HE MADE IT!
Here we all are in our bus. I had a shift at the restaurant so Jack and Andy went for burgers in Paihia.
This is Andys apartment in Paihia for 10 days. Lovely balcon looking out to sea.
The day after Andy arrived, jacks band Tambo had a 3 hour gig at the Russell Boating Club. It was Mother's Day in New Zealand and there was quite a big turn out. French lady Marie came with her kiwi boyfriend and his family. We got very merry and danced a lot and jack played a stonker of a gig. Me and jack stayed at andys apartment that night because we couldn't be bothered to drive home/went for another drink!
Next day, we did some work for Tambo lead singer Marina at her house. We did a lot of cleaning. She has a little outhouse she and her husband lived in while the main house was being built - this fella lived outside.
The view from her house. Bloody incredible. Oh and that's a jacuzzi! Jacks charm gets us into some interesting circles.
A few shots around Marinas insane house.
These plants are planted inside!
Marina picked Andy up from Paihia while she was out.
So, Marina wanted to do a goodbye meal for jack as they'd finished their last gig and we were leaving Kerikeri in a week. She knew I loved cooking so asked if I wanted to cook in her fancy kitchen...for 8 people! She got the ingredients.
I decided on bruschetta to start, kedgeree for the main and lemon cheesecake for desert.
Me and Marina picking herbs from her garden, she had everything!
The meal went down a treat.
After a few drinks music started happening.
Kerikeri is very far up north of the north island, however the tip top of the north island is somewhere where numerous people told us to go. So we booked a place up north and went on an overnight trip to Cape Reinga.
A toilet stop off on route.
A herd of cows. Andy got pretty freaked out about his rental car being trampled.
View from road.
We made it to Cape Reinga! Now for a walk to the very tip.
Can you see the tree that's on the sign above on the rock below?
And this is where the Tasman Sea meets the Pacific Ocean. It's so cool to see. We saw this once before on our Europe trip at the top of Denmark at a place called Grenen where the Baltic Sea meets the North Sea. You're wouldn't think much would happen but both times there is an obvious clash between the two seas and it's seriously awesome.
Beautiful. Cape Reinga is said to the be the place where the spirits of the dead enter the underworld.
This cool sign gives the direction of certain cities and their distances. London is 18,029km away.
Look look, pictures of me and jack together! This is what happens when Andy visits!
Next place we just stumbled across. The giant sand dunes. These are pretty spectacular. You're surrounded by green hills and blue sea then you look behind and there are these massive dunes...like massive...you could be in a desert.
Next spot...Spirits Bay. This beach is something else.
The sand here is basically made up of shells. So soft on your feet. We sent some home in cards!
Body boarding time.
We drive about an hour back towards Kerikeri and stayed in a beautiful spot at the bottom of the 90 mile beach called Ahipara. We got fish and chips and ate them on the balcony. This was our view.
Oh and we had some good old speights.
A few shots of the house.
From the outside.
It's the morning and the house came with body boards and the sea is right there...
The house next door...
Off they pop.
Back in Kerikeri and Andy getting soaked filling up the car.
Next day comes along and it's the pub quiz. Every Wednesday night, me, jack and John go to the local pub quiz at Rocksalt and lose. Andy wanted in this week and we lost even harder. But I made pre quiz grub.
Next night, karaoke night at the Pioneer bar. We met with French Marie and the gang. It was awesome and the last time we'd see Marie :(
MARIEEEEEE...I miss her.
This is...Marie's boyfriends stepdad Johnny. He's hilarious and provided us with many beers during our time in Kerikeri.
This is the rest of the gang. They know how to have a good time.
At the restaurant, they always give the bus people a free meal when they leave. Along with free wine from John! I had to ask whether that included all courses...and it did...so I had all courses.
I had seafood chowder to start. A big thing in New Zealand and bloody delicious.
Jack had ham hock terrine to start.
Confit duck...oh my god.
Steak for jack.
Salmon for Andy.
Chocolate cake for me.
Cheesecake for Andy.
FABS! Our German chef friend.
The Ake Ake kitchen.
The cool picture of Johns winery painted by a local that hangs in the restaurant.
Hamish. The waiter.
Andy by the vineyard.
Our last job on the Vineyard. John went round and pruned the vines until they looked like this...two twigs.
We took each of the twigs and used an elastic band to tie them to the wire.
Until they looked like this...flat.
There were hundreds of these. Stephen Fry reading Harry Potter came in very handy here.
That afternoon we were invited to a rugby match by Johnny and Michelle...Marie's boyfriends mum and stepdad. Kerikeri vs Waipu.
Kerikeri were down in the first half then really smashed it in the second to finish on a draw.
We had a few beers at the match.
Then a couple more at the pub after. Here's a gooden taken by Andy.
While I worked at the restaurant that evening, Andy and jack had more burgers.
While me and jack worked the Sunday lunch shift at the restaurant the next day, Andy went back over to Russell on the ferry to meet with the drummer of jacks band. Andy heard that he loved bikes and since he just bought a bike himself, he had to go and see his.
That evening (our last night at Ake Ake, in our bus and in the Kerikeri altogether), John and Aynsley invited me, Jack and Andy over to theirs for more wine and food. I made desert, lemon and yogurt cake with lemon drizzle.
Mine and Jacks pictures finally put up in the bus for the next bus people to admire...or take down.
Jack ended up not being needed for the lunch shift at restaurant so he worked in the vineyard while I went to work in restaurant. Both finished around 2pm and it was such a good day we started the booze drinking early.
We then decided we would take Andy to a couple of places nearby that we had gone to previously and really liked.
After this we headed beck to John and Aynsley, had a lovely dinner and lots and lots of wine then headed to bed for an early start the next morning.
And that concludes our last night in Kerikeri.