Since December 24th I have been spending my summer holidays in New Zealand traveling on my own. Not just simply backpacking or touring with travel agencies. I have been cycling around New Zealand.
Cycling on my own has been more satisfying and more exciting than I could have ever thought. I have already seen a lot and met a bunch of really nice people. One of the greatest adventures so far took place in the beautiful area called Bay of Islands. I was on my way to the little touristy Paihia town when I heard a clicking noise coming from my bike. Suddenly, the back wheel breaks started to rub against my wheel, constantly interrupting the movement. I could not ride anymore.
Luckily, a really nice kiwi woman pulled over to help. She kindly offered to take me with the bike to the town. I did not say no. I felt quite lost for a moment as travel plan started falling apart. I got told by the guy who was fixing my bike that it will take a couple of days to get all the parts needed for repairing the bicycle. I did not know where to stay or what to do during that time.
Without going much into the details, I got to meet a local Ngapuhi tribe guy on the first night of my stay in Paihia. He kindly offered me to set up my tent in his backyard and hang out with him and a couple of other traveling folks from around the world. I agreed. That was the best decision I could have made. I did not only get a private free tour around Bay of Islands and surrounding areas but I also got to meet a lot of local Ngapuhi guys, learn about their culture and everyday life.
When my visit was coming to an end I decided to make a little bracelet with Lithuanian flag colors (that’s where I am originally from) as a memory for my new Ngapuhi friend Tone.
The bracelets containing yellow, green and (red) were made by me. I hope he liked them:).
I ended up making 3 bracelets. Tone put so much effort in keeping all of us, travelers, entertained and kept inviting me out with him for lunches to meet more local people. I felt that I owe him.
After I gave Tone the bracelets I received a surprise gift myself. Tone made me a necklace with a shell found on one of the islands near by and also gave a couple of bracelets made by the girls that have once stayed at his place.
Since the day I got the necklace and the bracelets I have not taken them off. Every single morning when I wake up and see the bracelets on my hand I start smiling. They now remind me of a wonderful time in Paihia and that laid-back lifestyle of the local people.