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Vanesa/ Nicole’s Travel Diary

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2009

Location: Whitianga, New Zealand

MapAs mentioned in our last entry we had the Coromandel Pohutakawa Festival going on all week. The poor artists outside sculpting had one rough week. The weather was terrible, there was a whole lot of rain, rain, and more rain. The ground beneath their feet was flooding, their tents were blowing over, they were cold and wet, but they persevered and completed all of their sculptures on schedule. We decided that if we were them, we would have given up a long time ago.

It was a fascinating experience to watch the week long transformation from a large chunk of rock or log of wood into a creative piece of artwork. On the last day of the festival judges admire the artwork and choose the first and second place winners. First prize is $3000, and the sculpture remains on the Eggsentric Cafe grounds as part of the permanent collection. Second Place gets $2000 and their sculpture is placed at the Hideaway lodge for permanent placement. In the afternoon the rest of the sculptures were auctioned off to the locals.

During the day on Friday we had the worst storm that we have ever seen. It poured straight for 24 hours. Roads were flooding and it didn’t look like it was going to let up. It was our day off though and we refused to sit in our flat and do nothing. So we decided to go into town for coffee and maybe see a movie. We decided to go see the movie Couples Retreat. Such a good movie, we recommend it to everyone. That evening there was a concert going on at Blacksmith’s, a popular New Zealand Reggae band. We had decided the previous night that we were not going to go to the concert. Somewhere along our walk home from the movie, with our umbrella’s breaking from the wind, inches of water in our shoes, hair dripping and make-up running we decided it would be a good idea to venture back out and make it to that once in a lifetime New Zealand artist concert. After Paul dropped us off at the ferry, Nicole almost tried to walk on water (That is how high the water levels were, dead even with the dock.) We made it across the ferry and after a 5 minute walk to the pub we finally arrived (looking like wet dogs might we add.)The concert was amazing! The band had a bit of a Bob Marley sound to it. We danced the night away with our friends, and learnt a new song or two.

The following day during our sun tanning session we were rudely interrupted by a gentlemen whistling at us. Who could that be? As we turn our heads it is no other then Dave (the past owner of Eggsentric, and Jason’s dad.)

Do you lovely ladies want to go sailing? We need some babes on board!

Do we ever!

Dave owns a beautiful catamaran and took us out on one of the nicest days of the year thus far, he even let us drive. You see that mountain straight ahead? Head for it! After a big detour on our way back with Chris (a sculptor) at the wheel we ended up zig zagging across the bay as he missed our turn off multiple times. It was pretty entertaining to watch. Once we finally anchored the catamaran we had to take a row boat ride in to shore. Chris being inexperienced on the water decided to jump out of the boat first, thus causing the weight in the boat to be unevenly distributed. Due to this Dave, Nicole and Vanesa went flying into the water. What a way to end a wonderful day!