My dad is busy watching Ted while I write my blog.
Monday is normally our day off to do some family stuff and this week was no exception (thank god because I totally needed a day away from the takeaway) so we packed ourselves into the car and went to see some friends. Johan and Francina sailed all the way from South Africa to New Zealand in their tiny little boat. They spent 8 months in this small area in the middle of the sea with no one else for company but each other. I personally think that's a pretty epic thing to do and I would not have the balls to do that. I don't have any photos of the boat thought because it's in the yard being fixed after Johan and Francina hit something in the harbour and couldn't sail to Auckland like they originally planned. I think someone is trying to tell them that they're needed here, every time they try to leave, something prevents them from going.
It was so hot that we did stuff inside most of the day. I watched Pitch Perfect for the 100th time, swooned over Skylar Astin a little bit and then we had an amazing lunch of cold meats, fresh bread and pickles. When it finally began to cool down, Johan and Francina came round and we all packed ourselves into the car and headed for the local hot springs.
The pools themselves can vary from freezing to boiling but you can check the temperatures on the board when you go in so you can see which ones are best for you. Some of the pools fell on council land beside the hot springs but those have been gifted back to the Maori family who run the springs so there are still areas of the hot springs that are being developed. There are always new pools popping up. Wooden boards are used to give the pools structure while they grow and the new pools tend to be a milky colour which indicates colder water. A lot of people think that it's mud at the bottom of the pools but they put wooden boards down to form a floor and there are boards around the edges as seating as well.
They have an honesty box which is just immense. It's actually a hole in the door frame. You'll only see that in New Zealand.
Our last Monday off before this, we went for a drive to Russell via the old road and ended up going to Whangarei where we had KFC. Now, I have been eating KFC since I was very small. In fact, my father supplied all of the plumbing equipment for our local KFC and we ended up eating there for free for almost 4 years so when it comes to seasoned chicken, I know what I'm talking about. However, the KFC in Whangarei is just downright awful. Never go there. Ever. It's disgusting and filthy and just...eww. So I filled out a complaint form online and was sent a gift voucher for $20. Considering there were 3 of us, it's not a lot of money to have off and I only got it on 2nd February and it expires at the end of the month. But we took Johan and Francina with us and it ended up being $25.50 for all 5 of us and we all had plenty of food so that was good. We went to the KFC in Kaikohe which is just leaps and bounds better.
I'm still trying to get the sulphur smell out of my hair but it's slowly getting better so that's good.
The pools are supposed to help different ailments. One pool is for muscle aches, another is for skin conditions and a few of them are just for relaxation. There's a list on the board when you go in that tells you all about the different benefits and I must say that I'm definitely feeling them. My dad pulled a muscle Monday morning loading boxes into the car so the pools were fantastic for him and incredibly well timed while I have some sun spots on my back that are clearing up nicely after our little dip.
These are the kind of days that make me really proud of living in this country. It's a beautiful place to be and our whole family is very lucky to be here so thanks NZ Immigration for letting us in. And just in case you didn't know how stunning this place is, here's a little visual acknowledgment of it's beauty.