Jail, rain and generous Kiwi's

The 17th of November 2017 : in jail
After a rainy night in Hilton's garden, our tent was completely soaked. We headed to Whangarei, where we knew that we could dry everything, make a laundry and eat some vegetables.
And where did Houston left us? Without kidding?
In a prison!
Cell Block is the sweet name of the hostel where we found 2 beds. Well, the doors couldn't be closed, and they would leave everything open the whole day (we nearly got a cold in the windy corridor), which made us feel free.

We made an expedition to Pack'n'save to celebrate our freedom and came back with a backpack full of fruits and vegetables (and chips, and chocolate, and Pinot noir), and our pockets lighter thanks to the money spent.

With our stomach full and our clothes smelling fresh, we went to try to sleep. Yes, try to. In this hostel, they try to give you a real prison experience. So people kept yelling at each other in the corridor, the lights are lit, you don't have curtains and as a result, we couldn't sleep before 2:30 AM. Marie and me were completely pissed off...

The 18th of November 2017 : kiwi's incredible generosity
The day started under the rain. I don't know why I say started, 'cause anyway it went on and on the whole day.
So we were there, tired after the noisy night, hitchhiking with our backpacks under the rain. We had to reach Pataua, from where we'll continue walking Te Araroa.

After a while, we saw a car that made a u-turn on the road to take us. It was a couple of young kiwis. They explained that they were on their way to Whangarei when they saw us and decided to turn back. OK, I'll be clearer : they saw us an they decided to drive us to Pataua, which was 30 km away in the opposite direction than Whangarei. Amazing isn't it? It was so incredibly kind!
In Pataua, we arrived in a trampers friendly place. Roz and Hugh hiked Te Araroa 3 years ago. They run a bed and breakfast in their beautiful house, with a view on the estuary. They have campsites, a cabin and 2 beds in their house where they welcome Te Araroa hikers. We received tea, were offered to stay in the house while the rain was pouring outside and they left us the house in the afternoon, while they were going outside for a dinner.

When Jan and Wayne, fellow hikers, arrived at Roz and Hugh's place, we could welcome them in the house with a cup of tea and scones freshly backed by Roz.
That's how hospitable kiwis can be.
Oh, by the way, if you're on holiday in New Zealand near Whangarei, do not hesitate to book at Tidesong B&B, I'm pretty sure you'll love everything : the place, the food... And the people!
Marie-Laure's ankle being still a little bit swollen, we decided that it was an excellent excuse for staying one more night here, and by the way, giving the time to a couple of Australian hikers that we met in Ahipara to join us. They are Efi's. Efi is for "every fucking inch", meaning the hikers that walk the full length of the trail and refuse to hitchhike on the roads. While our hosts were at their friend's place, we got a phone call. It was Adriana, that was calling to announce their arrival tomorrow. She didn't understand immediately who was talking to her and we laughed a lot when she understood that she wasn't talking to Roz but to a fellow hiker.
Wayne and Jan in front of Tidesong B&B

Te Araroa hikers are like a small community. We get to know the people that are just ahead or behind us. That's also part of Te Araroa's experience !


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