Took a couple days to be as far North as I will be going in NZ. The landscape was totally green with sheep and cows nibbling away on the smooth, rounded hills. The pine trees have a very tall centre peice which makes them look very spiky from a distance. They pointed into the bright blue sky that reflected into the bright blue water.
Paihia is across the bay from Russell which was the original capital of this country. Not exactly central, but it sits amoung the 144 Bay Islands which make for some pretty scenery and the waters are filled with dolphins. The top of the string of islands is Hole in the Rock, which is a rock, with a hole in it. Our boat sailed right through it and I got it all on video, along with the fault line showing where it will eventually break and collapse one day.
Pia and I took advantage of the hostel's free bikes and slowly biked quite a few kilometers. Slowly, because it only had 3 speeds and the front wheel wasn't great at going straight. As well, we seemed to only go uphill to get to Haruru Falls. After Mount Bledislow, the scenery got even better and the hills started sloping down which was a pleasant reward after all that pedalling. Riding down, wind through the hair, camera in one hand to take a pic of Pia ahead of me, green golf course around us, looking down on the blue ocean below, I felt like I was in the Butterfield and Robinson catalogue!
My 2 green watercolour pencil crayons (these seem to work better than paints for travel sketching) are getting used up REALLY fast :)
6 months done, 6 to go! P