Free Days (December 1st and 2nd, 2017)

December 1st

Nothing too much of interest really to write about for today.

It was a beautiful sunny day when I woke up. I did a lot of writing for my blog to get you updated. I updated my finances spreadsheet and paid off my credit card which has started to smoke (no not really, just feels like it).

I also wasn’t feeling up to snuff. I’ve felt exhausted the last couple of days. I ended up taking a nap and completely missed the town Christmas parade that I really wanted to see! I even set my alarm but when it rang, I just thought “no, I’m not ready” and then turned it off and fell back asleep. I was a bit mad at myself when i woke up too late for the parade, but feeling a little bit refreshed from my nap.

December 2nd

Another day of feeling exhausted. It was a cloudy morning and so I was kicking myself a bit for not having done more yesterday. I did get in contact with WordPress finally to get my Itinerary Milestone countdown widgets completely removed from the right-hand sidebar of my blog page…yup, they’re gone. They were out of date and inapplicable now that I skipped the last 5 weeks in Bali, missed Melbourne (AU) completely, and came straight to NZ. So, once I have my next itinerary item decided and scheduled, I think I’ll add one or two countdown widgets back in. For now they’re gone.

Late morning, I decided I would get a coffee to liven myself up a bit and go make use of the day since I head back to Auckland tomorrow (Sunday). I walked towards the ferry pier and found that there was a local arts and handicrafts market going on so I walked around. There was this artist that made fish out of thin stainless steel. He made single fish, as well as schools of fish all connected as one wall hanging piece. It was really cool and wished I could afford such unique art. But one single small fish was $30 and the school of fish piece (I didn’t count how any fish it was made of) was ˜$900. There was also a husband and wife team (I’m pretty sure) that made would plaques with humorous sayings on them. One that I saw that stuck in my head was:

“Our brain is the most amazing organ in our body. It works 24 hours a day, 365 days a year from the time we are born to the time we fall in love.”  😀

There was another one but I can’t remember what it said it at the moment.

Arts and Crafts Market

The wood plaque vender is the white tent on the far right of this photo.

The stainless steel fish vender is the tent right in the center of this photo way in the back.

I caught the 10:30am ferry over to the island of Russell. Back in the days of shipping, whaling, and fishing, Russell was known as the “hell hole of the southern pacific” due to the lack of law and order. It was, in more than one instance over my time here in Paihia, referred to in the same sentence as Tortuga; drunken men, women, alcohol, etc… you get the point. When the law finally came in an effort to clean up the place, they instituted liquor licensing and so the Duke of Marlborough Hotel obtained the very first liquor license issued. Apparently it is kept in a frame somewhere in the hotel, but I didn’t feel like going to search for it. I trust it’s in there and it’s pretty cool to know.

There was a swing hanging in one of the trees on the beach and so I sat and enjoyed that simple pleasure for a few minutes before continuing my walk.

Pano from the boat launch.

Pano from east of the Russell ferry pier.  It was a really beautiful spot so I stopped and sat there soaking in the view for a few minutes.

I then walked up to the left of the pier in Russell to the Flagstaff Hill Historic Reserve site from which you can see the bay. The views from up there were really nice. I saw some type of bird; it reminded me of a kiwi but I am pretty sure it’s not because our bus driver from the Cape Reinga trip said kiwis are nocturnal and so it doesn’t make sense. I also think this bird was too small to be a kiwi.

Pretty flowers I saw on my walk up to Flagstaff Hill.

THE Flagstaff

The plaque at the bottom of the flagstaff.

One of the few birds I saw. He (or she) came really close to me.

On another little rise 1 minute walk from the flagstaff was this beautiful sundial.

Surveyor’s Point.

I then walked back down to town and looked for an ice cream shop that our Stray bus driver recommended. While I was wandering, I bumped into Frank and Gaynor who were enjoying a coffee! Fancy seeing them again! They said that yesterday they had gone on a scenic flight of the Bay of Islands and Cape Reinga – apparently it is the way to see the Bay of Islands! Back to the subject of ice cream: I found it. They had a couple unique flavors; Anzac Coconut Cookie and Lemongrass with Ginger. I had a scoop of both…oh my goodness. Some of the best ice cream I’ve ever had! So delicious. Thank you Delish Finest Coffee and Ice cream! Yummm….

Anzac Coconut Cookie ice cream (lower scoop) and Lemongrass Ginger (upper scoop).  Suppperrrrrrrrr delicious!!!  I want more.

Back at the hostel, I need to collect laundry so I have clean clothing for tomorrow and I may lay down for another nap. I feel completely worn out.

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