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New Plymouth Day 2

New Plymouth, New Zealand

N.P. Day II (6km, 430km total) - We were woken up early this morning by Puppy - the tiniest, furriest, squirmiest little dog in the world. It was a very cute alarm clock. Shad and I made breakfast for whomever was around to eat (we ended up serving six). I made swedish pancakes and Shad put together an awesome fruit compote. Everyone seemed to enjoy it.

The girls were heading to the south island to be with their parents for Christmas, but were gracious enough to let us stay behind and relax a bit more before moving on. It was much appreciated. Kim told us she would be in Auckland when we got there, so we look forward to seeing our host one more time before we leave New Zealand.

We got packed up and headed over to our next couchsurf - Neil. When we got there, Neil and his wife were each engrossed in a book. He showed us where we would be staying but then went back to reading, telling us he was right at the climax of a great heroic fantasy story. We shared little bits of conversation and pondered the meaning behind our shared birthday (June 5th, 1985). All in all it was a very calm house. Light guitar music was on the radio, sun was streaming in the windows of their pink main room, they were both reading and I was sipping peppermint tea. It was peaceful and simple.

The two of them had prior family dinner plans, so Shad and I had the night open. We decided to o for a walk and see if we could find something to eat. As we started walking though, we saw how close we were to Paritutu Rock, a steep and spectacular hill on a point of the coast. We decided to climb it. It was very steep, but short and a fairly easy climb along the trail up. At the top we got whipped by a super strong wind.

It was fun to struggle against for a little while, but we were getting hungry so headed back down. The view of the sea at the top however was quite spectacular. We also talked to a couple locals and when we mentioned we were biking they asked about the Forgotten World Highway, citing how excellent it was supposed to be for biking. This was our intended route before our plans changed to include a bus to Wellington, and I feel a bit of loss not being able to experience it. Alas, my body will thank me and Wellington is almost too cool to miss out on.

From the rock the two of us walked into the CBD along the coast. The first food we came to was an ice cream van that only served one kind of ice cream. I got mine in the form of a raspberry soda. It was a huge mistake, as the mixture of raspberry flavored syrup, club soda, and ice cream was bright pink and disgusting. Shad's sundae looked and tasted much better.

We walked from there all the way downtown before finding a place to get a decently priced meal. We ended up at a restaurant next to the I-site and had a huge meal of salad, calamari, pizza, and fries. The calamari and fries were free from our waitress as for some unknown reason we were her "favorites for the night". The meal seemed alright, but was generally way too salty. I didn't feel right afterwards. It was like my insides were scorched by salt.

After dinner we checked out the movie "Avatar" at a local theater. It was a fantastic movie with a great story. I was amazed with how well it tied into the themes of the Parliament - indigenous people and care for the earth. I would recommend this film to anybody. Unfortunately the movie got out later than we expected it to and we had to hoof it back to our host's house, hoping that he was still awake. They told us they would leave the back door unlocked for us. The only problem was that the back door led right through their bedroom. We got back as fast as we could and luckily they were still awake (although I think both were in bed when we arrived). Neil was extremely gracious and forgave our late arrival immediately. Thanks again Neil.

permalink written by  aeonhunterinnz on December 20, 2009 from New Plymouth, New Zealand
from the travel blog: AeonHunter in New Zealand
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Very interesting. Thanks and keep the blogs coming. Take care. We're expecting 7-9in of snow on Christmas eve/Christmas day. have fun guys and be safe. Love Dad

permalink written by  Jeff Phillips on December 22, 2009

Happy New Year Shad and Rory,

You will always remember this New Years won't you? What a great trip. Fun reading about it on your blog. Beautiful scenery and great pictures. Thanks for sharing this trip with us all. Take care of yourselves now okay? Your in our prayers with love,
Grandpa and Grandma F

permalink written by  Mavis Fjellanger on January 2, 2010

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