I am now in Whangarei [Fangarai], a city much bigger than Paihia. It's located near the Hatea River and has a lovely marina and lots of shops and stuff. But the main reason I am here was to see the 26 meter falls close to the city, but since it's weekend the bus is not running... Nice planing. Perhaps I'll get another lift who knows.
Tonight I have been invited to a Maori BBQ with the family that runs the hostel where I'm staying. So that should be fun!
Since yestoday an interesting series of events have taken place..
1) The Maori BBQ was scraped and we all had a roast instead, the reason for the party in the first place is that the fifth of November is a national festival day sort of. A guy called Gye Faweks or something tried to blow up The British Parliament some years ago, and thats what the New Zealanders are celebreting with fireworks every fifth of November... Weird.
2) The Hostel, which I found out is also some sort of mid-way place for criminals and drug addicts, got an unfriendly guest about 7 early Sunday morning.. He was pretty doped and thought he had some unfinished buisness with the owner so she called the Police. He came in my room with a black tennis racket... NICE! I think not! And he insisted on shaking my hand which I did reluctantly. Then I grabed my phone and got ready to call the police (111) but then he ran out, but came back and knocked down the door to the owners bedroom and she screemed and called the cops.
Very interesting morning.
3) One of the other guests in the hostel took me to see the Whangarei Falls, which was very nice of him, and after that told me everything about how he had been a criminal and broken in to a Camera shop and had stolen 5 camers and some other stuff. He got cought and served 2,5 months in jail. Then we had a beer and went home to hostel.
Thats my Sunday more or less. Very unusual... :-)
Now I'm in Auckland again sorting out my planetickets, and soon I'll be off to The Coromandel region.
Now let me tell you about something very different: I'll tell you a little about the national bird of Aotearoa, the famous Kiwi.
Here we go:
The Kiwi birds, or the North Island Brown Kiwi, sometimes called "honorary mammals" are unique. They are shy, flightless and nocturnal. They have keen hearing and loud voices, long bills with the nostrils at the tip (very strange) and they see well in dark. They live as pairs for life in well defined territories. Every year the female, believe it or not, lays two huge eggs three weeks apart. The eggs take up 30% of her bodyweight! That gotta hurt! After this the male takes over spends the next three months just incubating the eggs. No food no nothing for three months! When the eggs hatch the kiwi chicks (babies) are independent and fully feathered and takes off.
Now the Kiwis are very few in numbers, because dogs on the loose have savaged a whole lot of Kiwi neasts. That's why dogs are strictly prohibited on a lot of hiking trails and in many forrests.
The DOC (Department of conservation) is trying to preserve the birds by making sanctuaries in the northern part of the country.
That's it. Hope you enjoyed it!