Trying to sum up the past weekend in words, doesn't even seem justifiable. I got pictures and tried to capture it the way I wanted to remember, but as it seems to happen all too often in this country, it just isn't the same. Pam and Sandra, a couple of geography friends from college, and Pete (Pam's guy) and Matt (Pete's Bro) were traveling Australia and New Zealand for the past 3 weeks or so. They decided last weekend to stop by and hang out with me in Wellington for a few days. They then took off and invited me to hang out the following weekend up north with them, but it was too far to drive so I'd have to fly. Having been through some financial craziness this past month, I declined the offer and said goodbye not really knowing when we'd all hang out again, as I would most likely be missing our annual Ski-2-Sea competition in Bellingham this May. I went on with my week, and about Thursday I got an email from Pam with my flight itinerary. She bought me a ticket to fly up and meet them for the weekend! I was aware she might do this, but I told her she shouldn't, but she did. Indescribable awesomeness. So I get off work on Friday and walk to the airport, fly to Auckland, Pam and Sandra pick me up in their rental car and we drive almost 3 hours to Mt. Maungunai, a beach town on the East Coast of the North Island. This was a surf town and I was stoked! Surf shops everywhere (still didn't buy a board). Apparently there was an artificial surfing reef that this town put in to attract surfers. Maybe Andrew knows more about this than I. Anyways, we rented some long board from one of the shops and went out into the waves. The waves weren't great but to my surprise....the water was warm!!!! I went surfing without a wetsuit! Whooowhooo! Coming from Washington, these are the temps dreams are made of, especially since I've only felt the chilly waters down south. So I gave Pam a proper surf lesson and she stood up...numerous times! See the pictures for proof.
We traded boards between surfing and laying on the beach frying in the super hot southern hemi sun. I applied 5 times of spf30 and still got burnt. Anyways, we packed up and drove another couple of hours that evening towards a beach on the Coromandel Peninsula called Hot Water Beach. Apparently on this beach at low tide, warm spring water wells up and you can dig holes in the sand and make your own quasi "hot tub". We didn't get to do this but is sounds fun. I saw pictures and it looks really weird....really weird actually. But, people come from all over to do this so it must be cool. We hung out on that beach for a bit and then did this hike to another beach called the cathedral cove or something like that. Again, check out the picts and see for yourself. I seriously felt like this was one of the most amazing places I've been. I feel like I keep saying that, but this place was awesome. White sand beach, sunny, warm, crystal clear turquoise warm ocean water. It was something out of a travel brochure.
I took a swim and never wanted to get out of the water. Truly amazing. I could try to go on, but shouldn't cause I wouldn't even begin to give half the justice it deserves. I took pictures but still feel like they don't do it's justice. So I'll stop. We hiked back and Pam and Sandra drove me almost 3 hours to the airport to head back to Wellington. And boom! its Monday and I had to go to work. I can't believe that this weekend happened. It was so fun, but way too short. Thanks for an awesome weekend guys! Mercators in NZ!!