Coromandel, New Zealand
9th December 2019

It's been a quiet almost two weeks since my last update but now just enough has happened that I can justify a new post! To be honest, I've not been up to much. I am in a routine of working, running, relaxing and sleeping. Work has been good. It's really simple work and the people are nice. I can't complain.

On Wednesday, Izzy and I went to the Lost Spring. Thank God they found it because it's really really nice. A restaurant and spa located in Whitianga, the Lost Spring is one of the top attractions in the Coromandel. Dip into the warm natural springs (about the temperature of a nice hot bath, enough to get you sweating) and have a bite to eat or a cocktail at the same time. It was excellent! They offer massages too, which Izzy took advantage of. No photos of this experience since phones and water don't get along swimmingly.

On Friday we took a stroll to Lonely Bay and Shakespeare Cliff. The cliff was named by James Cook upon arriving at Cook's Beach in 1769 (thus 'discovering' New Zealand) as it resembled William Shakespeare's face. I didn't see it myself. The view from the clifftop is breathtaking (the panorama didn't turn out quite right but I think it shows the beauty well enough) and Lonely Bay is incredible.

Now, a not so great thing about the Coromandel right now is phyllotocus macleayi. If you're not familiar, the common name is the Two-tone Nectar Scarab beetle, or the Christmas beetle. For a week or two before Christmas these flying bastards will claim a tree as home and during the night they come out in their thousands to congregate at light sources. Naturally they picked the tree opposite my tent and now every evening the tree comes alive and half-witted scarabs head to the kitchen and toilet block lights to discuss their Christmas plans. I'm not sure they planned to end up in my dinner, but that's happened a few times now.

Hopefully you won't have noticed some technical alterations to this website in the past week, but a lot has changed behind the scenes. We now have new hosting (hurray!) and new security (huzzah!). This was a pain to manage with poor internet due to local internet upgrade works (irony?). Should have no more website issues to deal with for the rest of my time in New Zealand - although saying that is sure to curse me. This all means that the website URL has subtly changed.

My plans for Christmas have flip flopped and twizzle twaddled. Currently I am going to a backpackers gathering near to the Tongariro crossing. Izzy and I have been thinking of attending this event for over a month and as it's come closer and closer we've become less convinced about it. We've had to pay a small deposit to secure a room, which I am 20% sure is a scam. Saying that, it's been feeling more legitimate in the past few days so we am hoping we don't turn up to a rural town with nowhere to stay. Not to worry though, because whatever happens I know I'll have a chill Christmas.

That's all from this side of the planet. Your weather forecast for the next 13 hours (assuming by great coincidence it is identical to my previous 13 hours) is hot and stuffy until 5pm, light drizzle until 11pm and crazy lightning storm and torrential rain into the night. And power outages, apparently. It's a beautiful day in paradise. Updates to come.

View from Shakespeare Cliff over Mercury Bay. Whitianga to around to the left