Today we headed toward the northern most part of the island. The weather was great (if you’re a duck). Lot’s of rain. We hopped on a charter bus from Auckland to Paihia, about 4 hours north. Our driver, Wes, was Maori, the original settlers of New Zealand. They are distant cousins of Hawaiians. Wes taught us a bit about the people and the language. Kia oro (key-orda) is thanks! Who knew the trip would be educational? At a rest stop, Amy forgot her purse but someone found it right before we left. Dodged a bullet and didn’t have to return to the outback like last time. Our first stop was the treaty grounds where the Maori and the English signed their treaty in order to live jointly in this new settlement. The treaty gave the Maori the same rights and protection as any other English subject. After learning about how these English settlers interacted and treated the natives they encountered, it makes you wonder how the US would be if our settlers had treated the native Americans the same way. We finished our day with a short ferry ride to the small island, Russell. It used to be called the hell
hole of the pacific. Brothels, bars, and crime. Sounds like Vegas! It’s now just a quiet little town. Tomorrow we continue north to the top of the island. For you guys tracking our progress, be patient. Our access to the internet is spotty. We'll catch up as we can. That’s all for now, stay tuned.