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Published: November 18th 2007
The last ten days of my life have propably been the best ten days of my life. Occasionally something special happens to you in life and it stays with you for a long time, if not for the rest of your life. Rarely does it so happen that you are snowballed by memorable events in a condensed period. I also had that first real person bump into "oh my god what are you doing here?!" moment as one of my ex-students from the Leith School of Art appeared at the Pipi patch hostel, like minded to travell, Ailiadh Dunlop.
After the momnetous experiance of The Rock, I was quite contented to be topped up on that for quite some time. The next days were all well above par on what you would call a good day. They consisted of Hiring a very funky, red, retro scooter and burning all over the area one afternoon. Visiting the Waitangi treaty grounds for a wee cultural injection ( I'll do a histroy and folk-lore section when I have enough understanding and knowledge to) and up to Hurura falls before heading the other way to Opua. Cant recommend enough just taking yourself away
Ailiahd and me
Imagine looking like this doing the walk of shame!
for the day on something like this. After a very fun, late and hillarious night (for those of you on facebook have a look at the fashion party photos!) in ridiculous dress, I ended up doing the walk of shame at 12 noon the following day. Which, to be fair, was done still kilted and bandana'd, with goggles and head held high. I was crying with laughter at the looks I was getting, vehicles slowing down and one poor lass even partially fell off her bike into a hedge sharing in my tears.
After returning to the dress code of the norm I was found by Andi and we decided to go parasailing in the afternoon. Fantastic. Brilliant experiance being up in the air like that, close to 1,000ft and loving it. Please dont mistake to clowning around for a swift call needed to the NZ loony bin. Video link: Parasailing
So, in the last ten days, I have been sand dune surfing, caught the biggest fish yet, spent the night on The Rock and glided above Neptunes boi-illuminescent fire works, laughed my way around the bay on the funkiest scooter, been parasiling, attended a brilliant
My dolphin guide!
Brendon and Ellie singing on the bar
and ridiculous party and met some of the coolest people that will stay with me for the rest of my days. You'd think that was great enough, but how about the cherry on the icing on the cake that i got to have and eat, to go swimming with dolphins?!
Now I know its become cliched. Go on holiday and go swimming with dolphins, yada, yada, yada. But dont knock it unless you've done it because you seriously wont knock it after. By luck I happened to walk into town and book into a dophin cruise just as the boat was about to leave. My good friend Brendan was even the guide on it for the afternoon and we were in hillairities at the photos of the party a few nights before. (He's in the blue toga btw!) After a lot of hunting for the pods and a few rather choppy rouge waves we thought we had a sighting at a bay so powered over to it. Lo and behold there were swimmers in the water so all got wet suited up, flippers, goggles and snorkels. Slipping into the water was told to swim hard and fast away
Andi and me parasailing
from the stern, as I did I kept looking for fins in the water around me. For whatever reason I was apprehansive to, or didnt even think to, look down into the water. The swimmer in front was face down and motionless so I followed suit. Now we were told, jocking apart, to actually sing to them as they react and play better with noise from us. So looking down I saw this pair of enourmas, grey, solid, amazing creatures that were no more than 2 meters infront of me, gracefully gliding through the water. I gave them a rendition of the only song that came into my head; "holy shit!" Now its a simple song, quite repetitive and consists of only those two words. Suffice to say that after a 30 second chorus of it they got a little bored of my flat tone and dissapered with a slight flick of their tails.
We were waved back in to the boat and our skipper manouvered back to where they had moved to. First in this time I wasted no time in swimming my heart out, head down, right towards where they were. One of the two came
Spot the Paras'
900ft up, nice.
right under me, I could easily have touched it had I known not to. It slowly rolled onto its back and started to do doughnuts underneath me, maintaining eye contact the whole time, it played there for a good half minute. I then gave it the next song that came into my head, and so for the second time, the locals got a 3 verse rendidtion of "oh flower of scotland." (you really should try sining it with a snorkel in your mouth) It had some kind of effect as Skippy (I know...) started to kick up, well, flip up, sand from the bottom with its tail all the time circling me. This massive, awe-inspiring, beautiful mamal, twice my size and circling me closer than I could have imagined, managed to put for the second time in ten days, another experiance into what I would call another top ten experiance. Unfortunatly I hadnt thought to get a cheap underwater camera to take a few shots but those type of experiances dont need photos to remind you of them.
Eventually their friend returned from entertaining the other divers and they both left our group. We all returned to the
The R Tucker Thompson
The only thing I regret not having the chance to experiance whielst in the Bay'.
boat, dumfounded and grinning like small children. Joking and laughing about what a fantastic thing that was that we had all just experianced, we happily igored the rough journey back to shore. There are other trips you can do from Paihia, such as the "mack attack' or"excitor", two plane like looking boats that jet out to a hole in a rock and back. As I was showering on the stern of the boat I noticed this bullet of a vessell chewing up the sea and heading our way. Now the calendar was stating that it was only meant to be a thin creasant of a moon so you can imagine the surprise of the Excitors passengers as they shot passed to see the greeting that Mel Gibson has so proudly renowned the scots for, the full moon.
There were t-shirts available, "i swan with the dolphins", but as none of them had on the back "and moonied the excitor" I thought it wouldn't have done the trip justice, so opted for the memory of hilarity between me and Brendon as the Excitor dissapered into its misty wake. The events that took place, the party every second night and everything in between made it so hard for me to disect myself from the Bay of islands. Everyone I met had encouraged me to get a job and stay and I was so tempted. The only reason I chose to move was becaues this is just the start of my journey and I knew it inportant for me not to grow roots too early somewhere. So, despite being able to find another reason to stay for some more time (like Pete offering me a 'crew' cruise back on the Rock for the weekend), I decided I had to move on. The difference between leaving this place over all the others, was that I felt saddened in parting, like when I leave the Isle of Jura, knowing I have left part of me there and i'll only ever find it again should I return. But as I have said, this is the start of my journey and it was too soon a destination. Reluctantly, I said goodbye to some great people, and an amazing place.
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