I did meet up with a familiar face from back home, Will. He met up with me in the small coastal town in the Bay of Islands; Paihia. We drove along the coast to the only accessible northern most tip of New Zealand, Cape Regina. It is where the Tasman Sea meets the Pacific ocean- a greeting of wild waves and turbulent waters. The Maori, the indigenous people of NZ, believe this greeting represents the feminine and masculine coming together-ironic that the water is so wild there! We sat on a bluff and looked north towards Indonesia and south towards the south pole. We were closer to the South pole than home! On our mini road trip, we stayed near a pink sand beach that was full of beautiful shells and tide pools, plus a beached whale. We spent the night eating fresh red snapper and listened to the Maori history that is so present in the Northland.
As an adventure, we decided to find the hitchhiker that Will had picked up along the way to meet me. With only a street name, we found him at the end of a dirt road and the beginning of a enormous sustainable farm, inhabited by a family of 30. I felt we had stepped back in time. We found our new friend with the direction from Gilbert, an incredibly sweet and kind hearted man who had lived there his entire life; he said "follow the track into the bush, keep right of the creek; they live in the hut above the swimming hole"--so we did as we were told and were welcomed with a dinner and free place to stay. There was no electricity, they grow everything they eat, from the wheat and corn for bread, and the cow for its milk. Everything is cooked on an open fire, everything is done by hand. We slept in our own hut further up the creek, hugging a waterfall. It was so amazing.
Will and I said our goodbyes and I was on my own again....for twenty minutes...until I met Shaun, and we traveled on our own little road trip through the most beautiful valley and harbour, the Hokianga Region. He surfed while I played on beaches, we hiked to hidden coves, stayed in a tree house, drank with some Scots, and traveled across the mainland on back roads with no names.
I spent the last few days settled back in the Bay of Islands, relaxing from my adventures....only a few days left in New Zealand...