April 11

I finished up work this week. Zhoel has another couple weeks to go before we can leave together so I decided to go on a little solo adventure to see some friends. I hadn’t been back to Taupo since I left and I was quite anxious to visit Charmaine. I decided that I would make it a week­long trip and go see Piha (where the TV show Piha Surf Rescue is based) and Raglan, which has a pro surf championship on next weekend.

On my way toward Piha from Waipu, I realized how accustomed to traveling with someone else I had become. It was quite fun to be on the road by myself. I put on an audiobook of a Carolyn Hart murder mystery and munched on rice cakes and New Zealand lollies (I am going to have to do a whole blog post reviewing New Zealand candy.) I made a pit stop in Devonport, just north of Auckland. I met a friend that I had made in Taupo, Kelly, for lunch. She was the one who was biking from the North to the South of New Zealand. She had completed her trip and is returning home to the U.S. It was awesome to catch up. She is hoping to come back in a couple years to do her PhD here.

I got back on the road was having a grand ole time trying to figure out whodunit. However, as I neared Piha the roads started to get a bit precarious. They are quite twisty and narrow. I put aside my lollies and focused entirely on driving. Luckily, I arrived without incident and the trip out to Piha was definitely worth it. The beach itself is black sand and very wide. In the middle is Lion Rock which is a massive rock that you can climb and see for miles. The first thing I noticed was that there was very strange seeweed in this part of the country.

I decided to stay to watch the sunset. It was amazing. My only disappointment was that the surf was quite low so I wasn’t able to see the four story high waves that Zhoel had told me about. However, the beach was amazing and since the summer is nearly over there weren’t many people there. It was the perfect place to spend an afternoon!

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