Buses and Boats at the Bay of Islands

We are currently sitting in an 8 bed dorm room in a hostel (the dumb shits at the front desk fucked up our reservation – which is what happens when the job requirements are (1) a pulse and (2) nope, its just the one). I was originally terrified by the thought of sharing a room with stinky 25 year old boys, but it turns out the boys are quiet, respectful, and tidy. The girls, however, are incredibly frightening. And we just have one tonight. It’s like sharing a room with 19 year old Rory. And Rory at 19 is not someone you want to share a room with. Primarily because that crazy bitch would wake you up every night coming in late, scream down the hall at anyone and everyone, and think “handling her booze” meant puking in a toilet (LIKE A LADY!). These bitches be cray. I’m currently hoping the one we have in our room will slut herself out to whichever boy can afford to keep her intoxicated the longest and just not come back. By the looks of this girl, I think my odds are good. Oh, she also has a giant stuffed animal on her bed. I’m assuming that’s for when she needs to be held after the narsty hostel boys have their way with her. Dream big, girlfriend.

You are probably all a bit confused, so let me take you back in time a few days to explain how we got to this very interesting point in our lives.

Monday, Dec 8
Monday was pretty uneventful, we were picked up by the Stray bus and shuttled North to to little beach town of Paihia in the Bay of Islands. The weather was cloudy and was starting to drizzle when we got there, just our luck. We took the ferry over to the historic island of Russel, which was the first capital of New Zealand. Very quaint. But let’s just saymI can see why they moved the capital. Not much going on. When we boarded the ferry we asked our captain what there was to do and he said “just go have a look around”. Should have been clue #1. It’s this guy’s job to shuttle people back and forth all day every day and he can’t even think of something to entertain. We got some wine and nachos and headed back to the mainland. At this point it was still raining, and we noticed the hot tub was empty. We also noticed the hot tub being cleaned when we checked in a few hours ago. I don’t think I have to explain why it is necessary to actually SEE a hostel hot tub being cleaned with your own eyes before entering. So in we went, joined later by some very nice German fellows who we then interrogated about all the best activities to do and where in NZ to do them. 7pm was the big nightly hostel BBQ (included in our package, along with a free drink). It was absurdly mediocre (not very shocking) but plentiful. Sat around drinking happy hour beers until about 10pm, then off to bed for our 7am pickup time the next day.

The most exciting part of Russel....
The most exciting part of Russel….
...was this
…was this

Tuesday, Dec 9
This day will henceforth be knows as the day we glued our asses to a very big bus. Lots of bus time. A slightly uncomfortable about of bus time. We were picked up (along with about half the hostel) at 7am and drove for about 5 hours to reach Cape Reigna, the northernmost point in NZ. The rain thankfully let up by the time we actually got off the bus, so we had a hike around the famous lighthouse with some fabulous views (pics included below).

Cape Reigna
Cape Reigna
Cape Reigna

The (first) highlight of the day was sand boarding at 90 mile beach (no, its not actually 90 miles, and no I don’t know why they don’t put it in kilometers. I’m sure it has to do with the entire world’s obsession to be just like us Americans). These giant sand dunes sit right behind a huge and completely deserted beach. There is only one problem with sand boarding – you have to go up before you can go down. What a bitch. We all got boogie boards from under the bus and started with a baby dune to ease into the hiking up sand. The sun chose an excellent time to come out to play, because the only thing better thank hiking up sand is doing it in the blistering sun! Apparently I have quite the knack for sand boarding…I guess 10 years of boogie boarding at Torrance beach was good for something. After a few runs we were exhausted and settled for watching the boys have a pissing contest. After it was time to make our way back and the bus drove for about an hour on 90 mile beach…giant tour bus, just drove on the actual beach. It was oddly relaxing. After a stop for some of the “world’s best” fish and chips (sadly I cannot attest to this, as you know I hate seafood) we were back in Paihia where the rain continued. And then we stuffed our face…again. I’m not sure how New Zealanders don’t rival Alabama for obesity because their food portions are absurd. Or is that Mississippi? Whatever, fat is fat.

We made it to the top!
We made it to the top!
Our bus load of sand boarders
Our bus load of sand boarders

White girls can jump
White girls can jump

90 Mile Beach
90 Mile Beach

Wednesday Dec 10

DOLPHIN DAY! Up at 7am (these early call times are becoming a theme) for our 8am dolphin exploration tour. Basically you get on a boat and spend 4 hours motoring through the [absolutely ridiculously beautiful] Bay of Islands in search of dolphin pods. If there are no babies and the little buggers are in the right mood, you might get to swim with them. I figured with my luck there is no way we would get that lucky. Apparently my luck is changing. Not only did the sun come out for us, we found (1) a HUGE pod of dolphins with two babies, followed by (2) a second smaller pod with no babies that we were able to swim with. Problem #1 – watch out for sharks. No one else seemed particularly bothered by this, so I figured I would just go with the flow (sorry dad). Problem #2 – water was cold as fuck. Stina jumped in, snapped two pics on her go-pro and then turned to me and said “I have to get out”. And off she went. I can’t blame her, it was fucking freezing. I somehow managed to fight off hypothermia, despite being very worried about possibly losing a toe at one point, and found some dolphins to play with. It was pretty amazing. They get extremely close to you and juuuuuuust when you think it might be ok to reach out and touch them, they ghost on you. Those cute little fuckers are fast. Way too much good fortune before noon. The day only got better as we were able to get in a few prime tanning hours before heading back to Auckland. Note: when people warn you about how strong the sun is here, believe them. We are contemplating visiting a burn unit. That’s a lie…we put on some lotion and packed a bathing suit for tomorrow like good Californian girls.

So many dohphins!
So many dohphins!

Tomorrow is adios Auckland for good! The Dinos are headed south!

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