Rainy Russell and Partying in Paihia

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Hey folks. Nothing much to report for this blog post. I decided to spend an extra day in Paihia, as I wanted to visit Russell, which has some significant history attached to it. What’s the point of touring and biking all the time if you can’t take a day off for yourself every now and again, right? Well, that was what I did for myself. There was only one hitch with my day off. It rained. Scratch that, it poured! When I awoke, it was actually not too bad out, so I got my things together and headed down to the town. I hit an Internet Cafe for an hour and a half, putting up a couple posts and some maps, but of course you already knew that, didn’t you? So what else is new this day? Tune in.

The night before, I’d actually sort of headed ‘downtown’ for a little bit. Well, actually, I headed to the beach with a few Dutch guys for a couple beers by the moonlight while listening to the waves wash up on the shore. After that, I started to head back to the hostel, with the intention of possibly popping into a bar for another drink or two. As we were walking by a place called Beachcombers, I heard some live music emenating from it. I couldn’t help but pop in, and what a great idea that was. Another bloke stayed with me, and we stayed till the end of the music, and even chatted with the band guys. It was a lot of fun. From there, we hit another club quickly, but things wrapped up there at 1am, so after that, I went back to the hostel for a good night’s rest. As a result, I didn’t get going till around 9am.

As I mentioned, after finally getting moving, I hit the town a little bit, and after that popped into a takeaway for a sandwich and some chips. Yum. Then, the rain started. It was very intense rain too, not just a little drizzle. I ducked into a tour office for a little while, hoping that it would clear up, but it didn’t. At the first break, I finally had a chance to dart back to the hostel to drop off the computer, and change into my swimsuit and rain coat, since the rain was that bad.

I ran to catch a ferry to Russell anyway, since that was my reason for staying. Shame about the weather, but I guess after the perfect day at Cape Reinga, I couldn’t complain. When the ferry finally reached Russell, the rain actually abated a bit. How fortuitous. I managed to walk around the town and actually get a pretty decent view of the harbour and Paihia in the distance. Althought the sky was still broodie, it was pretty nice. I also popped into a Department of Conservation building and watched a video on Kiwis. Then I walked up to Flagstaff Hill to check out the monument, as well as a giant sundial. However, due to the clouds, it wasn’t actually working 🙂

Russell is a pretty little town which has both the first Church in New Zealand, as well as the first licensed Pub in New Zealand. It was also the first capital of New Zealand. Of course, it doesn’t make it very old, since New Zealand really isn’t a very old country overall. It was all very fine and dandy, but the entire tour of Russsell took me about an hour and a half, so it certainly didn’t require too much time to see it all. By 5pm I was on another ferry heading back to Paihia. For supper, I had a pizza combo at a local pub with one of the hostel workers, and we chatted about all sorts of things, before heading back to the Pickled Parrot for my last night in town. I was turning in early in order to get on the road again on the bike for my next port of call. I ended up watching a movie with some of the other hostel guests, then turned in. I actually ended up having a 4 bed dorm room all to myself that night, so I had a good nights rest.

As for the next day’s ride, you’ll have to read the next post to find out about that. It’s late now, and I have to get to bed, but I have a lot more to write. That’s the sort of thing I’m worried about. All day riding, then trying to do a couple things leaves me no time to write these posts. Oh well, I’ll try to get something written up tomorrow for y’all. Take care till then…

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