The rain followed us. The first stop was at Charlie and Jan’s farm. Charlie 2 is a retired research scientist and Jan’s the farmer. Charlie 2 showed us his “projects” like improving fish farming and explained some of his ideas in making farming more environmentally friendly. We were introduced to many of their creatures which Jan admitted are more pets than farm animals. We were treated to morning tea while it rained. The rain kept us from visiting Charlie’s cows which he found very disappointing as he was really looking forward to seeing their reaction to “visitors”. I could seriously spend some time with him. Charlie was very entertaining and a font of interesting knowledge.
Next stop was the bridal veil falls for which the rain thankfully stopped. 265 steps down and back up again was worth it as the falls are beautiful as is the trail to get there.
Raglan was the stop for lunch where some of us enjoyed some Mexican food from a truck. Very tasty. We got to top that off with a visit to another fancy bathroom. This one talked to you and even played music while I peed.
Our accommodation was a holiday house owned by Charlie 1. It’s positively luxurious after living in hostels for quite a while AND free wifi. I tried to skype home but the connection was too slow so went for a “walk”. No one else was keen so it was just Ryan, Melanie and I. This “walk” ended up being a pretty intense hike over and under trees, roots, up and down hills but “only” 6 km. We should have known it was more than just a walk when we had to write our names on a chalk board so they knew who was in the bush. Just us. We got back just in time to get showered and ready for our sunset boat cruise. We earned our fish and chips dinner which was either sand shark or snapper. Either way, it was good.
Not much of a sunset but a nice cruise anyway. No one wanted to go to the pub after. They’d all bought drinks anyway and we were all for relaxing and enjoying easy access to the washer and dryer, hot tub and nice lounge.
Happy Saint Paddy’s day! Simon spent the day in a croc / dragon costume onesie thing because it’s green.
After breakfast we headed up theI hill for warm up exercises. I thought the walk WAS the warm up but apparently not. After 20 minutes or so of stretching and balancing exercises we headed up a another m hill for instruction on how to surf. Sounds simple enough. Now to add water and waves. Hmmm
At the Manu bay(Ngarangurai) we donned wetsuits. Isn’t that difficult enough? Nope. More instruction followed with practice standing on the board then we carried the boards further down the beach. I tied my strap on and headed in. By the time I was up to my knees I thought the wave return current was going to drag me out but kept on trucking. After being knocked down by a couple of the massive waves I tried and this humdinger just picked me up and THREW me on the beach where I rolled around under my board and came up coughing up sea water and covered in black sand …. everywhere. One of the instructors ran over to see if I was okay. I had to laugh so he went out with me to try again. He got me started and I tried standing but …. nope. He said the surf was really intense today. Nice. I was happy to have a good excuse for being really bad at surfing. A few more times I tried just riding the waves into the beach. That’s enough for me.
After getting the wetsuit off I tried rinsing ME off. I’ll be finding sand in crevices for a while, I think.
We had lunch in town followed by kayaking in the harbour at Raglan. It was really nice but after a couple of hours I was thoroughly TIRED. Back at the house, Sue and I jumped into the hot tub for a “massage” before starting our laundry. The surfing instructors cooked us a nice dinner of barbecued lamb chops, sausage and chicken along with salads from Charlie 1’s garden. Nice!