December 23rd, 2010
I'm in love with the Bay of Islands. Today was amazing. I'm going to have to start learning some new adjectives because this trip deserves a larger vocabulary than I have. We started the morning by boarding a large boat that took us out in search of dolphins. It took us all throughout the bay of islands. I was surprised by exactly how many small islands there were. Some of the islands had one house on it...It wasn't usually to own an island there. It only cost about 5 or so million! The hope was that once we found the dolphins we would be able to swim with them. The pod of wild dolphins we found had a new baby with them. Because of this we couldn't swim with them, mommas are very protective.
This is the four of us on the boat searching for dolphins.
The dolphins were amazing. They swam alongside of the boat. They flipped and jumped. There were about 50 of them. It was a wonderful sight to see. Way better than being at Sea World. These dolphins were WILD. Sadly, the day was sprinkling on and off all day. It was also quite gloomy. We couldn't get the pictures we wanted but the experience was wonderful!
Then the boat dropped us off at one of the islands. we had lunch and then went kayaking. Saeed didn't know how to kayak so Bryan taught him. He was a pro within 10 minutes. I was really fun. The island was beautiful. It was fun to be int he clear waters of the Bay of Islands. Kayaking was one of the many things I wanted to do on this trip.
We kayaked over to a beach that was shaded by overgrown trees. It was peaceful and beautiful. It reminded me of something I would see in a movie. We wrote Bay of Islands in the sand and kayaked back to the island for some lunch.
After lunch we boarded a world cup racing sail boat. We swam in the water around the boat. It was colder than I though it would be but we swam around for a while. We got back on the boat and we sailed around the islands for 3 hours. It was completely relaxing. The contiki people sat at the front of the boat and chatted away. It was nice because even when there was 'down time' we were still learning about the rest of the world by talking to out tour mates. The sail boat, with the several small islands in the background was the perfect setting for these conversations. Of course the sailing was complete with a refreshing beer.
For dinner the group took a ferry to Russel, a small island, for some fish and chips. The island was tiny and the sunset was beautiful. The fish was super yummy. Their ketchup had a taste of clover in it. There was a small bar that had a foam party. We didn't attend but we thought it was quite funny.
Some of the ladies on the ferry going to Russel.
I tired L and P soft drink. It is New Zealands special drink. It tasted like sorbet ice cream as soda, it was very good!
Enjoying our dinner on the beach as the sun set.
The rest of the night was sat around with the group outside of our hotel rooms. We enjoyed some wine and beer and chatted about our lieves, countries and funny stories. Everyone is so nice and friendly. Many things are different and many things are the same in New Zealand. I still haven't gotten use to driving on the other side of the road.