Monday, 14 December 2015

East Bro Tour - Kelz's awesome group!

We said goodbye to Guillaume on the Friday morning when he dropped us at Base for our 12.30pm pickup. But we were sure we would see him again at some point as he is doing the same route as us.

We had a shower and a BBQ lunch before we boarded our bus. Our driver, Kelz, a Mouri truck driver who lived in Gisbourne, a place we were headed to, was awesome from the start. She was such a character, with an awesome personality and a hilarious laugh, she reminded me of a slightly sharper tongued auntie Linda. Kelz definitely had sarcasm down to UK level!

Our first day was basically driving to Gisbourne, stopping off along the way for scenic shots, food shopping and alcohol. I had developed an exceedingly AWFUL cold the day before so my sinuses and head were killing me so I don't remember it being a very pleasant day. Once we arrived in Gisbourne a few from the group did wine tasting in a very eclectic pub (it was called crash place) as it had a plane crashed into it. The rest of us went for a walk along the beach then we all headed back to the pub for a look around and to collect the others.

It was then time to pick up our group dominoes pizza order - 14 pizzas coming up! Then headed to our accomodation, which was just outside of Gisbourne and on a secluded private set of beach with hammocks, a beautiful sunset, a campfire and awesome company. I went to bed early as I wanted to sleep the cold off but the others stayed up and apparently saw penguins nesting on the beach - awwww sad I missed them!

The next day was free time until 12pm so we just chilled on the beach and got to know a few more people. I got talking to a couple of girls from England who came over with a work exchange company called Bunac, as did Steve, another English guy in our group. I randomly asked them if they knew a girl, Chelsea, who I was friends with at school because I knew she came over with the same kind of group...turns out she was part of their group and a good friend of theirs!! The world is small indeed!

We then departed on a long drive to our next destination Tokomaru Bay! Along the way we stopped at new zealands longest pier. Where we stayed at another awesome hostel called Stranded in Paradise with Leanne Angus and Frankie the dog. It had stunning views of the Bay! Some people went off to do activities they had booked but the rest of decided to spend the arvo at the beach and we got to know a few more people from the bus, (Kirsty, Jasmine, Steve, Stijn and Rouben from the Netherlands, Jannic from Germany) turns out we have a really awesome group and we had the chance to get to know almost everyone, its just a shame we couldn't stay with them on the Stray Bus down to Wellington but we were sure to see some of them again at some point, especially as a few were in Wellington over new years when we are.

In the evening the group had a BBQ planned but we decided to cook on our own as it was too expensive to pay $10 each a night for food as well as accommodation. But it was good as we got to talk to alot of other people from the bus we hadn't talked to yet like Katrin, Germany, Daniel, UK, Amy, Ireland, Michaela and her boyfriend from Sweden, Bjorn from Germany. It was a lovely evening drinking wine and Cider and everyone just chatting like the good old days, no phones, no TV just good tunes and good company.

The next morning we left pretty early - after waking up at 5.30am for an amazing sunset, the first / most easterly sunrise in the world - as we didn't know it but we had a veeeerrry long journey ahead of us. We stopped off in some random places like Mãori churches and a Manauka Honey shop/farm, where we got to taste some manauka honey products - apparently this type of honey has better healing qualities than tea tree! And it costs a fortune ($90 for one pot!) because of it. We then did a walk up to the most eastern point of new Zealand where there was also a light house. We didn't get to our next accommodation until 3/4pm. We had wanted to do some free Kayaking but the weather was pretty rubbish and even though we got there and it was beautiful, the seas were still too rough and dangerous to do it - boooo! So instead we paid $6 to use the jaccuzi and did a small walk across the beach. This accommodation, the location was awesome, right on a private beach, but the people who owned it were super highly strung, don't touch this, don't do that, turn off lights, don't use too much water....don't touch the knobs of the jaccuzi. My God. We had paid to have the dinner provided by the host which was $20 but we had half a massive Crayfish each, salad, roast potatoes, and half a decent steamed white fish. It was scrummy but alot of people it was the first time eating a Crayfish so we had fun teaching and learning. Kelz was hilarious as she always got given the same meal 2-3 times a week so at first she tried hiding to avoid eating it but we were forced to go and find her and she wasn't happy she had to eat it lol. We had alot of fun making fun of the highly strung owners too. We then spent the evening chilling by the fire and playing a game of Have you Ever which was pretty interesting. The next morning we had another early start to head back to Rotorua. We arrived at midday and it turned out everyone was staying in the same hostel so we all chilled for the day. Me and Pierrick and Katrin did some clothes shopping in the sales and we then went out with a few people for a drink as some of them were leaving us here.

The next day it was off to Lake Aniwhenua (Ani-fen-ooo-a) for another cultural evening.

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