Have now spent 2 weeks up here in Paihia. The initial plan was to spend at most one, then spend some time in the Coromandel, then back to Auckland and out to some of the islands. However, this place is a very chilled place and I met some absolutely crazy people, which ended up with the four of us being nicknamed “trouble, trouble, trouble and trouble”. A little unfair I feel and we have no idea how we got that name. Its not our fault we like to enjoy ourselves!

Anyway, most of the days we have had lovely weather which requires us to do nothing more than lounge around on the beach. On the few dodgy weather days, we have spent a lot of time playing pool and scaring off all the other patrons whilst we were at it, or playign New Zealand version monopoly and cheating rather badly – which in fairness made the game much more interesting.

Did a couple of walks. One up to the Haruru falls, walking past Waitangi where the treaty was signed giving allegiance to the Queen. Also, walked to Opua along the coastline, 4 hours return. Went to Russell on the ferry. A very quaint place, but not a lot to do so walked across the island to the beach.

Did a parasail yesterday, 800ft above the bay. Great views out across the islands, and was very peaceful up there. Got approximately 10 mins up in the air. Got dunked in the water on the way down. Then had to reassure the kiwi guy running the boat that the trams he had seen when he was in Croydon a couple of years back did actually have drivers in, despite him never having seen them.

One of the girls in my dorm had bed bugs which meant that the room had to be fumigated and everything that everyone in the room owned had to be washed. However, reception did it for free, but a lot of hassle.

Other than that, weve watched a lot of karaoke and even helped a guy win the bar tab by setting him up to sing without his knowledge. Did not sing ourselves – wouldnt want to inflict that upon anybody! Dont really want to leave here, but have my flight to America in a few days so dont have much choice!

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