After the last posting Reba and me headed back to Tahuna and I read Rolling Stone in the hammock before going with Cam, Colin and Wes to Manu Bay to watch them surf and see an amazing sunset. It was raining in the distance so looked like giant curtains of purple pink light falling over the sea, really magic.
Wednesday started off with a lack of enthusiasm for leaving for up north but slowly turned around. By 2 we were all packed up and ready to go. I had to say bye to Cam as he was leaving for a wedding on Saturday and not back before I left. That was really sad as it was the beginning of the goodbyes and Cam is really cool. I'll always remember him dancing, he was a really crazy dancer, just standing there on his own most of the time flailing his arms about the place and managing to actually look cool doing it. He got so sweaty too, one time he was talking to a girl with Colin and me after a mammoth session and said, yeah someone lent me this shirt and its all covered in sweat, isn't that disgusting? He was cool. Anyway, off we went, winding our way up to Mangawhai Heads on the East coast. By this time it was 6.30 and dark and we had to find somewhere to stay. We pulled into a caravan/camping park and Colin and Mike went into the office to get a camping spot just for two people while Reba and me hid in the car (the back windows are blacked out so it wasn't too hard). Once that was done we cruised about trying to find a spot to pitch the tent. There were rows and rows of caravans with little tents attached to the side and we figured it might be a better idea to upgrade to one of them instead. So Colin went back into the office where the guy said to him, its nothing much you know, no big American thing or anything... We hired 'Columbus' which was a lovely little caravan and tent, very cosy. Colin however said it was the perfect setting for a horror film. I told him to shh. Once we settled in we had some bread, well, rather a lot of bread and dip and other bits of food we'd brought with us whilst drinking one bottle of red wine and a shot or two of Jaggermiester. For some reason we all got really quite drunk and giggly while sitting at our little table in our little caravan. I don't think I've laughed so much in ages. All at really little silly things, I was about to describe some but I think its a you-had-to-be-there situation. By 8 we were all very tired (possibly from laughing so much, who knows but I could hardly keep my eyes open) and so went to sleep.
Due to our rediculously early night we woke up very early at 7. Having arrived in the dark, Reba and me went for a wander down to the beach shore opposite a very big sand bank/dune while Colin and Mike went to scout out waves a bit further around the coast. Once packed up again we drove around to the surfing point but it was too small for Colin and Mike to appriciate and Reba decided against it. We hit the road again and drove forevvvvvver. We were still hoping to hit the very tip and Cape Reinga but it takes so long to drive on the windy roads that it was impossible. So anyway, we drove almost all the way along the coast. We stopped a few times, once where they nearly surfed but decided it was a bit mean and rubbish looking (at Elliot Bay). It was also really cloudy and looked thundery so wasn't very appealing. They later concluded it would have been the best place to catch some waves. After that we headed up to Russell, which used to be the hell hole of the pacific with pirates but now is a favourite spot with old retired people. It was nice, especially so because it was sunny. Once seeing a lot of the Bay of Islands, allbeit from the car window we got the ferry to Paihia where we got burgers at Beachfront, the place I'd gone with Lynsey. Back on the road again we went in search of another surf spot. It was off the beaten track, and along a dirt track. We drove up and down for ages before deciding that the road to the beach had been turned into a private track which now had very big gates blocking it. The map was 2008 published which was a bit wierd but anyway, it was starting to get too dark so we gave up. I'll just mention now that Colin and Mike were nearly useless at map reading, and it fell to Reba, but mostly me to direct us about the place when needed. We were now searching again for somewhere to stay, I saw the wreck of the rainbow warrior on the map so we headed up there and along a road called million dollar view, which really it was, until you got to the bottom of the hill. Down there we found what looked like an abandoned yet in use caravan pack, one caravan was split in half, with the open half facing the sky. The trees were sparsly laid out and it looked very un-N.Zish. I said it looked like the perfect set up for a horror film. Anyway, after driving a bit along the shore we pulled into a slightly better looking caravan park. Colin and me pitched the tent while Mike and Reba made their bed in the car. We all then went and made chicken sandwiches with provisions we'd picked up in Kerikeri earlier. They were sooo good. Then we went and chilled out in the car which was really cool now, like a magic little den. We went for a (short) walk along the beach, further elaborating our horror film script. Once back my mum called and then we went to sleep. It was about 9.30, haha.
In the morning I had a shower with my paper shampoo which Ellie gave to me, many thanks, it actually worked a charm! Then went for a walk up to the raindow warrior memorial on the top of a big hill. Once back down played frisbee with Reba and then we all had some breaky. It was a lovely morning again. The days are like this now, Colin described it as summers last gasp, its got enough sunshine for the morning with blue skies, but by about midday it turns cloudy and a bit colder. Once we left for the road again we decided to give up on the tip of N.Z, as it would have taken way too long on Saturday to drive back, and Colin and Mike wanted to be back in reasonable time as it was Justins birthday. After driving for a while we fell upon some national park which Mike had mentioned wanting to see. Its the home of Tane Mahuta, the biggest tree in N.Z. It was a pretty darn big tree. I said it would be really cool to have a very big tree house at the top of it. It was also home to a load of kiwis, but we didn't see them. After that we headed down and back to the coast, this time on the West Side. We got to Aranga beach which we could drive down, thanks to Mike having 4 wheel drive. Colin tried to suggest that his car could do it too but I said it would probably shake itself to death on the track down the beach before hitting the sand. Anyway, after zooming along that like we were advertising Subaru, they finally pulled the boards off the top and headed out for a surf. Although I don't think they actually caught many waves, it was so messy I could hardly see them half the time. They weren't out very long as we thought the tide was coming in and we were still parked on the beach. As it turns out it wasn't, but never mind. We drove a bit further down the coast (we could have gone all the way on the beach but weren't sure about the tides well enough to risk it) to Dargaville where we filled up with petrol before heading a bit back the way to Baylys Beach. We stayed in a caravan/hut/camping ground. We got a little hut thing each, for some reason they gave us two opposite each other by about 20m. That was funny, don't know why they weren't just next door. Anyway, we made friends with the cat, played frisbee, went for another drive on the beach where Mike did a few handbrake turns and more zooming about. Then we went for someting to eat in the only place to eat, Funky Fish. It was about 6 then and the place was empty but the lady said, oh sorry we're all booked up till 8.30 so would you like to come back then? We kind of agreed and walked out. Mike thought she maybe had something against Americans, I thought she was taking the piss at first. But anyway, we went to a bar/greasy takeaway meanwhile and chatted to a local couple while having a few beers. Eventually it came to 8 and we headed around to Funky Fish. Which was TOTALLY worth the wait. It was more of a resturant than we though but soo good. I had beer fried fish and chips which were amazing. We were all very satisfied after that and headed back to our little huts around 10ish, our latest night yet, haha!
We drove home on Saturday for Justins birthday and the party. I headed into town with Reba to meet Nash in the afternoon and we chilled at Tongue and Groove for a bit before getting some booze and going back to Tahuna. We had a fire 'pit' (actually a very shallow little groove in the ground which Alex and Colin claimed really knackered them out) with a bonfire in. Colin, Mike, Reba and me chilled in the garage for a while. People very slowly arrived, but it wasn't until 10 or 11 that most people were there. In our 'ballroom' we had one of the guys friends DJing and loads of dancing. We did lots of dancing. At one point there was a kind of dance off with people doing robotic dancing which then turned into miming playing hakey sack - kicking it up with their foot, onto the knee, then dropped onto the neck, down the back, over the head, rolled down the chest... Really funny, cool stuff. Really great night, just made me love Raglan and all its people even more. Got loads of really good pictures of everyone.
On Sunday I was VERY hungover, not cool. I think it was because I was drinking rum in pina coladas as well as beer... not a good mix. Anyway, Colin dragged me to the Harbour View with Mike, Reba and Justin for some breakfast, which I wish I wasn't so hungover for as it would have been even better, although it was pretty good anyway. Like a full english breaky, which I haven't had in sooo long. We then hired some dvds, well, Colin did, while I sat and mourned my head feeling so bad on the floor. Then we headed over to JDs/Corbos/Justins and watched Zoolander, which was funny. Mona was there too and I'm still in love with her although shes getting bigger by the day. This time JD was atcually there, and so so was Summer the dog. Mona and Summer aren't yet quite friends. They watch each other constantly, sometimes Mona will arch her back, Summer seems to be a bit scared of her, despite her being so tiny. Anyway, after Zoolander we went to the bakery and they all got food. My hangover was nearly wearing off. Colin bought me a cookie man because I like my cookie men. Once back we watched Eastern Promises which was a bit gorry to say the least. Still good though. Oh, we were watched dvds all day because it was pissing it down with rain. Anyway once it was really quite late we went home and chilled for a bit. Tears beginning to kick in, as that was my last day in Raglan.
Monday Colin and me headed up to the lodge so I could update my ipod with music like Nash said, without deleting my stuff. Sadly due to my ipod being newer Apple must have caught onto this being able to be done and it didn't work. I wiped my photos to get hers of the party, but left my music. Then I said bye to Reba. Colin, Debs, Nash and me went back to Tahuna to finally get my things. I said bye to Debs, Mike and Phil. It was so crazy, I kept wanting to say, cya later or something but I didn't know when if ever I'll see any of them again. It really sucked. I hated leaving the house, it really has been home. Anyway, off we set with Nash to Auckland. It was raining again, Debs said because I was leaving. It was so sad. Once we got up there Colin and me dropped Nash off at her hostel, just around the corner from ours. Getting the room was a hassle, I swear Base is a hassle every time. The printer wasn't working and I had to print my expedia reciept, my credit kept running out so I tried 3 times before just asking the guy at the desk to do it on his computer. We got given the key for 1002 but on a 1004 tag, and out of 3 lifts only 1 works to the 10th floor. Just a pain. Anyway, once in we went out again and went to see Vantage Point with Nash. It was pretty rubbish, it repeated but slightly different like 5 times. After that we got burgers at Burger Fuel on Queen St, right next to us were solvent abusers sniffing from plastic bags hidden under their jackets. Just blindingly obvious on Aucklands biggest street. Crazy. Anyway, then Nash went to her hostel and Colin and me went to see if we could find any bars but failed. We did find a nice shop on High St though to look at the next day when it was open. We ended up just headed back to the hostel and watched the beginning of The Next King of Scotland which was kinda good.