Ann is joining us for a few days (Yay!). How lucky am I to travel half way across the world and find a good friend there, who is available to join us for coffees, shopping trips, drive us to the supermarket and generally hang out! Especially given her original plans (and flights!) had her leaving well before we arrived. We’re not sure how long she will travel with us, but we’re heading to Paihia together and we’ll take it from there. She is fully equipped and has done some tramping and camping while in NZ over the past 6 months so could prove a useful companion (in addition to being a fun one!).
We arrived in Paihia yesterday lunch time and spent the afternoon on a boat cruise around the Bay of Islands. It was a fabulous day with blue skies, gorgeous coastline, dramatic cliffs and a hole in the rock that our captain steered us through, as well as the company of a school of playful dolphins on our return to harbour. In addition to giving us the bus trip and boat cruise, Padraig and his wife Cathy very kindly gave us a voucher they had for 2 nights accommodation in a lovely hotel in Paihia. So we have been enjoying the luxury of our hotel room, the hotel’s jacuzzi and this morning we did some serious damage to the buffet breakfast! So it seems our budget camping experience has been deferred, which is just as well as some serious rain is forecast for tomorrow and our tent is as yet untested!