Well, I am now back in Auckland after finishing up my trip North. It really was a great trip, but I now need a job. Reality Check: Money doesn’t last as long as I thought it would. I’m sure skydiving in Kerikeri didn’t help with money saving though. However, it was well worth the money!
The Skydive Zone in Kerikeri was absolutely amazing. Plummeting to the ground at terminal velocity from 16 000 feet was so much fun! I want to do it over and over again. Too bad it’s $420 NZD per jump. I paid a bit extra as well so I could get a video of my jump as well as photos. It was money well spent. I have wanted to go skydiving for years now. I finally got to! Next time, I hope to jump over Fox and Franz Jospeh Glaciers on the South Island, from 18 000 feet. I’ll have to save my pennies for that one!
I spent that night again in my car, and began the drive up 90 Mile Beach early the next morning. I drove down the ramp onto the beach and drove 20 feet and got stuck. A couple older fellows who walk the beach each morning helped me dig out my car and sat and talked with me for an hour or so to let the tide go out a smidgeon further before I tried again. I tore down the beach with the music blasting, it was so peaceful and there was just something so thrilling about the whole situation. AT one point along the drive there was a bit rock out crop and a little paved path over a section of it, I drove my car up the ramp only to discover it ended halfway across. Too bad I was already so far. I just took my little car and kept on driving over those rocks. No Mercy! I’m surprised I didn’t absolutely destroy that little, red car of mine. I made it all the way to the end of the beach before turning around to head back. Too bad I got stuck again. I sat digging my way out- well, trying to.
Lucky for me, I wasn’t the only one who decided to drive the whole way. After 15 minutes of digging I was approached by none other than a fellow Canadian, Serge. We chatted for a couple minutes, he laughed a lot about the whole situation. He had seen me drive over the rocks earlier and had followed. He thought I had to be a crazy kiwi with the way I was driving, guess I surprised him. He brought his van around and pulled my car out and onto firmer sand. We sat on the beach and chatted for hours. The tide started coming in, so we set up camp, it was another night in my little car.
When sun came up and the tide went out I took off, back up the beach I went. I made it as far as the rock bluff I had driven over the previous day before getting stuck for a third time. I decided not to try driving up the rock face which I had driven down, so I darted around it as the waves went out. I shot across to the other side and sunk in. This time however I managed to dig myself out. Serge drove up behind me and laughed a bit. I was determined to save myself though. It wasn’t difficult to do. I managed to get off the beach without getting stuck again. Off to Cape Reigna I went.
Cape Reigna was quite a site to see. It’s the most northern part of New Zealand, and standing at the lighthouse you can watch the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean collide. The Pacific is a much deeper blue than the Tasman Sea, so it’s very neat. There is a signpost by the lighthouse. On the post it had different locations around the world with distances marked. Standing at that post I was 11, 222 Kilometres from Vancouver. I guess I’m not that far from home after all.
After my drive up to the Cape I headed on over to the Te Paki Giant Sand Dunes. They really are giant. I had to drive up a long gravel road where I got trapped by a herd of sheep being rounded over to a new field. I have never heard so many BAA’s at once. They can be quite noisy. All the sheep would peek in my car windows ass they passed on by, it was a bit amusing. Once all the sheep- and the sheep dog- had finally passed, I made my way to the dunes. There was a little stand set up at the bottom of the dunes where I was able to rent a sandboard and hike up the dunes.
Hiking up the dune was extremely exhausting. I cannot put into words how exhausting it was to hike up. The sand slips beneath your feet, making progress slow. I had to sit and take a breather before finally going down, knowing that I would just have to hike right back up again.
The effort was well worth it though. Jumping on that board and flying down was so much fun! I suppose it’s the same as tobogganing, but without the cold. There was no worry of getting snow down my jacket (partially because there was no snow, partially because I wasn’t wearing a jacket). The sand was hot though, at some points I thought my feet were about to burn.
I met a backpacker from Germany who was also doing the sand dune sledding. We chatted a bit and exchanged numbers as we were both heading back to Auckland. We did end up meeting up again a couple days later and went for MacDonald’s ice cream at 1Am. We chatted as we watched endless amounts of drunk people come stumbling in. One guy even came in, in wrestling spandex and did the Haka in the middle of the restaurant. It was pretty amusing.
Anyway, back to my sandboarding story…
As I was heading out to my car after I had returned from the sandboarding, I ran into a guy,Jason, in the parking lot. He struck up a conversation and we got talking, he’s a kiwi and it was his day off. By then end of it all, I had agreed to go out on the sand dunes on his ATV. I have never been on one of those before, but it was lots of fun. I even got to drive! I lived through it, even though I thought I would die going down some of the near-vertical slopes of dunes, but I didn’t. He dropped me back off at my car, I said thanks, and then I was on my way back to Auckland. It’s time to find a job.
Money never lasts as long as you think it will. This was a really fun one for me to discover. I went to withdraw my daily limit from the bank when the “Insufficient Funds” message popped up. It was a little shocking as I thought I had a lot more money left than that. So now I am preserving as much money as possible as I go out and apply for jobs. I think every store in the area now has my resume. Hopefully someone decides to give this poor Canadian a job!