Short but Sweet
Raglan & Rotorua

Raglan was amazing. The moment we stepped off the bus and into the small downtown area... my entire body breathed a sigh of relief and relaxation! The air was still, the town was quiet, you could tell this was a place that didn't possess a lot of clocks! It was wonderful!

This little surf town on the west coast of the North Island prides itself on its ability to relax, let go and enjoy life! After a few days in the active downtown Auckland area, and a few hours and a few buses on our travel day, we were very pleased with just how relaxing Raglan felt already!

I have stories and stories to share about Raglan, but those will be saved for when I have more time on a computer.. and hopefully when my laptop decides to un-break itself... it happens right? hah. We spent five nights in Raglan and although we were ready to take the next step on our journey when the time came, we both decided that it is worth a re-visit within our year here in New Zealand! One thing I learned there, I really, really enjoy a relaxing morning sitting in the sunshine in an outdoor table and chair out front of a coffee shop in a not-too-busy downtown, sipping a delicious latte and just... being. It's wonderful. Exactly what I needed/wanted/dreamed of!! yay!

We tried to buy a car in Raglan.. a Toyota Camry Station Wagon... it was perfect for our needs! Not too old, big enough to sleep in if needed, cheap and within our price range, and being sold by a guy from Tofino... perfect? I'd say so. Sadly.. he sold it to some other guy before he even let us talk to him... in Luke's words "Where's the backpacker love?" Sooo, after many complaints between us about how much that tofino guy realllly screwed up our plans, we changed our plans. (haha, as per usual when backpacking right?) We figured out how to bus to Hamilton, then on to Rotorua. [row-toe-roo-ah]
First night in Raglan
Raglan Sunset Love
Raglan Rain Forest

read about our bus mishap below...

We spent 4 hours in the bus depot in Hamilton, and after such a wonderful time,  we clearly wanted more.. so we missed our bus to Rotorua... by 3 minutes... due to an intense card game! True to style for both Luke and Deanna. We just laughed at each other. ridiculous! Soooo, we spent another 3 hours in the bus depot (Hamilton didn't seem to have too much to offer, and we had all of our gear too) avoiding playing cards again, until we finally gave in to setting an alarm so we couldn't miss the next bus.

Sue had warned me that Rotorua is really smelly. Really smelly is an understatement. It STINKS! Literally. It has to do with the geothermal activity across the entire city, and the smell is of sulphur, stinks like egg! bleh. But so far we've really enjoyed it. Lounged this morning in a natural hot spring while getting to know our new friends from France and Ireland.. who we now are going to be travelling with. They have this bright green campervan they've rented.. like NEON green!! All 5 of us are going to roadtrip together from Rotorua to Wellington (the bottom of the north island) with a few fun stops inbetween.
sharing a beer in a natural-sourced outdoor hottub
This is what I look like when I hike!!
I have oodles more to share but will do so at a later date! We're having a fantastic time and are very happy we're here! Today was the first time we brought up Tim Hortons!! The coffee here is expensive and it seems to be rare to find a cup of regular coffee, always espresso. So Luke hasn't been too impressed. We reminised about a big delicious cup of Timmies, two milk, one sugar for me - double double for him. It felt nice.

I have heaps of photos and videos to share.. will do down the road.

Sweet Dea & Dukey

this song was on repeat while I wrote this so I thought I would share it ... probably for the younger audience only ;)