Huntly, New Zealand

Huntly Travel Blog

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Huntly, New Zealand - At Kaitiaki Monument with our first Maori buddy!

Ok, so the good news is that hitchhiking in New Zealand works rather well!  We literally waited less than a minute before being picked up by this nice young woman on her way to work!  

We really didn’t know what to expect, considering we’d been told that hitching on the highway was illegal and actually that people could get fined if caught doing so by the police. 

And so, what did we do? . . . We waited just at the entrance of the highway, and voilà, a minute later we found ourselves in this woman’s car!!

So getting out of Auckland wasn’t as difficult as we had imagined!  Perfect!

And things continued this way pretty much for the remaining rides to come, all very nice folks, eager to help out a couple of backpackers! 

We had our very first encounter with a Maori fellow, who was a very interesting chap.  I, personally, didn’t know much about them . . . really just what I’d heard from Arnaud. 

So, of course, that would include the All Blacks rugby team and hence obviously the infamous "haka," which is none other than the traditional Maori dance performed at ceremonies. 

Completely ignorant to the culture and traditions of New Zealand’s Maori people!  Shame on me!!

Anyway, this guy made sure to fill us in on some details and also gave us a little tour of his hometown, Huntly, including a visit to some of the nearby Marae, which is the communal meeting house of the Maori. Very interesting!!

And to top it off, Arnaud got the chance to experience a Hongi first-hand, which is a traditional Maori greeting consisting of pressing foreheads and noses . . . just picture these guys doing it!  Pretty neat!

Lots of cool stuff that morning, but it wasn’t over just yet . . .

On savait pas trop à quoi s’attendre par rapport au stop, et je dois dire qu’on a jamais aussi peu attendu sur un endroit.

À l’entrée d’une branche d’autoroute d’Auckland, une chinoise nous a pris au bout de 10 secondes, bon elle nous a laissé au milieu de l’autoroute quelques kilomètres plus tard mais on peut pas tout avoir non plus !

Car en NZ faire du stop est interdit sur l’autoroute. Par contre à l’entrée de l’autoroute s’est autorisé, il y a un petit panneau.

C’est en voyageant en stop que l’on rencontre les meilleurs personnes, et « damn it » c’est tellement vrai, j’ai eu le plaisir de rencontrer mon premier ami Maori.

J’avoue celui-là il était un peu fou, mais il m’a donné un « Hongi », quand il m’a dit au revoir. Il m’a touché le nez avec le sien et a baissé la tête jusqu’à ce qu’on se touche le front mutuellement, histoire d’échanger nos esprits.

C’est un rituel de bienvenue, et moi j’ai eu l’honneur de le vivre !

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Huntly, New Zealand - At Kaitiaki …
Huntly, New Zealand - At Kaitiaki…
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photo by: rjgalvan77