Thursday, 3 July 2014

Day 5 Paihia

After another frightfully early start (I don’t like how I’m now used to waking up before 5:30!)
The owner dropped me off at the bus stop – which was really lovely since it’s a 30 minute walk and that feels really far when you’re lugging all your stuff with me like I was when I arrived!

Anyway the bus was late, of course, but then we set off to Paihia. Oh my goodness, I know I mentioned before that I wished I could stay longer up here, but the scenery on the bus ride made me long to linger. I couldn’t take any photos because 1. It was a bus, 2. It was actually more of a van so everyone would have seen, and 3.the windows were tinted and muddy so any pictures I did take would have been rubbish. But because it was so early there was mist lingering in the vallies and it just made the entire hour look even more amazing!
Oh and obviously the weather was beautiful today!

So I got to Paihia at around 10 and I managed  to plan out what I wanted to do and check into the hostel (which is nice enough) 

But in the 20 minutes it took for me to sort everything out the weather wasn’t looking for lovely, but still, it was cloudy but it definitely didn’t look like rain, so I head off on my 30 minute walk to the Waitangi grounds…

Only it didn’t take half an hour, I’d put it closer to an hour and half when I finally made it there, want to know why? Rain. Thunder, lightning and oh so heavy rain. I don’t think I would have any wetter if I just jumped in the ocean – truly, I could hardly keep my shoes on they were filled with so much water. Long story short I managed to find refuge at a little takeaway/bakery style place that they have a lot here and bought myself a hot chocolate to keep myself going.

It was a truly awful walk, the only upside being it wasn’t too cold , although as soon as I set out from the bakery because it eased off it started again. And the palce wasnt clearly signposted so I ended up walking around a lot more than I needed to, but anyway Waitangi Treaty Grounds.
The world's largest War Canoe 

I ended up staying a lot longer than planned at the grounds, partly because it was interesting, and to be honest, because there was a lot of shelter. Between paihia and Waitangi there really isn’t any shelter so I waited until the rain died down a bit (not sure why I bothered really since I was already so wet) and then I headed back to the ferry station.

Now I know I said I wasn’t going to do any more boats, and I’m not, but the ferry was 10 minutes, and I could see the town we were crossing to so I felt like that was ok. So I took the ferry crossing over the Russel, the original capital of NZ, and pottered about there for a bit!

 The view from the ferry

I decided to go up the Flagstaff hill since it’s quite a monumental sight for Maori –pakeha relations. But that hill was STEEP! I think I actually went the steepest path as I chose another route coming down and it felt horizontal in comparison!
 Obviously the day was filled with rainbows again!

The weather was really on and off, as it has been all day, so I didn’t dawdle too long, although I did meet a guy from OZ who comes from ‘the valleys’! And chatted to him for a little while.
That's Russell in the background!
Then I caught the ferry back over to Paihia, where the weather was marginally improving, climbed another hill and got a wet bum watching the sun set while I ate my dinner.

All in all, not a bad day in Paihia! Aside from the rain I got to see everything I wanted and the town is really quite cute. But I don’t think taking your shoes off and having wrinkly toes is a good sign!

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