The Bay of Islands!
So between the Rugby World Cup semi finals and the bronze and proper final I decided to travel up to a place called Paihia in the Bay of Islands which is in the very top of New Zealand. I travelled up on the Naked bus which is pretty bare but cheap so all good! The first day I got there it was rainy so I checked out the town, had fish and chips on the sea front and went for a walk to Waitangi, where the treaty of Waitangi was signed between the Maori and the British Crown. On the way back to my hostel I bumped into a girl from uni on the street, such a small world. I went back to the hostel, rented a bike with no brakes and went to the supermarket to get food for the couple of days I was there.
The next day I decided to go for a hike scrambling over the rocks to a town a few hours down the coast. It was a pretty cool hike and did it all in my flip flops for some reason. The weather was really wierd it was nice one minute then started throwing it down the next. New Zealands coast is amazing loads of cliffs, beaches and mountains rolling into the sea. I had my lunch in the harbour in the town and met a guy who worked there who told me how I could easily travel to other places on boats just helping out every now and again, so thats something I am going to consider!! I hiked back to the hostel and chilled for the night. I met a cool German guy and a group of lads who had come for the rugby who live near Aber! One of them played footy for Ken March! (My uni football team manager) Nuts!
For the last day I was there I booked a half day boat trip that went around the islands and up to a place called the Hole in the Rock, which is literally that! We were guranteed to see dolphins or our money back...so we got a free ticket to go again! We did see the back of a dolphin but that was it. Anyway the scenery was crazy! Everywhere you looked there was an amazing view of islands, green mountains, beaches, cliffs and the turquoise sea. Pretty cool! On the way back we stopped off on an island so I decided to stay there for the day! There was another boat coming at 5pm so I stayed on this desserted island. I couldnt find a map but with my pigeons instinct and trip leader training I felt confident in being able to hike around the island and get back in time. So I hiked off up into the mountains while the boat left with everyone else. I found some little trails and followed them around for a while and stopped for lunch on top of one of the hills. The views were incredible wherever I turned. After walking for a couple of hours I found some wicked beaches and chilled there for a while but then found that the blazes I was following had dissapeared!! I started up this path that ran up through the forrest but it got less and less worn and there were like flies everywhere and I had to push through bushes and branches. After a while I started to worry about the time because I wasnt getting very far so I decided to head back the way I came and find another path. I had matches, a penknife and there were some sheep so I wasnt too worried if the boat left but it wouldnt have been ideal! I finally got through to another beach and found a path that I guessed would take me back. I hiked quickly up that stopping for a quick dive in the sea, had to be done, and just got back to the boat in time. It was a wicked day never been somewehere so stunning but hardly no one there. I got back to the hostel and went for a jaegerbomb or two with a crazy German and an English stock broker! Well random!! Plus I met someone who knows the world famous Franny of the Allen!! Legend!
I headed back down on the naked bus to Auckland on the Friday for the bronze and the final of the World Cup. I went to a Fanzone for the bronze game which was pretty cool except for the game. We saw a live band and chilled in this park place which was fun. On the Saturday we took a ferry to go hike a volcanoe which was interesting, and then on the Sunday I went with the girl from camp and her mates into the city to a bar to watch the Final. The place was heaving and such a good atmosphere. I had a wicked time and it was great being there when the All Blacks won, biggest party I've seen! Everyone was dancing in the streets even the Police!! I went to watch the parade the next day and met one of mam and dads school friends whcich was nice. The whole of New Zealand seemed to be on the streets! I'm now chilling with my friend from camp planning on where to head next. Will keep you up dated and hope you are all well back home!!