Following post is a Boxing day short story of the kiwi kindness we constantly stumble across.
So after chilling a couple of days in Whitianga on the Coromandel peninsula we headed of for Kaimai ranges, staring in Karangahake gorge. Hitching there from Whitianga is quite a distance so we didn't expect to get there immediately. Got quite quick two first hitches with an Italian guy who hated society and a landowning entrepreneur who loved society. Bigger difference is hard to Imagine. We got dropped of in Whangamata, got an ice cream and a steak and cheese pie at the corner store. After a while an older Subaru stopped by and out hopped Laurie together his wife. They were going to get some snacks at the corner store and then go get a pack of smokes in a town near Karangahake. Cigarettes are super expensive in NZ so you need to choose where to buy them apparently. Laurie asked us if we wanted a ride because we looked like hitchers. Laurie was 37, combined a Mohawk with the fastest glasses I've seen and listened to 90's hip hop in his 2005 Subaru. To save the seats from getting dirty he put leopard pattern fleece blankets in the back. Drove like a mad man and was also blessed with the widest kiwi accent so far, understood half of what he said. Instead of just going for a pack of cigarettes and drop us if in Karangahake, he thought we deserved a sightseeing in the area since he was native to this place. And who are we to say no.. We started at a cool beach with a stream exiting the sea, at some times when the dunes of the beach was low enough. Right now it was a brackish and heated pool. A lot of orcas usually patrol the beaches for seals and sting rays. After that we went for a beautiful waterfall and took a dip. On the way up this amateur photographer from Australia named Jen wanted to take a couple of photos with humans together with the waterfall, so I volunteered as a model.
After drying out a bit we continued through a small old mining town but decided that the old mine wasn't worth the effort. Laurie suddenly felt the urge for cliff jumping and asked us if we wanted to join. We joined in and went for the cliff jumps, probably around 8 meters into the warm river, sweet as. Instead of continuing on to the intended start, Laurie recommended us to take a route through Karangahake gorge instead of up a small road to get us into the mountains faster. Said and done, this became the end of sightseeing with Laurie and his wife. Hope they got their pack of smokes!