Friends and more

Saturday 2nd - Monday 4th December 2017 
Off trail we went... And it was so good!
Invited by our friends, Jan and Wayne, we arrived in Whakatane in the afternoon. We had absolutely no idea about how this place would be. But knowing that we would see our friends was enough to decide us.
Enjoying life with our friends 
However, our stay there went beyond all our expectations. First, Whakatane is a beautiful place near the sea and we got the chance to swim in the pacific ocean. Then, the food was memorable. Furthermore, we visited an incredible place : an active marine volcano situated on an island. And last but not least, the time spent with our friends confirmed us that they are really people we want to keep in touch with and meet again.

Let's start with the food...
Wayne carrying the best strawberries we've ever tasted, freshly picked from the field

Instant made ice cream with fresh mixed fruits
OK, I've got something to tell you here that relates to the title of the article.
We decided to go for a swim. But... Remember? We're hiking. No swimsuits in our backpacks! So, what to do? Easy : that's what underwears are made for, isn't it?
In the beautiful blue sea we went, with our underwears... The story isn't finished yet.
When I joined Marie-Laure in the water, I noticed that she would have a problem to go out of the water. Her white bra had become completely transparent because of the water. We laughed a lot about that with Jan. We solved the issue by providing her a t-shirt to get out of the sea.
A quiet beach to bath in underwear 

The kiwi Christmas Tree, a joy for our eyes
The day we arrive at his house, Wayne tells us that he has a border. That's the kind of dog I really like : smart, kind and active. We don't see the dog, but we meet the shy cat.
A woman comes in his living room, and I ask Wayne if it's his daughter, but explains me that she isn't. She's just renting a room for a few months.
The next day, as we discuss with Jan (that lives in another house), she tells us that she also has a border. And that she will pour her a glass of Baileys!!!
That's when we realize that Jan and Wayne don't have a border collie. They have a boarder, someone renting a room on their house. We shared a good laugh when I explained them our misunderstanding!
Homemade smoked trout
What do Jan and Wayne do on a beautiful Saturday morning? They go fishing! Jan had just caught 2 yummy trout fishes that Wayne smoked with manuka (tea tree).
Jan had prepared a lobster and a Coromandel mussel as starter. Wow! Fished by Wayne! Then, we had the trout, with so many side dishes : salad, foccacia, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and so many others. There was also sausages and chicken, in case we weren't full enough.
And the dessert... A homemade meringue lemon pie. All these with a lovely white wine.
What to say... You understand what I mean right?
A great surprise 
A great surprise we had when we started looking at what was to be seen in Whakatane is... The White Island. An active marine volcano that can be visited.
I decided that it would be a good way to spend the money received from my parents as a birthday gift a few days ago. So there we went. And it was just A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. The pictures will tell you more that what I could write here.
Protected from the volcanic gases 

Irritating but impressive fumaroles

In the roaring crater

More colours 

Some remains of the attempt to exploit sulfur
On the way back, we meet hundreds of dolphins, playing around the boat


  1. It was a pleasure to have you two visit for a few days and maybe you will be able to return after you finish the trail and before you head off into the Pacific.


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