Raglan Travel Blog› entry 62 of 206 › view all entries
Up early this morning and we drove towards Hamilton first for supplies, passing by a view of the Alderman Islands and learned a little bit about the Kiwi bird. The Kiwi bird is New Zealand's native bird, but like many flightless birds it suffered by the introduction of non-native species who predated on them, the most voracious and hated of which is the possum. The possum is well-loved in Australia as a national animal, but in New Zealand it is responsible for the degradation of many native bird species, and also for the destruction of much vegetation and natural habitat. It was introduced as a hunting species initially and populations were kept down by shooting and many people made good money selling the pelts, but when the fur trade came under attack, hunting stopped and the populations spiralled out of control.
We stopped in Paihia for coffee on the way, which is the home of the national drink of New Zealand, L&P. So the story goes there was a natural spring locally and a business was set up to sell the water, but then they added lemon and a fruit called Paihia and so was born the national favourite. The first time you drink it it tastes a bit bizarre, it seems to taste like no fruit I've tasted before, but I persisted and eventually decided it tasted much like I remembered Mountain Dew which makes it a lot more palatable.
We then raced on to Raglan, one of New Zealand's most famous surfing town.
Back at the hostel I had bought in to a group mexican meal so we all got together and cooked in the staff kitchen. It was one of the best meals I've had for a while, and we played 'The Pirates of the Carribean' card game to decide who would do the washing up. I lost! We played some scrabble, at which I had an unfair advantage over the Germans and the Swedes being English! And then headed to our lovely comfortable room.