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On Monday morning, I woke up with a terrible pain in my neck. The tent that Cassie had bought for our trip was a tad short for my height and I slept with my head to the side and my shoulders up next to my ears all night. At least we had makings for screwdrivers.

We got up, had some quick breakfast, broke down camp and headed to our next stop; the town of Mangonui. There’s a fish and chips restaurant that Cassie wanted to take me to. We arrived and ordered our food and some beers. The restaurant is positioned on a pier, right in a bay. This photo is looking straight out through the open window where were sitting.

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We enjoyed a view of sail boats anchored in the bay as we devoured our fried food. Next, it was off to Paihia. On our drive to the next town, the fish & chips was making drowsy. I dozed off for a few and woke up when we got to town.

It’s a cool little town full of shops and eateries; the type of touristy town I was becoming used to visiting. I was still super drowsy so we took our Kachula blanket to a park on the water and I laid down awhile. Cassie left me sleeping like a hobo and went for an iced coffee, and I came to after while. We gathered our things and stepped across the street to get some beer and pizza.

We would be staying at another AirBnb that evening and needed to restock on food supplies for the coming days. We swung into a nearby grocery store, grabbed the necessities and headed toward the town of Kawakawa.

We drove up to the house with a beautiful view overlooking a lush green canyon.

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Our host Janice came out to greet us and welcomed us into her home. She was very nice and hospitable. She said we could take anything we wanted from her pantry and that there was beer and wine in the fridge. We said thank you, but that we brought our own. We got settled in and cleaned up before making dinner.

Here’s Cassie being Cassie.

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We had some hot drinks and watched a couple of shows before calling it a day.


In the morning, Janice made us little pancakes for breakfast. I got up and did some journaling; I was quite behind. We took off in the morning and headed from Kawakawa to Whangaparoa (pronounced Funga-pah-roe-a). This is a suburb of Auckland. We had another AirBnB lined up and went to drop our stuff. It was a nice little 2-story place with a black and white cat that greeted us. Once we dropped our stuff, we changed into our dress clothes and went out for a date night.

We started the evening with some bowling. The lanes were a bit wonky: many times we could see the ball curve because of grooves in the lane. But we had a good time; Cassie beat me 2 games to 1 and I successfully spilled my beer all over one of the seats.

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I love Cassie’s bowling style. She’s really good too. I have a hard time besting her.

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We worked up an appetite and headed up the block to get some grub. It had proven difficult to find a bar that knew how to make an old fashioned, but the gal at the restaurant knew what was up and made one special for me. It was pretty darn decent too.

When we got back to the house the climate was rainy and lousy, but we made tea and wrapped up in a blanket and watched some Rick & Morty. Then it was time for bed.

The next morning, we had breakfast and listened to tunes while we got ready. We would be heading to Whitianga.

I’ll pick it up from here in my next post. Thanks for reading.

– Fletcher