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Arg. Raglan.

The tail end of my board is cracked. Not good. Got into town last afternoon and after a quick shower and some lunch I walked over to Manu Bay to watch. The surf was on and I counted over 40 people out in the water. Almost all on short boards shredding it up. Though the occasional long boarder would come along and show off, walking the board, sitting down and spinning around and riding backwards. A silly, fun, change of pace after all that impressive jock stuff. The long boards have a slower, more graceful sort of hypnotic movement.  One guy on a green and yellow short board was really good and fun to watch. I wonder who he is.

Forgot my camera down at Manu Bay, here is a shot of it from farther away:

Gavin was coming into town to meet me that evening. He was supposed to leave Auckland around 3pm getting here around 5, but kept getting held up. He was at a family get together. His Dad, at 75, is the baby of nine children and Gavin is the baby himself. So a lot of old folks in the family. One as old as 93, I think he said. Seeing as they only seemed to be getting together at funerals, someone suggested they get together when someone hadn’t died. Good idea.

So I didn’t bring my board down to the water thinking Gavin would be getting into town earlier than he did. It saved me, though, because after the guy at the Raglan Surf Shop looked at the tail of my board, he said it would take some work to fix. Would need to be dug out and reshaped. It might’ve gotten badly waterlogged if I had taken it out as is. In the meantime, he suggested getting some duct tape and taping it up neatly. That way I can surf some while the swell is still on. But when I do drop it off it will take a week to fix. Hmmm. So maybe I will do that, then travel off to see the Waitomo Caves, do the Tongariro Alpine Crossing and head back up to Raglan again after a week. I would like a shot at that left when it’s on, maybe midweek sometime when it won’t be quite so crowded. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Now I am in the Raglan HQ having a chocolate Maca root drink. Yummy! And partaking of their free wifi, hard to find in New Zealand. It’s about 1pm, just picked up some duct tape, scissors and olive oil and will head back to Solscape in a bit.

Yesterday, I had bought six fresh eggs at Solscape. Truly free range, their chickens run all over the grounds. I had picked up more fruit on the way back here from the same woman selling out of a van. Four bags of fruit for $10NZD! Sweet. Six apples, six peaches, a bunch of little plums, 6 tomatoes and an onion thrown in for free. What a deal.

Gavin got in around 7pm and picked me up at Manu Bay. We went into town for food at the Tongue and Groove cafe. Fish and chips and a salad. Good stuff.

This morning I had to go looking for olive oil from the other guests. I brought a bag with the plums and two apples for a trade. An American woman works at the reception, and her and her boyfriend, who is in school in Hamilton, live in one of the cabooses. I ran into her and asked if they had oil. She said her boyfriend was just inside the kitchen and would probably make the trade. So I got some really nice virgin olive oil and headed back to the fancy one-room Bach to cook up the feast for me and Gavin. Onions, garlic, tomatoes sauteed, then the six scrambled eggs poured on top. Really good bread (thanks Washington couple!) toasted and two cups of tea with milk and sugar.

Not roughing it at all in this place! Just one night, then back to the tent:

Poor Gavin has a cold that is suspiciously like the one I brought to New Zealand with me. Not a very friendly international present. I met him in Auckland the second day I was in town, and was definitely still sick. So between my busted board and his cold. no surfing for either of us.

The sky darkened and dumped a huge amount of rain for about 15 minutes then the sun immediately came back out. We headed into town and found some amazingly good coffee next to a surf shop.  A little shack on an alley.  They roast the beans in the back behind piles of bags, boards and other accessories.  I had a flat white, Gavin a long black.  We sat around petting a furry big dog who came over to say hello. 

I walked Gavin to his car.  A big hug and promises to keep in touch.  I think I will head back through Auckland on my way out.

Off to tape up my board and go out for a paddle. 

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