Tag: Beach

Staying in the jungle

It’s interesting how every hostel has it’s own vibe. This surfers hostel isn’t so welcoming actually and the staff and long-stay people are quite exclusive. I didn’t mind it too much, because I liked the jacuzzi, but last night some of my travel friends who also just arrived here asked me out of the blue if I had noticed it as well. I’m glad I’m not the only one who thought that. It makes me appreciate again what a great job Miki had done with the Hippo Lodge in Queenstown. He made sure everyone felt welcome and was immediately included in the group, I think that’s what makes a house a home. It’s quite the opposite here, people don’t talk that much with each other and the main group just stick to themselves. Time to travel further. I say goodbye to my new friends from Germany. I’m very glad I’ve met them, that alone would be reason enough to have visited this place. I hope to meet them again some time in the Netherlands or in Germany. They recommend me to go to Raglan Roasters, a local coffee place, where I get a great cappuccino.

Raglan Roast Coffee
Main Lodge in the jungle
Couches in the living room
Parking in the jungle
Main lodge in the jungle 2
Playing pool
Little kitchen in the jungle
Free Wi-Fi
Volleyball at the beach

Yesterday during surfing I met some cool people from a hostel not too far from here, called Karioi Lodge, and I decide to there. It’s only ten minutes driving and the lodge is in the middle of the forest. They have a nice parking place for me and they have free Wifi as well. This is really a cool place, there are many wooden buildings in what looks like to be a jungle. In the main building a group of people is sitting on the wooden balcony. Inside are some couches and a huge tv. There is a big kitchen as well and there are coin machines for drinks and snacks. I think it’s a great place to relax for a day or two. I talk with some people and then sit down in the living room with my laptop to do some writing and catching up on e-mail. There is another guy with his laptop, he is from Spain and we talk a bit. I think this place is quite different than the hostel I stayed the last two days and I like it already.

In the afternoon we watch a movie on the huge tv in the living room and then some people suggest to go to the beach. We get into two cars and drive to the seaside. We play soccer and volleyball at the beach and have a great time. After traveling alone for quite some time I appreciate the company of nice people even more. We stay at the beach until dinner time and then get back to the hostel to eat dinner and chill out at the couches with another movie. The living room is quite big here and we hang out here with about ten people. I like this place and I think I will stay here for a least one more day.

A long drive and listening to a book

This morning I wake up just after sunrise, but still in time to take some nice pictures again. I look at my phone and have some texts from work, so after I have breakfast and sit at the beach again for a while, I go back to Starbucks to do some necessary work. It’s nice to wake up early, this way I can do the things that need to be done and then still have a long day ahead of me. I plan on driving to the North West. The shortest way is to go back the way I came, but I don’t want to drive the same road again, so I take a small detour to the North.

Another beautiful sunrise
Long drive 2
Quick stop at a pretty river
Another beautiful sunrise 2
Long drive 3
Listening to a book
Long drive 1
Palm trees
Arrived at another beach

The small detour is actually a seven hour drive instead of five hours. Normally I love to drive, but knowing that it’s a long ride to get out of Napier again, I don’t feel so much like driving today. Fortunately it’s a beautiful ride and what makes it even better is that I have the audiobook I got yesterday. It’s the latest book of Richard Branson, very inspiring and enjoyable. I read another book from him during my vacation last year and this one is just as great. When you read or listen to one of his books, it’s like you’re having a cup of tea with him while he’s telling his life story about all the business adventures he has had. The drive is long, but I barely notice it while I’m listening to the audiobook. Before I know it, it’s evening and I have to find a camping place. I manage to find the camping I was looking for, but it’s fully booked. Fortunately the guy behind the counter is very friendly and they make an extra spot available. I’m glad, because even though I didn’t notice the time so much, I do feel quite tired after driving for about seven hours. I park my car and walk to the beach which is just a couple of minutes away. After I got some fresh air I walk back to the camping where there is a kitchen filled with people from Germany and French. I speak with some of them and make myself some soup for dinner. Most of the people I speak are here for long term and do a combination of work and vacation. It’s quite hard to find free campings in this area, so I might drive a bit further tomorrow, but at least I’m not too far from Auckland anymore, so I don’t have to drive too much in the last week here.

Another day in Napier

I wake up just before dawn, but don’t feel to go outside yet. I don’t want to miss the sunrise though and I open the backdoor of my minivan. It’s nice to have your bed right next to the ocean. From my bed I wait for the sunrise. It’s always a beautiful moment when the first light comes over the horizon. When the sun is rising I do actually get outside to take some pictures from the beach. I get dressed and have breakfast in front of the beach. Before I start driving, I decide to sit at the beach for a while. It’s a beautiful peaceful morning.

Watching the sunrise from my bed in the camper
Park in Napier
One of the first persons in the world today to see the sunrise
Six sisters coffee house 3
Park in Napier 2
Sitting at the beach
Six sisters coffee house 2
Park in Napier 3

The other day I had seen a nice looking coffee place on the edge of the city and that’s where I want to go this morning. I order a cappuccino and do some writing and reading. The coffee house looks out over the ocean and is a perfect place to sit down for a while. They don’t have wifi though and I want to catch up on some e-mail and news, so after finishing reading I decide to move to another place.

In my search for a free parking spot downtown I find a beautiful little park with a man made waterfall. There is a pond and there are many flowers. I walk through the park and climb a few rocks to the waterfall before I walk further downtown. It’s again a bright sunshiny day, it seems that this part of the country has better weather and that Napier is a sunshiny city. I find another coffee place, but again they have no Wifi so I go back to my favourite place. I get a free coffee again, because I have a full stamp card, so that’s nice. I update the blog and my e-mail and then get a text from Chelsea that I can also work at a desk in their office, that’s better than one of the small coffee tables and so I move again. The office is nice, it’s a webdesign agency and they have a desk in the corner free for me. I catch up with e-mails and things for work and do some programming for myself. It’s interesting how when I’m at the computer, I can completely forget where I am, especially when I’m contacting people in the Netherlands. When I lookup from my screen, I remember that I’m at the other side of the world. The people at the office leave and I say goodbye to my friend.

I decide to go to the Irish pub again, since I had a good time there yesterday. I read again for a while and then go online and discover that you can get a free audiobook at Audible.com if you register for a trial period (and you can cancel immediately again). I’ve already listened to an audiobook during the road trip and it’s great when you have to drive for a couple of hours to be able to listen to a book. It’s just a different experience than only listening to music.

Working a bit in Starbucks
New underwear for a week
Christmas lights
Watching friends in the evening

After a visit to the Iris pub I do some groceries for the coming days, because I’ll be traveling further again. I’m also almost out of clean clothes and didn’t find a place to do laundry, so I go to Warehouse, that’s the New Zealand version of Walmart or a bit like the store we have in the Netherlands called Action. They sell almost everything, so I also find myself some socks and underwear. Now I have enough for a week again. Enough food, enough clothes and tomorrow I’ll get some gas so everything is covered for a couple of days. When I walk through downton and it starts to get dark, I see that they’ve hung Christmas lights in the trees. It reminds me that back home it’s getting winter soon. Funny how it’s the exact opposite here and that the weather finally seems to get better here. In the evening I feel like watching an episode of Friends, just some simple laughing. I’ve got all seasons with me, so that’s nice. I find that a combination of activities during the day and some entertainment like movies or series in the evening gives a nice balance while traveling. I think I could stay in Napier longer, but at this campsite you’re only allowed to stay two days in a row and it’s also about time to heading North West again, so tomorrow the road trip continues.

Golden beaches

This morning I wake up with a phone call from a client and I’m glad I’m still nearby Nelson. I have breakfast and drive back to the Starbucks where I work for a while. I plan on staying in this area one more day before I continue traveling further again.

Breakfast in nature
The Smokehouse
Mapua bay
View when I wake up
Fish and chips
Me at golden beach

After finishing some work I go back to the outdoor store where I was yesterday and get some gloves and another warm shirt. For a moment I feel a bit bad about spending so much money on clothes, but then again I know it can get very cold here in the mountains and it’s quite necessary to have warm clothes. I decide to continue my journey and follow the coast for a while. In the Lonely Planet I read about a good fish and chips restaurant and I drive there for a lunch break. It’s a beautiful bright day and I can eat the fish and chips outside, very nice. Then I walk at one of the beaches and I understand why the book calls them golden beaches, they’re very beautiful indeed.

Golden beach
Lookout point
Me on a roadtrip
Abel Tasman park
Driving by the mountains
Staying at Berlins Cafe

Instead of following the coast as I planned, I decide to head South. I pass the Abel Tasman park, since I don’t feel for a hike of three to five days. The road south is very beautiful as the mountains get bigger and bigger. I keep driving until the sun disappears behind the mountains and find a camping called Berlins cafe. There is a small bar with a fireplace and a leather couch and comfortable chairs. I’m the only guest and the camping owner is a very friendly man who gives me a warm welcome. I enjoy a cold beer with him and then sit by the fireplace with a book. After a long day of driving, this is a perfect place to stop and stay for the night.

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