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Thursday, December 2, 2010

48th Stop - Waiheke Island, New Zealand

Beach a short walk from Steve's place
Did it again! Not paying attention when buying tickets gets you in at around 1 am in the morning. Steve from Waiheke Island was going to host me but I needed to get a place for the night. Auckland’s airport is great if you show up without making reservations anywhere: they’ve got phones to all the backpackers places, just pick a number and dial!

The next morning, I got on the ferry to Waiheke Island. Little did I realize I would be staying on a beautiful paradise outside of Auckland; a cross between Martha’s Vineyard and Provence with wineries, pristine beaches, lush curious flora and laid back locals.

Steve and Atma, an Italian couchsurfer Steve was hosting at the same time, picked me up and we wasted little time: to the beach! And by beach I mean nude beach (sorry, no pictures, unless you’re a really close friend ;-).

The next few days were really chill: beach, biking around the vineyards, wine tastings, home-cooked meal and gastropub dining. Atma even taught me some yoga postures! One night, we went to a community movie house, with couches instead of seats, to see Eat, Pray, Love. This reminded me a lot of my trip, except my mouth isn’t as big as Julia Roberts. I got her beat with the nose though!

Atma enjoying her vegetarian fare
Date of picture: November 30, 2010
Wicked flora

Casita Miro
Gastrowinery lunch with Steve and Atma

View from Steve's terrace
Overlooking the nude beach
We had some great conversations and I learned a lot about the clothing business, property transactions, and yoga. I also learned from Atma that you can use avocado as a butter substitute. It is delicious on toast with thinly sliced tomatoes, a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper. All in all, a fabulous time on Waiheke Island with Steve and Atma. Thanks again to both of you!

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