Friday 10th October – Ahipara to Whangarei

We left Ahipara and headed towards the Bay of Islands.  Lance set off in the wrong direction so I helpfully directed him back across to the main coastal road cross country style.  The map showed the road in a somewhat more favourable light than it actually was and, due to loose gravel, we had to drive rather slowly.  It didn’t really matter though as the scenery was beautiful and it was absolutely deserted.  That is apart from the cows who seemed to think that it was much more fun to stand on gravel than stand and eat grass which I’m sure is what they’re technically supposed to do.   The Bay of Islands was stunning and we had a fabulous lunch overlooking the sea.


After the Bay of Islands we headed to Kawakawa to see a toilet designed by Hundertwasser (An Austrian architect who fell in love with the town).  Visiting a toilet may sound a bit odd, well actually it doesn’t at all if you want to use it, but it may sound odd in order to admire it.  Basically I did both!  The place was pretty amazing with brightly coloured tiles and glass.


As we got closer to Whangarei we pulled up to some lights and Lance’s car omitted a rather ominous sound a little like a large elastic band being twanged.  This was absolutely hilarious (or so we thought), until the twang turned into a rather more sinister graunchy sound later on.  Once in the town I went to a camera shop where a woman helpfully squirted air into my camera and fiddled with the lens, which I’m sure resulted in all the sand being pushed into its innards, prior to telling me that the closest place able to fix a Kodak camera was infact in Australia!  Lance took his car into the garage and we got a lift to a holiday park on the outskirts of the city centre.


We decided to walk into town and went to a Sports bar.  When I asked for a drink I was somewhat bemused when I was told that they didn’t have any white wine and completely put out when I was then told that they didn’t have any tonic.  Rather than saying what I wanted to along the lines of, “What kind of place is this?” I ordered a gin and soda.  Having finished my gin and soda, humph, we headed to a bar just down the road, rather amusingly called, “Danger Danger”.  When we sat down I was slightly perturbed to see a rather large bull’s head on the wall which moved from side to side and which also twitched its ears.  We played ice-hockey (I won obviously), danced (well I did and got annoyed at Lance for not doing so enough – apparently his jandels a.k.a. flip-flops in normal countries were sticking to the floor) and drank some more before calling it a night.  There were some interesting characters at the bar including enough candidates for, “What not to wear”, to keep the show going well into the next millenium.  There was also a most (un)amusing American  with terrible chat up lines , a guy with a tattoo which simply read, “Cowboy”and a -very-tall man.

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