Finally I have arrived in a place and a hostel where I feel I can relax. Even though it will be one full day again with a day trip to Cape Reinga and back – another almost 12 hours on the bus… but after that I have all of Sunday and half of Monday to myself. Yay! 🙂
Where I am? In the Bay of Islands, in Paihia to be precise and in the Haka Lodge – which has an amazing view over the bay from the lounge and kitchen and facilities that feel more like a hotel than a normal hostel. There are actual shower cubicles with glass doors and water pressure! The bedrooms have 4 dorm beds out of wood that give the feeling of berths on a ship, very cosy and from the looks of it very comfy as well 🙂
The weather looks absolutely glorious and there is a lot of things to do here (as everywhere in NZ). We’ll see what I can bring myself to do, it might be beach time and some walks or a ferry trip 🙂
It feels like it is time to think about the walkabout so far. After the first really bad experience with workaway, everything else went super smoothly and I met amazing people throughout my big Sweden trip! Old friends, new friends, a lot of new viewpoints and the feeling that I am enough as I am and that there’s no need to pretend certain things.
On the Stray bus, I struggled in the beginning to be honest. People so much younger than me, with very different ideas about their trip and the forced proximity of dorms – all of that was more difficult than I expected it and for a few days I had serious doubts if I really made the right decision. I need my alone times, more than usual now when there’s so much to take in and handle, and I felt I didn’t get enough.
The first hop-off in Abel Tasman actually helped a lot – being free from activities and schedules, having a day or even two to do whatever I like, that was what I wanted on this trip. And at the same time, I found myself more open towards the new people and in the following days, I met really good people again. 🙂
The Deep South was a bit of a challenge with the places we stayed at, but because the group was really fun, it wasn’t bugging me too much. Nevertheless, I was very sure I wanted to have the stop in Queenstown, away from any hostels and parties – and it did me the world of good! Again, it was down to the people I met and to the fact that I was able to do whatever I wanted. 🙂
Now I am really looking forward to the “remainder” of my time here! There will probably be some hiccups again, but I have pre-booked all my accommodation for the longer hop-offs and am quite hopeful there are some more gems like this one 🙂 With that in mind, I think I can handle nights in places that are maybe not my standard 😉
Will I do the Tongariro Crossing? A very good question that I cannot answer right now. I have 3 nights planned for the National Park so that I have another chance if the weather is not good on the first day. At the same time, it is quite a challenge and I have two issues that might win: I twisted my ankle in Abel Tasman and even though it was a while ago, it still isn’t happy with me. The other issue are my hiking shoes which are actually a bit too small – ok for smaller to mid-length walks if I can rest my feet after. But do I want to do almost 20 km in them? It’ll probably be a spontaneous decision – stay tuned 😉 In any case I now have a good sun protection hat – see FB 😛