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Kerikeri - Farewell to Te Ika A Maui, North Island, NZ

Nya Zeeland (Auckland) 2006-03-14

It was very, very tuff but we had a real good time and eventually we managed to get up on that surfboard. Yes, we are of course talking about the surfing in Manu Bay, Raglan last week! It looks so easy on TV but we can assure you that these guys are good! However, it was funny and we had a lot of laughter’s and Eva did it really good!

That was a week ago and since then we have cruised north, hitting Auckland where we stayed two nights at a Hostel. One night we went out (Jippi!!) for dinner in Ponsonby with Anna and Dave. We met these Kiwis (well, Dave is a Kiwi to become!) at Ihla Grande and Paraty, Brazil in October last year and it was really nice to catch up with them.

Of course we just had to go to the Mecca of Body Pump - Les Mills in Auckland! A big place with a monstrous studio (guess they can take 300 people!) where we went for the Body Pump - hopefully we will have time to do some training today as well. Yes, we did!!

On our way up to Bay of Islands we stopped by to say hello to Kira and Tommy. We met them (well, only Kira and Reece as Tommy was only on the planning stadium at that time!!) 3 years ago in Koh Lanta on the beach when they where on their honeymoon. As Reece was not at home we decided to meet again on our way back from Bay of Islands.

Later that day we arrived in Kerikeri. We stayed at an orange farm and we got a small house with two rooms and a kitchen (for NZ$ 40 a night, thanks to some picking), own toilet and shower and free orange juice (Eva picked the oranges in the morning) every morning!! Very nice owner, nice guests so as usual we got stucked so we did not leave until 4 nights later!!!!

Claes, the Swedish owner, has been out of Sweden for 25 years and has had this orange farm for approx 10 years. We learned a lot talking to him and of course we also helped him to pick. One day a guy would come and Claes had to pick 150 kilo - we did it in an hour! Do you know that most of the oranges we buy in the shop are painted and polished! Claes farm is organic so he does not use any of that stuff.

In the evening we had BBQ with the other guests and the owner and the girlfriend and the staff, great people with a lot of laughs. Some of the photos are taken during our visit to Waitangi where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed 6 February 1840. Apart from visiting Waitangi we also went to see Paihia and took the boat over to Russell. One day we took a cruise in Bay of Islands and of course we went through the Hole in the Rock. Nice beaches and a lot of dolphins in the waters.

We did not go further north than Kerikeri this time - we always get "trapped" at nice places!! We just have to come back and see more of North Island. On our way back to Ponsonby, Auckland we stopped by in Red Beach and had a lovely BBQ with Reece, Kira and Tommy. Well, Tommy went to bed at 7! A lovely little Baby boy, 10 months old!

Today we are emptying the car and sending home some things, give away some things to other guests at the Hostel, write this letter, burn CD:s, work with the mail etc - everything to prepare our departure to Fiji tomorrow.

It's a little sad - we have had such a good time in NZ and a BIG THANK YOU TO ALL KIWIS THAT HELPED US AND MADE THIS TRIP SO FANTASTIC!

However, it is getting a little autumn, especially in the nights, so it will be nice to go to the summer again.

We will do a lot of diving in Fiji and stay at some of Fijis smaller islands - Kadavu and Taveuni. Some guests from Sweden, Daniel and Stefan, will come and see us, great fun!! You are welcome to spend the Easter with us as well!

Njoy it and for all of you in Europe - the spring will soon be there!!!!!!