The Bay of Islands

We drove all day up to Paihia & The Bay of Islands, where we’ll be staying for the next 3 nights.  The trip was quite the white-knuckle experience, since Bill has never driven on the left-hand side of the road before.  Also, the road was pretty narrow & the shoulders on each side of it were even narrower.  For some reason, Bill made sure to drive as far as possible to the left side (my side), which caused me to grip the door handle tighter & tighter.  At one point, there was a construction worker standing on the edge of the road, & I’m pretty sure we drove right over his toes.  Ha ha!

The 3 1/2 hr. drive also induced a mild case of car-sickness in me and, after that long plane ride over here in the first place, a bad case of T.B. (Tired Butt, for those of you not familiar with the term).

On the way, we saw quite a few interesting signs.  At first glance (it was hard to read it, since we sped by so fast), one appeared to read:  “Barf Cafe” (it was really “Bar & Cafe”).  I read it aloud to Bill, & he laughed and added:  “Daily Special: whatever you ate last night”  Ha ha ha!  The next sign further on read:  “DRINK, DRIVE, DIE in a DITCH,”    Only a little farther there was one offering “Cheap Beer Here, $3.00” which seemed somehow contradictory.

More signs wanted us to “Smile, Be Happy” and to “Be as Happy as Larry!”  (I’m not sure just how happy Larry is, but I’ll try my hardest to outdo him.)  By the time we got here, I could barely stagger into the hotel.

We also saw LOTS of sheep and cattle, including several of those BueLingo (?) ones that are all black with a wide white stripe around their bellies (making them look like they’re wearing white inner tubes).  Birds included black gallinule-type ones (black with longish legs, a longish bill, and kind of a round belly) pecking around in the weeds (I plan to buy a bird book somewhere), and lots of mynah birds, like the ones all over in Hawaii.  Also, lots of poor dead possums (I think that’s what they were) greeted us along the way.

The hotel is situated on its own private beach with an island across the bay.  It’s very pretty.  I’ll take plenty of pics.

I had to buy a plug-in adaptor thing in order to charge my computer.  They have the European-type of plug-ins here.  (And the European style of toilets, but that’s another story.  Ha ha!)   And don’t worry, Willie, we’re going to be buying a prepaid phone soon.  By the way, the NZ money is really pretty!  I like the 20s–they’re green (but a much prettier green than ours)!