© 2010 J&K

Kweelie Rides Again!

We woke up early, feeling awkward outside of our van and wishing the phone would ring to find out the fate of our now near and dear companion Kweelie. We decided to check out early and walk to town, finding a place to grab a muffin, a latte, and some free WiFi (a rarity in these parts). We sat outside and enjoyed the sun but our phone sat silent on the table. We finally decided to walk up to the top of the hill where the mechanic was located. We arrived to find the good news that while the mechanic thought it was going to be something serious because of the noise Kweelie was making, it turned out to be a fouled spark plug. We were happily reunited with Kweelie in enough time to head for the coast and check the surf.

Raglan is very famous for its surf breaks. It is home to the longest left point break in the world, a sometimes 500 meter ride that would leave your legs screaming with fire if you rode one all the way in. We drove towards Manu Bay with low expectations and were pleasantly surprised – waist to chest high waves curling in all along the point. It is a great wave because it breaks close to the shore along the entirety of the wave, making good viewing for spectators and allowing surfers to jump out at the boat ramp at the end of the wave, run up the beach and hop back into the water off the rocks at the wave’s peak. Jeff couldn’t contain his excitement and within 20 minutes he was suiting up with a 5’11” fish under his arm, skipping like a little schoolboy on his way to the first day of school. He proceeded to surf himself to near exhaustion, paddling and riding for four hours non-stop, taking a break only to fill up his tank with chili and corn and some heaping spoonfuls of peanut butter. Raglan lived up to its reputation, bringing some of the best and longest rides and even throwing in a few overhead sets. What an amazing place to have in your backyard…

After the surf, we hit the road for a long journey up to the Comandel Region. We drove all afternoon, still along windy roads as the sun crawled down to the horizon. At approximately 8 PM, we pulled off the road to watch what was and may always live to be the most beautiful sunset – burning orange sun with fiery pink clouds, creating a neapolitan effect across the glassy water. We were 20 km from our campsite when we hit dirt road and remembered to check the list of where we couldn’t drive the van for insurance reasons. Turns out our destination for the night was one of those places so we laughed off the mistake, turned Kweelie around, and continued reading Open (a great book which Kelly reads out loud on our drives, acting as back up audio book as our cd player doesn’t work). We pulled into Angler’s Lodge, a holiday park right on the coast that seemed filled with more activity than normal. It turned out there was a group of highschool boys on their end of year fishing trip staying there for the night so we happily pulled into a spot, glad to be around a bit of hustle and bustle for a change.

Unfortunately our campsites for the past few nights were without running water, so the pile of dirty dishes was sky high leaving nothing available to cook our planned dinner of falafels. We grabbed the essential dishes and were about to trudge our way to clean them when one of the leaders of the fishing trip walked over with a full fish, sliced down the middle and barbecued with a tasty sauce, still warm from the grill. He asked us if we wanted it (of course!) and we were soon bent over our table, picking the meat out with one bare hand, beer in the other. If you passed by you would have thought it had been days since our last meal, two bodies hunkered over a fish with only a head lamp to provide guidance about where to devour next (but it was 9 PM – quite late for a boy with Jeff’s appetite). We crashed soon after, Jeff completely wiped out from his day of surfing.

The next morning we chopped up asparagus and tomatoes for a delicious scramble, happy to be back with our part kitchen / part bedroom / part dining room / part closet / part driving machine. We did what will be our last clothes washing of our trip and hit the road. As we climbed through the mountain, rain started to sprinkle and then come down with force, not ideal whether for hiking but a fun change from the almost constant great weather we have had on both the North and South Islands. We pulled into town to explore, checking our 5th liquor store, all of which have either not carried or were out of Carolan’s (we ran out a few days ago and have been in withdrawal ever since). We pulled over at a nearby beach, setting up the kitchen to cook our falafels while enjoying the view.

A meal as big as we had does wonders for sleepiness, taking Kelly down for the count for a good hour. Waking up to clearing weather, we decided to head to hot water beach, a spot in the sand where at low tide you can dig a hole and hot water comes up from the ground, making a bath tub in the sand. We stepped onto the sand after renting a shovel to find countless others enjoying their baths by the water. We found the source of the hot water, realizing too late that it is scalding hot (hence the reason that area was people free). We found a good spot and created a pleasant bath, enjoying the waves crashing and smiling with the other tourists. After splish splashing away for a good hour, we left to drive to our campsite. We pulled up to find a wilderness course going on and spent a good thirty minutes chatting with the instructor (an amazingly nice Kiwi, as always). After some spicy soup, we cracked open a bottle of Bailey’s (we cracked at the 7th liquor store that still didn’t have Carolan’s). We drifted off to sleep easily with the Bailey’s and warm milk angel watching over us.


  1. Posted December 11, 2010 at 10:04 am | #

    Great reading your journal and had quite a speel keyboarded for you but somehow erased it. Don’t have the energy or memory to try to recall. But we can’t wait until around the 16th to see you globe trotters. Just hope you are not too bored after all of your exciting advertures, exotic food, beautiful sun sets, digging your own bath tub in the sand————-imagine saying to your kids at bed time—–“go dig your bath!” Love you, xxoo

  2. Posted December 12, 2010 at 10:06 am | #

    Wow, hot water beach sounds so awesome! Love all the photo’s! xx

  3. Posted December 14, 2010 at 2:55 am | #

    Is it my understanding you guys are gung ho in regard to doing some cooking for our Christmas dinner? If so, what can I bake, take, cook or dance to help with the dinner??? Also, there is Rum cake or Amaretto cheesecake? I will be waiting. Enjoy your few days. Love you.

10 Trackbacks

  1. By marc on August 22, 2014 at 10:56 pm


    спс за инфу….

  2. By howard on August 23, 2014 at 1:44 am


    спс за инфу!…

  3. By Anthony on August 23, 2014 at 12:28 pm


    tnx for info!!…

  4. By Patrick on August 23, 2014 at 4:02 pm



  5. By Dennis on August 24, 2014 at 11:34 am



  6. By Seth on August 26, 2014 at 5:08 pm



  7. By fred on August 26, 2014 at 6:57 pm



  8. By marshall on August 26, 2014 at 8:52 pm



  9. By Rick on August 27, 2014 at 1:45 am


    tnx for info….

  10. By Joshua on August 27, 2014 at 2:59 am



Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>