Day 31 Back to the…black sand beach

9:06pm. Two days to catch up on. Let’s do dis.

Little did I know but there was another cyclone headed just North of where we were but were expecting to get a ton of rain and wind. Decided a hostel was in my best interest as being blow around in a tent is no fun.

Hop out of the bus… yeaaaa I could get used to this:

It’s about a 15 minute walk to where the hostel is. Yep. Ocean front. Pretty cool! As the sun starts to go down. I head to the beach to get a little photo sunset action, which is is where these 2 came from:

I do love my beaches..

I head to the hostel and its a relatively old place. The doors to the rooms use old metal keys, and I am assigned to room 19. Alright. I make my way through this windy hallway huge extended house building. I’m upstairs tickets about in the far back. Open the door. Greeted by a mid forties tattooed guy, (Matt) and a 19 year old German girl (She says all the English speaking people butcher her name. It’s Laura. Except she says there is in ‘ha’ or a tongue roll in the middle. Ok Luarraraaaarara) There are two beds left. There is the bunk bed under Matt or another bed on the side of the room. Laura is on another bed on a different wall. I chose the far bed till I realized that was the only wall without power.. Laura, “That’s why I switched beds!” …and I will be switching as well!

They kept talking about colleges vs universities, but I is hungary. I go..in search of. I take my key with the front door code and walk out the front. Walk down some deserted streets with lots of stores that are closed for the day.

I finally find a Thai food place that closes in half an hour. It’s 9pm. I wanted to get it to eat there but she already confirmed I was getting ‘take away’. It’s never ‘to go’ in NZ. There’s your NZ tip for the day.

I got a super cheap chicken and vegetables with rice and took it back to the hostel to eat in their dining room.

All these hostels are pretty well organized. They had cubby holes for each room so you could put non refrigerated food in your cubby. For the refrigerated food, they had a roll of green stickers and a pen that dangled in front so no one could steal it. You had to put the date you were leaving and your name and your room number. They would go through and throw anything away that was out of date. They also usually have kitchens with pots and pans and dishes and silverware handy in case you don’t have any. You would of course have to wash them after you used them and put them back. Also had a few small vending machines with chocolate bars, chips, and pop. (Soda) I only eat half and figure ill eat it for breakfast. Head back up to my room, and the lights were out but they were both on their iPads / phones. Being quiet unfolded the provided sheet, pillow case for my pillow, and comforter. Plugged all my devices in and went to sleep. It’s so amazing sleeping in a real bed. A warm. Soft. Bed. Matt told us both that he was a big snorer so hope we didnt mind. He had breathe right strips and everything he could do, to not snore. I crammed my ear plugs deep into my brain and barely heard he relatively soft snoring. Those strips helped quite a bit actually.

I didnt really have a plan for the following day..I was told this storm was going to be pretty bad. Matt had also said that his wife wanted him to stay in a hostel that night. He had his own tatoo shop and had ran it for 25 years. Very intelligent guy and knows a lot more than just how to tatoo someone. He had a ton of projects to do and between his wife and him, he needed to get away / check out some of the tatoo places in NZ. I told him my plan was to get west and head towards Auckland as soon as the weather cleared up. He said he could take me to Taupo because he was heading back that way anyway. Lol…exactly where I wanted to go. Anywho, I figured I would stay an extra night so I didnt have to hitch in this horrible storm, plusss he said he could take me in his rented van if I did stay another night. Sounds like a no brainer to me.

The next morning I was expecting huge tornado wind and rain..but it was actually pretty calm and sunny. Eh it will hit later I was told. I head down to the main desk and ask for another night. Welll I cant stay in 19 because 3 other people were booked there for the next night but I could move to 25. He gave me another key and said I could move there now if I wanted to. Booo. I had just gotten attached to that room. Also what would that mean for Matt taking me? I had told him about my plans for the day… that same couple that told me about the bus also said if I stay in Napier (where I was) that there was a place called, ‘Mr D’s’. He said they gave you a normal doughnut but you could order various syringes to fill your doughnut with. Lol. Sounded like a cool idea! I had said I would do that, and he said he wanted to check out the NZ Aquarium. That sounded like fun too. So we just hung out for the day. Went check out Mr D’s first. I had seen it the night prior when roaming around to find food. Ten min walk. The aquarium was a ten minute walk the opposite direction of the hostel.

Menu of Mr D’s:

I decide to get an adult syringe. I added Honey Vodka Jelly, because…why not. Normal jelly’s were boring.

Coffee:

Matt taking his own coffee pic:

The next photos… are the injection process…

We were told to inject in multiple places to fill the doughnut a bit more.

It was a ton of sugar!! But tasted pretty good! Very hot inside, but my jelly didn’t taste much like vodka. Probably a good thing. There was a small hint of heat that I figured was from the tiny amount of vodka they included. Cool experience, weird I have never heard of that being done before.

We left and headed towards the aquarium. We stopped like 2 blocks away when we saw a museum that was freeee. Why not? We walked in and grabbed 2 clipboards that you could check off if you have seen any of the art pieces.

We found them all but the bottom right one. Those punks, removed that art piece so we never would have found it. Ugh!

I was also told by that couple that this was the only museum that they had heard of that celebrated / actually had a museum for an earthquake. Yep..they were right.

They also had a cool room upstairs that had projectors and they were projecting 2D 3D ish stuff. Like those pictures that you could walk by and the picture would shift and slightly move as you went by. Hard to explain. Neat tho.

We checked everything off our list and left. We both made the decision to walk close / on the beach. It was a really cool small black stone beach..

Every time the waves would come in…a they would go back out you could hear all the small pebbles hitting each other. Thousands of small rocks rolling around, it almost sounds like the waves. All the rocks, big and small were so smooth! Many perfect skipping stones.

I took this picture in a small pond. I flipped it upside down to trick yer brain. 🙂

You can see all the rocks..

They also had cool…what’s the word…structures..? Along the boardwalk. I assume this was supposed to resemble whale bones?

We finally make it to the aquarium. Lady says we are just in time for the penguins to bed fed, then at 2pm the sharks are gonna get fed. Kewlllll.

Ill blob a few chunks of pictures..

Saw some big turtle turtles tooo. Actually I saw a lot of aminals.

A friendly reminder!

Lol. A US ad…

Time….for….da…..sharksss..

Just kidding..

Alligator. Piranha. Gold fish. That was an action shot of the gator gettin his grub.

So there is also this huge half circle tunnel that people could walk through under the aquarium. One side had a continue moving walkway so people didnt just hard up and sit there. I was impressed with the thickness of the acrylic that was needed to create this tunnel.

We were supposed to sit in a viewing area while the sharks were fed, but it seemed like a scuba diver went down and only fed the fish and sharks above the ‘travelator’. Blah. So as 100 people had there phones on one side recording the scuba guy feeding the fish / sharks on the other..I would just take a knee on the moving sidewalk and record as I went by. I did two loops. It lost its excitement after that.

We had spent like 2 hours in the aquarium and wanted to use our 10% off coffee coupons which were on our provided maps. There was a nice little cafe in the aquarium with a shop to buy the usual random aquarium stuffs.

We both had coffee and I had a sandwich and a yogurt parfait type thing. You should know by now I’m a sucker for fruit.

We didnt really want to head back, so we meandered along the beach again..looking for seashell / sea glass / driftwood. Just scavenging for random artifacts.

You can see the storm clouds rolling in..it was about 3:41pm and still no wind or rain..hm.

I took this picture..then thought I wanted to be on top of the cement thing…coffee in hand.

Thanks to Matt for being my tripod.

We head to towards a small artsy shop when Matt wants to stop in and get something. He said he always hated it when a person would come in his store and say “Man this is a cool place!” Then walk out without buying anything. He said the day before he did the exact same thing he hated when he went to that store, so he felt like he had to redeem himself today. Lol. He just got a small card. He explained he needed more small things to sell instead of several hundred dollar pictures and tats. More knick nacs!

We just decided to keep wondering. Fifteen minutes later we decided to get a beer, just sit and relax. We talked about a lot of stuff. Like I said earlier, he knows about much more than just tattooing. He understands technology like I do, and always wants to come up with better and faster ways to do things. Except his motivation is along the lines of…how can this make me money. I just have a bunch of ideas right now but not much traction. Ill have to change that soon. We ended up sitting there and slowly drinking 3 beers a piece. We kept eyeballing the Mexican place across the street whose name was “Mexican with a Mission”. We really wanted to know what the mission was lol. We ended up eating there. And I guess for every order they give food to …people that need it in another country I think?

It was kind of a not as good chipotle..

I have also never had black rice?

It just tasted more authentic and had more Spanish flavor to it. It was pretty good after a few beers anyway.

We headed back t the hostel and said we would just meet in the dining room in the morning to head out.

I forgot to mention I moved my stuff into the new room and got hit with a blast of B.O. Three beds. Two of those beds are bunk beds and one is against the front window wall of the hostel. Christoph was his name. Guess he didn’t like to shower much? Said hello to him and left with Matt that morning.

Anyway I come back and he isn’t there but another girl is on her phone in the front bed. I chose the top bunk since there were clothes and such on that bed. I brush my teeth and hop up to lay in my bed and figure ill blog a bit. Or not. She gets off the phone and we start talking. If you ever find that I’m late on post the blog or a day late, its because I prioritize talking with new people and making new friends over typing about the things that have already passed. I know many of you read before bed or on a regular basis, so I apologize! But I’m living life at the same time! Lol Needless to say I didn’t have time to blog last night. Anywho..she is 25 from Slovakia. Never would have guessed. Her namer is very hard to pronounce so I have been approved to call her…Team. Maybe that’s not even right. I dunno. So I guess she had been woofing for a while (working on farm stuff for money) and needed to work for 3 months before she could go anywhere else. Sooo she had been in that town for 2.5 months in that same room. Lol. She was bored to tears. She works like 7-7 then has enough time to. Come home and eat and shower then back to her room. Miserable! So she on her bed and me speaking from the top bunk with only the light coming in the front window we just talk about stuff. She is the first person who I have asked what her favorite movie was and it was the same as mine! Lol. Into the Wild. Pretty crazy. She really would like to be a snowboard instructor and teach snowboarding on different continents. Not a bad goal! I do love a good snowboarding session. She’s a pretty adventurous laid back girl. I had asked her if she wanted to come with us to. Lake Taupo for the day if Matt had enough room in his van. It was her day off, so she approved of the idea and said she would just hitchhike back if she came. Coooool.

Thoughts:

It’s kind of sad, that there isn’t a ton of hiking to do before my time runs out. I feel like i had a solid 2 weeks of hard hikes.

…if it weren’t for his Matts wife and himself not wanting him to sleep in his car (because that’s what he always did) he wouldn’t have been at the hostel. If it weren’t for me choosing to stay another day because of that same storm, I wouldn’t have gotten a ride from him.

Oh yea….that storm… After we got Mexican food..it rained. Not that bad. Not that windy. A lady at the aquarium said it looked like the storm had broken up around us… hmm.

I feel like in my case…God can see what’s ahead of me and I cant. He will provide the path and the way…but he says..hold on..stay there…oook..Go! Stop here.

So many people will never get that experience. Totally letting go of control is extremely challenging especially for those that really want to control everything themselves. You feel better about planning and making your paths and appointments yourself. Me saying…It’s going to work out.. This trip has concreted that for me. Everything has just fallen into place.. When you look back, you will see the same thing. Chance and coincidence get thrown out the window with how many ‘random’ things happen for my best interest.

Everyone likes to feel comfortable. Heck..I’m looking forward to sleeping in a bed every night and have running hot water at my fingertips and be able to go to the fridge and eat anything I want and…. I don’t have to carry it on my back…??

But so many dont have these opportunity’s…to go back to a better life. This is their life. I hope I have blessed many people along my path..I know for a fact many people have blessed me with or without knowing it.

11:20pm

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