November 10

My second day off was slightly drizzly and overcast. Instead of letting this get us down, Dan and I decided to head to Kerikeri to go to heaven on earth (aka Santee’z), to explore a bit and say hi to Ups.

We cleaned in the morning and then we took the 20 minute roadtrip out to Kerikeri. It was so wonderful to get out of town and go to a place that is less touristy. I really enjoyed being surrounded by people speaking English and having so many options for shops and restaurants to explore. I had high expectations for my next gluten free cafe experience. As always, Santee’z delivered. I got my always fabulous walnut slice and Dan got a piece of berry cake. We shared and I couldn’t have been happier. The cake was moist and flavorful. It was almost on par with the walnut slice. I wished that Lindsay was still here to appreciate it.

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After our snack, we dropped by to say hi to Ups briefly. He was busy working out, but we made plans to meet for dinner in the next day or two.

We wandered around the shops and decided to head out to see the Stone Store. This is one of the oldest stone buildings in NZ. It was originally a mission station and it has been the longest operating business in the country. They sold a strange assortment of souvenir type items. The area was beautiful, although parts seemed to be overrun by chickens.

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(So many chickens all through the car park!)

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Afterwards, we headed back to town so that Dan could go to work. (He’s a chef at a local restaurant.) I convinced some of my fellow hostel dwellers to go for a run with me. Later, we met Dan and one of his coworkers, Zhoel, for trivia night in town. We had a blast, even though we lost quite badly.

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