03 march Frankfurt (GERMANY)



We are nine and very different in age, profession and place of origin, so I will have in these long three weeks the chance to know them better and to introduce themselves to you...

Aboard the Boeing 747 of Korean Air we are about to take off inbound the Korean capital: Seoul. What emotion! Too bad it will be just a brief pit stop, our final destination is the distant, mysterious and fascinating: New Zealand!

 

04 march Incheon (SOUTH KOREA)



After a few hours spent wandering in the airport of Incheon, we are again in the air... 10 hours and more...

I was very impressed, during these two flights with Korean Air, by their wish to enhance their culture, in fact they offered the opportunity to choose a Korean menu with an explanation for the preparation... or a typical Western one...


The monitor shows that we have just left Japanese airspace and are inbound the island of Guam.
Some time I spell a look at the map of our digital projection screens: Papua New Guinea, the islands of Micronesia and my imagination is put in motion ...

A couple of hours ago there's been some moments of panic on board. Suddenly some white smoke started to come out and we felt the smell of burnt... I discovered that fear is very contagious. I was quite quiet but when people began to panic, I noticed how this agitation fastly hit nearly all the passengers ... Fortunately it lasted only about ten minutes and soon after everything was all right.

My beloved New Zealand, you are so far away from us and it's so hard to reach you... I expect great things from you now...

05 march Auckland (NEW ZEALAND)

We get in Oceania! The continent where I had never been!

We rent a car and a van, automatic transmission and left-hand-drive and I dive into kiwi's roads!
Following the map we get lost several times and driving on the left it was hard to follow the right directions...
We house at Auckland Lodge, a wooden British / colonial structure. There are backpackers from all over the world; I also met a girl from Tahiti, French Polynesia and admired I wonder: "How do you feel to live in paradise?"

We leave our backpacks and run to the museum in Auckland. Interesting section about the Maori, the indigenous population. Their history, their art, their tools... Impressive the collection of handbags woven with threads of hemp from all the islands of Oceania: Marquesas, Solomon, Vanuatu, Kiribati, Fiji and so on. As it always happens to me, while I was admiring them I imagined skeletal forced men with long beards and the private parts covered only by a cloth or women by huge hills adorned with garlands of flowers that were working placidly these bags...

Wandering around the city I noticed many people walking or jogging barefoot and when later I asked curiously to the baker the reason why many were walking without shoes, he answered candidly: "We like to feel completely free."

 

 

06 march Taipa (NEW ZEALAND)

After leaving Auckland we head north... So many curves lead us to the Waipoua Forest, famous for "Kauri", a kind of redwood. Half-hour trek up till the very ancient tree by the trunk of tree 14 meters of diameter which is said to be 2000 years old.
Two thousand years ago when Jesus was born in Israel, in this corner of the world a small plant was seeing the light...

After wandering a lot finally we reach our goal: Kaitaia. The hostel is nice, in the green with a large kitchen but we decide to eat out: at the "Sea Dragon"! Fish and chips for me!

In the evening I bring the group into an amusement park, I expected one of the classic American full of stalls with hot dog or candy floss, however, was very small, after all what could I expect from a village forgotten also by the maps?

 

 

07 march Kerikeri (NEW ZEALAND)

The Cape Reinga lighthouse is very suggestive, beyond marking the northern spot of New Zealand, it is exciting because it is the meeting point of the Sea of Tasman with the Pacific Ocean. I was impressed to see the waves breaking in from the other side. What a wonder the nature is!

At the sand dunes of Te Paki, we meet a group of guys from London that were diving the dunes from the top with small surf... It was funny walk on them and wade barefoot the small river to return to our cars.
The rest of the day has been spent grinding km and km in this vast green stain and at the end of the day, the car meter informed me that I led for 350 km!
Girls are cooking, preparing the big dinner; Paolino is taking a shower; Mimmo checking his mails, Bruno is reading "Classic Kiwiana", a book found in the hostel and I'm relaxing enjoying these moments!

This hostel, called: "Farm Hotel" is very special, all in flooring, it is a real home, kitchen, sitting room and a room for visitors. Managed by a couple of Germans who "landed" here last year and now are managing it on behalf of the kiwi owner.

 

 

 

08 march Whitianga (NEW ZEALAND)

This morning, from Paihia, we leaded into an island by the impossible name: "Urupukapuka".
Walking on the grassy meadows with grazing sheep that make up the frame with the background and the picturesque Bay of Island, the bay of the hundred islands at the north of the country, where in the fourteenth century the first Maori landed. Arrived from Polynesia, sailing canoe with thin arms, guided by navigator Kupe, who christened the New Zealand "Aoteratoa", the island of the great white cloud.

Ancient trees that do not let you embrace them but that offer you shelter from sun and rain in addition of the rest after climbing the hill...

Whitianga is really deserted.... Even finding a place for our dinner was difficult and eventually we stopped at a Thai restaurant.

Another hostel! I am always surprised... So far we have slept every night in a different city and this thing is perfect for a gypsy like me...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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