The Bay of Islands

Popped into “The Shakespeare” for a quick one before hitting the backpacker bar. Met some guys who were arguing about how thunder gets caused (after the big hits on the Sky Tower that morning), and had a $10 bet on it. They asked me for my pathetic opinion on the matter to try and settle it, and I ended up playing pool with them and their mates until 3am, so missed out on the backpacker night, never mind.

Picked up my quality car next morning, it’s older than me and has more dents than a golf ball, but it seems to go OK. The main problem is that it only has as AM radio, so all I can hear is Christian radio and talk radio. After just one afternoon of driving, I can recite much of the bible from my head, and I know considerably more about sheep than I did before.. Drove up to Paihia in the north, in an area known as The Bay of Islands, as it is a bay with 144 islands (so it’s not just a stupid name). It is absolutely beautiful, and I’ve splashed out on a lovely motel with a room with balcony overlooking the ocean, king size bed, kitchen, Sky TV, etc, to make up for 2 nights in the dorm!

Today I took a fast boat out into the harbour, this thing has 1400 horsepower and can do over 50 knots. They took us through the “Hole in the Rock” (also not a stupid name) and fairly deep into a cave and generally around the islands.

I’ve decided to cook in tonight, last night’s search for a restaurant ended up in true Matt-style disaster. There was a place which I liked the look of but was obviously closed, as there was some kind of sign in the door. Now, the street is not well lit so I couldn’t read it, so walked across the front yard to the door. After about 3 steps, massive floodlights came on and a ridiculously loud alarm system goes off which flashing blue lights and the whole works. I decided to do the decent thing and ran off. 5 minutes later I found a bar and went in there, I could still here the alarms from there when I went in! The floodlights did let me read the sign though, which said “Closed for annual holiday, do not enter yard or the alarms will be triggered”. Handy information. I wonder if they were on a beach in Bali or somewhere, when they got paged to say someone was trying to burgle their restaurant?

Will watch Portugal whip England in bed tomorrow morning, then head south back past Auckland towards the Waitomo caves.

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