I took the 5:30pm ferry to Waiheke, which only took 35 minutes. The water was so choppy, I have no idea how I didn’t get sick. The boat kept going sideways and up/down! It was super cloudy and drizzling. Upon landing, I caught a bus to Hekerua Rd, which led me to Hekerua Lodge, the backpacker’s hostel I was staying at. I had to hike through the forest to get to it, kind of neat I guess. This hostel is just a house with a deck, where music was blasting and people were hanging out. No shoes are allowed in the house. There’s a living room and kitchen, and then upstairs has a few bathrooms and showers and then some rooms. My room was on the end near the balcony, a tiny single with just a bed and table. My first impression of this lodge: hippieville! I was a bit creeped out though I probably shouldn’t have been.
I decided to explore the area around 7:30pm. The main part of the island was completely dead! Almost everything was closed and no one was around! So eerie. I bought some food at the supermarket for the next day. Luckily I’d eaten a BK salad/fries in Auckland before the ferry ride. I also got a little thing of ice cream and ate it by the water. Then I returned to the lodge and read and went to bed.
On Friday the 10th I woke up around 8:30 and the weather looked ok so I decided to spend the day walking around the island. After an hour or so I ended up at Palm Beach and caught some good views from above. Waiheke is quite hilly – lots of houses built on hills overlooking the water, which makes for steep driveways. Palm Beach actually had other people on it, but not too many. I spent the afternoon laying on the beach; though it quickly turned cloudy, I ended up bright red on my back legs. I finally finished the Da Vinci Code – can you say awesome? It really was, and it’s quite refreshing to read a suspenseful book other than Agatha Christie. I’m really eager to see the movie now!
It was good to finally have a day to just lay on the beach, even if it was cloudy and sprinkling rain. I actually prefer it when the sun isn’t beating down on me, but the air is warm and the ocean breeze is coming in to cool me off. Such a good feeling. The sound of waves crashing is pretty soothing too.
Around 4:00, I finally continued my island trek. I went southward to the southern coast, stopping near the bottom for dinner [chicken and veggie curry]. It started to pour when I was leaving, so I ate my dinner in a covered busstop. Then the rain let up and I walked along the coast by a few beaches. Lots of docked sailboats. This island is supposed to have white sand beaches, but all the ones I saw had light brown [very soft/fine]. As I was about to leave the beaches and go northward, I encountered a soft gray kitty by the beach on a road of houses – big cat, too! He seemed to like me though. I also saw the coolest house ever on this road – very modern looking, slanted roofs, bright colors, nice gardens.
Going northward, there were nice views of the harbor and vineyard. I went into the main part of town in Oneroa and people were actually around! Amazing. I got a Hokey Pokey ice cream cone and walked back content with my day. Waiheke wasn’t all it was hyped up to be, but I also think I’ve seen so much incredible scenery lately that my senses have been dulled down. At least I got some good sleep there!