I was hoping to make it across to Opononi but time was against me, I was wrecked and I'd heard about a great place to stay in near Kohukohu called the Treehouse. I'd really enjoyed camping til now but this joint was something else. An Australian couple had moved over from Sydney 30 years ago (brave move! Kiwi attitudes to Australians are nearly on a par with Welsh attitudes to English people!).
They'd built this fantastic timber building which was used as a guesthouse, they'd a few old school buses which they'd turned into accommodation as well, but the most impressive thing was the planting they'd done, which had matured into what wasn't far off a rainforest at this stage. I felt like I was in a jungle lodge in Thailand. It was just me and two young German pups. I was ruined so crashed very early.
The next morning I took the ferry to Rawene, got a spin right off the boat with an absolutely sound German couple from Saarbrucken whose names evade me as I type. I recounted the story of when myself, Quin and Moz overnighted there on the way to watch us play Switzerland in Basle in 2003 and how Moz emptied his guts onto me in his sleep cos his stomach couldn't take the two Weissbiers he'd had that night. They were very amused !
Our routes were very similar so I spent a great day with them, stopping off in a few Kauri Forests to see some amazing trees, some of which were over 2000 years old, with 13m wide trunks.
|Tane Mahuta - a 2000 year old Kauri tree|
|Little Barrier Island seen from Tawaranui|
Eventually arrived in Auckland and went to meet my old mucker Ben Kidd. Went to school and played ball with Ben for years before he'd headed home to Auckland. Had zero contact with him since then so it was class to see him. Same as he was years ago, he was enjoying life and is now working as a physical fitness and conditioning coach for Auckland's female netball team and their academy. Netball is huge in Australia and New Zealand for girls. We hung out for the day just talking shite and reminiscing about days of yore before he dropped me off to meet Trev at Elerslie Station.
Trev flew up from Auckland and we were crashing at his pal Cam's joint. Had a class night out in Galacos where we were joined by John aka Double Suspension, who we were heading away with the next day. Really good night in there with some proper old school Auckland dj's who were really well renowned but didn't play often.They knocked out the disco and house numbers for the night. Great night out and true to form, Trev lost his wallet which confused and annoyed the shite out of him !!