Okay, so I lied, had one more little excursion. Rented a little Toyota Echo and went up to the tip of the North Island of New Zealand and went sledding down the giant dunes up there. I was virtually the only person there when I arrived which was a bit of a bummer but then someone arrived shortly after from Berlin and was kind enough to film and take photos for me. The video is more impressive than the photos. I took a major spill 2/3 way down the hill and just started somersaulting like crazy. Was awesome. Unfortunately I only have photos of me jumping and sledding down a relatively teeny dune to the one I sledded down and had the major spill.
Climbing up that hill was so killer. This dune was enormous. Much bigger than the ones in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Unfortunately the photo doesn't quite do it justice.
Sledding down the teeny dune:
Oh, and I almost forgot. I was forced to put up my tent in the middle of a storm because I arrived in Paihia up in the north at 11:30pm and all the Hostels were closed. After wrestling with my tent which was convinced it was a kite from the powerful wind I finally got it pinned to the ground with stakes and had it properly erected. When I had the tent up I couldn't find the fly anywhere. It was pretty warm and I figured it would clear up soon since earlier there was a very red sunset (red sky at night, sailor's delight - red sky at morning, sailor's take warning) so I crawled into the already wet tent and put my raincoat over my head and tried to sleep midst the fwapping and rattling of the tent which was being nearly flattened against me inside it. -- Well if there ever was anything farther from the truth I know it not. I woke up periodically during the night from the constant noise and by morning I was lying in two inches of water. The wind was still howling and when I crawled out of my tent and into the car (why didn't I just sleep in the car?) the radio report was calling for a severe weather advisory with wind gusts up to 120kph/hr (hurricane force) and 100mil of rain. After sitting in the car for an hour tired and trying to figure out what I was gonna do with all my wet stuff and my bedraggled tent I went outside into the storm to take it down. It had somehow freed itself from the stakes, the wind was that strong.
It was a bit difficult getting a good picture.