Why is it that people use a partiuclar expression all the time. Leah the land lady in the Opua Motel met with me to basically throw me out this morning and I decided to pick her brains on whats best to see and do in the vicinity from a locals perspective. The trouble is that Leah kept saying HAY? every few words...You,re out of bed HAY?? Breakfast yet HAY? You should avoid Rotarua HAY? Jeez there were so much HAYs I could not decipher what she was about but needless to mention like all Kiwis she was incredible helpful and smiley! She also told me she was descended from Irish Missionaries....... now the less said about that the better! I told her I was gonna head towards a place called RAWHITI Point so that I could get a good vantage point over the Bay of Islands and hopefully get the best views. The day was initially fantastic and the sun blazing. Just to let you cold creature know I am in my shorts all the time and flipflops.. only $14 (€7) in the local Shell garage,. Anyhow I asked Leah re RAW HITI and she looked at me as if I was speaking Arabic... I had to point it out on the map to her. Ah HAY? RAFITI says she with another HAY thrown in for good measure... Apparently the WH is pronounced F in Maori.. The only time I heard of anything like that is in Kerry when they dont say Whip the cream they say FIP the cream!!
Anyhow I sauntered off to the car ferry to make my way across to that place. I am amazed by distances here. they are a lot longer than you expect and added to that they are constantly doing up the roads and you could have ankle deep gravel and stones which give the car a bit of a sliding... oh yeah and the car... I think the Camry was a mistake.. They all think I am loaded as most of the rental cars originate from the time that DANA won the Eurovision and that was not yesterday! Anyhow added to the fact that I can barely see over the steering wheel I think I will have to purchase one of those rubber thingies alright.
There was a trail in Rawhiti that I decided to try.. well I had to try and find it first and after sweating up an down a few hills I met a toothless Maori who was either laughing at my map reading skillls.. ( yes I was WAYYYYY off) or at my appearance (sweating in the midday sun like Christ Moore on a bad night)but I did find the trail called the Te Tawa Hill.. I got a half hour in to it and turned back.. Reason why is that there were a few signs around re their eradication program for vermin and I was afraid after my experience with the bloody grasshopper in my blind last night that this time the real beggars would decide to appear and lunch on this ever expanding sweet blooded Paddy.
RAWHITI was amazing.. beautiful coves and trees down to the water with the waves crashing against the islands in the bays and the coastlines. Another wide beach with no one on it!!
I left and went back towards a town called Russel... Incredible old town.. as in late 1800 early 1900's with wooded buildings everywhere. Really pretty location and again a beautiful bay. Too many north Americans around so I hiked it ( well Camryed in luxury) off to Paiha. I really liked this place as well. Very touristy but in a tasteful non fretful way. There was a fantastic craft market on too and I was sorely tempted to indulge.
Filled the tank with petrol ... I nearly lost all reason when I saw the pump go to $113 for a tank full which is about 60 yo yos. That air conditioning is staying OFF from now on.
Checked out the bible which is the Lonely planet guide book for suitable accom for the night and liked the sound of Whangaroa Harbour and the Sunseekers Lodge.. this place is in the back of beyond and my room is like one of the bedrooms in old house in Armore... yes the converted chicken coop..corrugated iron roof and out side loo. Well I have to get used to it as the budget will not keep me in the lifestyle to which I am accustomed to!!
Spent the evening chatting with MORE elderly "backpackers" or as I will now call them Cheap skates and had to put a major dent in the 3 litre box of wine so that I could numb the pain from the conversation from my three fellow travellers from Manchester and Dorset in the UK. I think they thought I had a drink problem.. goody!!! Well a phrase I remembered from before.. I will never see them again HAY?