Have been in Whitianga for a wee while, with people flitting in and out of the place travelling their way around New Zealand and often the world. The German girl (after making Narg a few meals - result!) has continued her travelling. She was cool too - got on well.
There's a great beach about 100 yards away from where I'm staying. Clams sink into the sand just accessible at low tide, huge green-lipped mussels can be gotten to with a snorkel and crayfish (if you're lucky enough) can be grabbed from rock pools and with a bit of free diving. The other day, 4 of us went out and collected seafood for dinner. Just amazingly delicious clams in simple white wine and cream sauce with a bit of parsley. Entire meal for 10 people cost around 8 quid - you could easily multiply that number by 20 or 30 to get to London prices. Just incredible.
It's nice staying in one place for a bit, especially after running around New Zealand from funzone to funzone for the past few weeks. It's been great to basically wake up, check the tide times, check the surf conditions up and down the coast by talking to a few people staying here and random people in the street. I've managed to squeeze in riding slightly better than every other day and the Narg skill level is definitely improving. It's a pretty solid swell here every day, nothing massively spectacular but nothing too tiny either. Every 7th wave jacks up pretty nice and caught of one of these waves perfectly yesterday, popped onto the board and had the best ride of the holiday so far =)
There's a beautiful japanese girl who works here who I've spoken to a few times. Yesterday we caught the ferry across to the other side of the bay and did a hike for about an hour or so past Shakespeare's Cliff:
To Lonely Bay, a beautiful beach only accessible by foot:
There was only 4 people there, myself and Kizumi and on the other end of the beach another couple. The waves were crashing in with about 3' swells and it was just amazing. We stayed there for about 3 hours surfing and chatting and chilling out, then walked back a different way through the bush to the ferry. Had to cross a couple of shallow streams along the way so carried Kizumi over as she wasn't wearing flip-flops. Very romantic. Even plucked up the courage to ask her out for dinner. So we got changed out of board shorts and flip flops and Narg slipped on a shirt and had a fantastic night. Umi rocks - funny, pretty, slightly weird - perfect! Even did a little kissin' after the meal. We walked back home by the small marina with the sailboats - very romantic! I'm gonna be sad to leave to walk away from Umi and Whitianga. She's very cool and it's an amazing place.