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Published: November 14th 2013
I am rudely awoken by the unsoothing tones of the only other occupant of the dorm, a rather large and I think female Māori. I leave 'it' to snore contently whilst I go for a wonder round the town. Everyone is just going about their daily business, the town is not rundown but not overly shiny and touristified.
I check out and catch the 10.15am local bus to Raglan, and arrive an hour later in the sun. I couldn’t find a hostel listed online, but have a recommendation from some people I've met along the way. I am chatting to two others on the bus, who are also heading there, so we find it together. It is such a cute hostel, very surfer style and laid back. It’s a wood building round a central courtyard which has a garden, hot tub and hammocks. I decide to take one of the hostels paddle board for a spin, which is a tad more challenging than I had thought as not only as I was battling the wind but also a very strong tide. But I enjoyed the challenge, especially once I was sheltered from the wind after the first 45min, and enjoyed a few hours paddling around, absorbing the beautiful hills and surrounding landscape. After a wander through the palm tree lined high street – which is equally as cute and laid back, I borrowed a bike from the hostel for an early evening spin. Not quite the standard I am used to but quite adequate, I cycled to Whale bay, and watched the few surfers that were braving the very large swell. I also stopped at another very long and beautiful beach on the way back and watched several sand buggies and kite surfers zooming around until dusk. After powering back to the hostel I enjoyed a lovely relaxing evening chatting in the lounge area.
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