It was about 2am when I got to bed last night. I woke up this morning and went for breakfast at 7.30am. God was I wrecked! After being up yesterday morning at 6am and not going to bed till late and having a few drinks, I was zombied. Straight after breakfast, the army guys left. Before they did though, Robert and Joe said a few words in English and Maori, to thank them for their help over the past few days. The waka guys did a haka, and it was followed by a waiata. The army did the same. Their leader thanked Joe, Robert and everyone for sharing their kaupapa with them. They did a haka too. At the end of the ‘goodbyes’ everyone in the waka group lined up and the army did a hongi with all of us. It was sad to see them go.
Synthia, a woman who I got talking to the night before, offered to drive me to the hostel, Captain Bob’s, where I had planned to stay for my last two days in Paihia. So after I put my stuff in her car, I said goodbye to everyone and headed off. I wanted to see Paihia again. It’s one of my favourite little spots in New Zealand and there were things that I wanted to see here again.
I didn’t do much though today. It was strange to be on my own again, after the great weekend I’d had at the waka camp. It was a big anticlimax, I must admit. But that’s all part of traveling. I got myself some lunch, had a quick walk around and later in the evening, I went out for dinner. I went back to this great Chinese restaurant, which I’ve been to twice before. It’s called the King Wah Chinese Restaurant. Their buffet is fantastic. For 30NZD you have a choice of six or seven main dishes, starters such as prawn crackers, spring rolls, etc and various desserts, tea and coffee.
It’s the best value I’ve come across in a long time and the food is delicious. Always fresh and tasty. It’s in the Paihia Mall, in the centre of the town. After dinner, I needed to find somewhere to catch up on my journal. So I sat down by the pier, wrote for a while and took in the gorgeous view: a full moon, silhouettes of the boats moored up in the inky blue water of the bay and peace and quiet. It was like a scene from a film. I love Paihia at night. The walkways along the main road are very close to the beach, the little stone church on Marsden Rd is beautiful all lit up and some of the restaurants and cafes along the main road hum quietly with the sound of their clientele enjoying their meals.