[Bay of Islands] Pools. Beaches. Waterfalls!

At the moment, I'm sitting in a beautiful house surrounded by fields and dense vegetation, somewhere in Kerikeri. Phil and Asia's place is just lovely! 

I love the huge windows with the afternoon sun pouring in, all the birds singing somewhere near the house, the cool breeze coming in through open doors, the vibrant colors and cute little items, such as cups and teapots all around the house. This impromptu office I've set up for myself today is just too ideal! 

Today is a day off after a few days of adventure since we left Whangarei, and I will be preparing to be on the road again tomorrow, exploring the rest of the Northland! 

The last days in Whangarei were of relaxation and experimentation (in the kitchen), jumping in pools, taking long walks, playing with kids, watching movies, and just a lot of conversations!

Finally, it was time to leave. And we ended up camping on a wonderfully serene beach in Whananaki, where there were no other people. at all. but us. 

I could say that it was "so quiet", quiet because there's no people ... but the waves ... they were like raging horses ... crashing and pounding the shore, the wind howling and millions of birds calling (especially in the dead of the night)! 

We could do whatever we wanted there. There was no one. We ran on the beach. Played ball on the beach. Drew on the beach. Rolled on the beach. Jumped in the sea. 

And then after all that, we each turned to our own separate books, where I myself was pulled into the magic and wonder of the Lord of the Rings. Eventually falling asleep on the beach, inadvertently crossing off one thing on my long-forgotten bucket list ... 

After a spectacular (although quick) sunrise the next morning, we continued to make our way North towards the rest of Northland!

So far the Bay of Islands has been amazing! Although ... we didn't spend so much time around the "Bay" itself, but we have been enjoying quite a lot of its sun and good weather already! 


★ We jumped off rocks at least 10 meters high at Charlie's Rock, then enjoyed a cool beer and super awesome sandwich while soaking up the sun

★ We tramped to the incredible world behind the might Rainbow Falls and swam in its pool

★ We walked through the picturesque settings of the surrounding forests, rivers and waterfalls

★ We tracked around the Waipapa river towards Rainbow Falls, talking about magic and spirits and magical creatures, but turning back around the old power plant. 

★ We climbed trees, seeking comfort under its shade and bringing our conversations deeper into mysteries of human-perceived realities. (omg)

★ We bathed in the queer (I'd never thought I'd use this word ...) and hippie like pools at Ngawha Springs. There are at least 15 different pools with different temperatures, we found our favorites in both Bulldog and Cinderella! (We enjoy our mix of being manly and girly lol) 

Once again, since the hot pools in Rotorua, the ones here are really surprising me! It's nothing like what I expected, nothing like Taiwan ...

★ We savored in the weirdness and eccentricities of the little town of Kawakawa

★ We brought Jazz to the Bay

★ We witnessed the smashing triumph of the All Blacks vs France, 62:13! 

★ We went kiwi-hunting and camping at Aroha Island, spotting my first Kiwi on the second night!

★ We climbed on top of more waterfalls

★ And we picked our brains out at the most trivial (and only) Pub Quiz I've been to ... it's amazing how much everyone else knows!!! 

Quiz: Alphabetically, what is the first and last country in Europe?

Most people say that you can travel Northland in 8-10 days, even just 4 days. Or even just 2. 
Well, it has been 14 days for me now. And there is still so much to see! At this rate I might end up spending a year just in the North Island alone.

For me ... it's not only about hitting about the major places, but also BEING in the places, especially with the people and their homes. 

This home that I'm in right now, I can spend days just exploring it. Its bookshelves, CD collections, recipes in the pantry, walk around its gardens, relax on its porches, even just sitting on its couches ...

Just living with this lifestyle, it's so eco-friendly, with solar-powered energy and heated water ... birds coming to build nests right outside the house, organic tea and fruits, no microwave and no TV!

More and more, I'm getting the sense of in irrelevant and unnecessary so much of life in Taiwan (as I know it) is made up of ... 

I'm probably making such a big deal out of drinking fresh juice from fresh oranges at home, jumping in pools whenever I want, swimming under natural waterfalls, seeing sheep and cows and even alpacas just in the neighborhood ... 

Even seeing just the way gardens are designed, houses are built, even where we enjoy hot springs ... why are we putting so much effort and money into something called "landscape architecture" in Taiwan, when it can be so natural and so simple. Maybe its the limits within living in a city, but still ... I think we should be striving towards a more conscious way of living, and making our ideals manifest within our lives ...

Aaaaaand ... that's it for now! I know it is kind of short and succinct, cheating with a lot of pictures, but just because there is just so much happening, I can't even keep up with myself!
So come on Northland! Show me what more have you got?

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