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Vanesa/ Nicole’s Travel Diary

Tuesday, 01 Dec 2009

Location: Whitianga, New Zealand

MapAfter feeling the adrenaline rush from cliff jumping, we wanted more. Monday is our only day off during the week. So what is on the agenda for today? Swimming with sharks? Not daring enough. Bungy jumping? Save that one for Taupo. Skydiving? Not today. Driving on two wheels and on the left side of the road? Sure, sign me up for motor biking. Contract signed, helmet done up, gloves on. Wow, we look like pro`s now.

“Okay ladies I want you to drive around this parking lot and get use to balancing on the bike. Make sure that you are driving on the left side, not the right side as you crazy Canadians would generally do. “

After a 5 minute trial test we were ready to hit the road. We are definitely feeling the need for speed today.

“Vanesa, you know how to get to Hot Water Beach eh? You lead the way and I will follow.”

So there we were driving down the curving roads of Coromandel. We are driving on the left hand side, on two wheels, without a care in the world. With the wind in our hair, clouds parting, it was looking to be an awesome day. Okay, maybe we spoke too fast. You see this would not be a “Nicole and Vanesa Adventure” without something crazy happening. Not too long after these thoughts came to mind, wouldn’t you know one of the scooters shut down only after 10 minutes of departure down the road.

Honk. Honk. Honk.

As Vanesa looks into her rear view mirror she notices Nicole beeping at her to pull over. Super Vanesa to the rescue! Assuming something was seriously the matter Vanesa rushes off her bike to check it out.

“My blinkers won’t shut off for some reason, can you have a look?” Nicole replies.

“You pulled me over for this? You would pull me over for something like this.” Vanesa replies.

After looking at Nicole`s motor bike and getting the blinkers to properly work we were on the road again. Well at least one of us was.

As Vanesa returns to her bike she puts the key in the ignition and after multiple attempts the bike would not start up. There we were in the middle of nowhere with one broken down motor bike. Of course this would happen to us, go figure. Within a few minutes of trying to start up the motor bike a kind lady passing by in a small blue car instantly rushes to pull off to the side to see if we were okay. Of course we were alright, but the motor bike was not. Luckily we were only 10 minutes down the road to get help from the rental shop. So Vanesa quickly jumped on the working bike to get assistance Off she went, speeding down the road while Nicole patiently waited for her return. Within the time frame Vanesa was gone to get help five cars had pulled over to see if Nicole was okay. It is so comforting to know people are so generous and willing to help out around here.

Within 15 minutes of waiting around Vanesa returns with the owner who followed behind in a motor bike, although the bike she came back with was faster than both bikes. After some investigation it turns out that we had flooded the engine to Vanesa’s bike, so that is why it wouldn’t start.

“Here Nicole, you ride this bike because Vanesa will not be able to reach the ground. This new one is much faster and technical. It can also reach speeds up to 90 km/hour so just be careful and have fun.”

Once again, we were finally on the road again. Take two. We were cruising down the road, no cars in sight, surrounded by glorious views of the ocean, fern trees and once in a while a flock of sheep.

Once we got to our destination spot we took some pictures, visited gift shops, and a local cafe. Remembering that we had to fill up with gas and had limited time left we quickly hopped on our bikes towards the Hahei Petrol Station. Hope we make it to the station before we run out of gas. Gas tank open, gas nozzle lifted, and the tank is now full to get back. Phew! Actually, we had 10 minutes to get back. With one minute to spare we made it back to the bike shop in one piece and no first aid kit required - this time around. That was one heck of a ride and an adrenaline rush to last the day.

We can’t just go home after a day like that. I know let’s go over to Whitianga tonight. “Show of Shows.” Community members were putting on a play at the Mercury Bay Club (which is similar to the Rotary Club) that was free of admission. Already we feel like locals, attending a play in support of the town. As we walked into the doors, the entire room was packed and we could not find seats. Where would we sit? Good thing we noticed some familiar people up at the front. Alright, VIP seats. Not bad for coming in late. Okay, so we were sitting on the ground but we were front row and close enough to smell the sweat. First few acts were from various plays such as Sound of Music, Dirty Dancing and Mama Mia. After a 15 minute intermission the show ended with Moulin Rouge and the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Let me tell you, the man who played the main role in the Rocky Horror Picture Show was walking a little too comfortable in those stiletto shoes. I bet he has done that walk many times before.

After two hours of watching the Show of Shows Musical Play, you bet we were in the mood for singing and dancing.

“Hey Vanesa, it`s Karaoke Night at Blacksmiths, feeling brave?”

“You bet ya.”

As we walk into the Karaoke Club it seemed fairly quiet at first. Then we discovered that karaoke night did not start until 9:30pm. We decided to stop at the cafe for a coffee to kill time. After a good caffeine fix, Nicole and Vanesa were ready to rock it on stage. Except upon arrival, they noticed only five more people showed up. Looks like this will be an interesting night with a big crowd. Well we made it this far so it looks like we will pick up a book and find a song.

“Hmmm, what song will we pick? It has to be one we both know.”

“Vanesa, do you know Jailhouse Rock, by Elvis Presley?” (Nicole's dad loves Elvis so this one is for him.)

“I cannot think of how it goes at the moment, but we will give it a shot.”

Both unsure of how the song began, we were relying on the words on screen to come up clearly. At this point, the room was started to fill up fast, however not to many brave people had gone up on stage. Okay, time is ticking. We now have 1 hour until our ferry departs for the other side so we don’t have much time. Now we know how Cinderella felt when she had to leave the ball by midnight.

Feeling nervous and unsure whether or not to go on stage first, Nicole and Vanesa make a plan to grab the first person we spot who is interested in singing. Vanesa goes to hand a guy the song list, when Nicole grabs him. This confident young fellow seemed excited to go on stage and we both sensed that he could sing. Without a thought, Nicole blurts out that they would all go on stage and sing Jailhouse Rock. Although neither Vanesa nor Luke knew the song too well, they agreed to it. Before we knew it we were called on stage to perform no other than Jailhouse Rock.

“This song is much faster then I remember it being.” said Vanesa during a musical break.

“I don’t even think our mic is on.” replied Nicole.

Let’s just say, thank goodness for Luke. Otherwise this brave moment of singing would have been an embarrassing disaster. Ok, we think that is enough for one day, plus the ferry stops running at 11:00 so if we want to make it back we needed to get going. What a day, what a day!

Today was also the start of the Coromandel Pohutakawa Festival. The Eggsentric Cafe each year hosts a week long Sculpture Symposium. Early Monday morning we had 14 sculptors and wood carvers from all over New Zealand arrive to begin working. It has been nothing but noise and dust since then, but we are super excited to see the completed artwork.