Monday, 19th November – Paihia and Russell

Reasonably comfortable night. Great being able to cook and eat our own breakfast in our own time. Washing on whilst we were breakfasting. Riveting, huh? Weather not too bad – around 17 degrees and dry, although overcast.

Managed eventually to get out of the suite and went to the Visitor Centre for some ideas. The whole place was rammed, as there was a cruise ship offshore and they were ferrying passengers into Paihia literally by the boatload.

Finally got to see a rather harassed young lady who gave us some very good advice. So – we set out on a walk which took us up a local hill. And I do mean up. Pretty relentless slopes, but the terrain at least was easy enough. 40 minutes later, we had some very nice views of the Bay of Islands:

Then back down to the wharf and boarded a ferry for a 15-minute journey across to a little town called Russell. A quaint little place which has quite a history as, for a year, it was actually the capital of New Zealand! Far too complex a story to go into here, but we went into the museum near the seafront for some more info. It was actually very interesting. Usual kind of story we’re getting used to – the indigenous population had been here for quite a while, until the Europeans came along and wrecked it.

Back to Paihia, where we decided to go our separate ways. Jean to the shops, me to the bar. Result all round.

A few more pics on a lovely clear evening in a lovely area:

For (I think) the first time on our antipodean adventure, we got a proper takeaway for our evening meal. We had the facilities, after all. What else could it be but fish and chips? Bloody marvellous fish and chips as it turned out.

Sadly, other admin matters intervened (washing, ironing and packing) before we leave tomorrow for a very long drive south again to Whangamata.

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