed. That NEVER happens. We drove the car to a holiday park type of place in Murroi Heads and we had to spend the night. Jason is going to fix it in the morning before we leave. We went into the kitchen and they had a huge nice refrigerator but that was about the extent of the niceness of this park. I was frustrated but I know part of it was my pain was bad and I almost fainted while in there. I had to go lay down while E and Jason cooked. I fet so bad about not only feeling faint but that we had to stay at a terrible place her 2nd night in town. E had her first experience of lamb chops in New Zealand. They cooked them on the grill with mint jelly on the side. They were so yummy. We set up tent under a nice tree and read a little and off to bed. It was quite late.

February 27, 2006 Tues
Jason was fixing the belt on the van when E got back from her walk on the beach. She had a great time and took some amazing pictures. I was happy she was enjoying the incredible scenery here in New Zealand. We fixed the van and stopped in Tudacadca on the way up to the boat. We have never been there and it is supposed to be one of the best surf beaches in NZ as well as just beautiful. We stopped there to check out the beach and walked around the shops in this tiny town one road town while Jason got a surf board. We headed up to Opua. We stopped in Phia so we could have a beer at a pub. We then walked over to the fish and chips place Jason loves and had dinner. I had some gelato from the place across from the fish and chips which are known as the best fish and chips around. Jason was excited to take her there and she loved it! After dinner we went to this cool little bar where they play live music. It was fun but we did not stay out too late. The bars use controlled portions on their bottles so whenever you get a drink it tastes like all mixers. We were a little grouchy from our long day and decided to head back to the boat rather than drink watered down drinks. We made it to the boat a little late I went to the boat with the first load of things so that I could open it up and air it out a little before E came aboard. It was pretty late by the time we all got settled in.

February 28, 2006 Wed
We decided to drive up to 90 Mile Beach one of the cooler places to see in New Zealand. It took us a couple of hours and we drove the van right onto the beach near the rocks. There were tons of surfers out there already and they could ride the wave for such a long time. I had never seen a break like that. Jason went surfing and we explored the beach. We met these locals that invited us to hang out with them. We did for a while but every time we walked by them they would call us over. They were pretty cool. We gathered some mussels as well. I unfortunately lost my favorite hat. At the end of the day we were talking with one of the locals that showed us a place to camp on the beach. We drove over and it started to rain! We decided to skip camping and stay at a place. We went to a house hostel but it looked a little sketchy with all surfer dudes! We went to another one and it was super cute and E stayed in a little cabin there and we parked right out front. We had some Jeigermeister and a couple of beers and talked. We decided that we would spend the rest of the time on the boat and would head back in the morning. E just needed some down time not a hectic trip of seeing as much as possible. Much better for me as well! I can't wait to show her what it is like to gather your own food and cook it up. And all the many wonderful thins about being on a sailboat!