Between Whale Riders and a bunch of Australian Queens....

I'm at the Bay of Plenty, staying in a beach house (yep, I said BEACH HOUSE) with this adorable couchsurfing couple and having a blast! They love food, I love cooking... you get the idea! It all started on sunday, when they picked me up from the bus station in Tauranga and we went down to the beach to meet another couchsurfing couple (she's from Mosambique, he's from Brazil...or something like that) and have a picnic on the beach. As usual, when a bunch of couchsurfers meet, conversation was not hard to find and we found ourselves in a three hour long chat about different experiences and all kinds of places in Africa and South America (I have to do so much more traveling now...) We then drove "home" to Omokorora Beach and started my short stay with some Italian dinner and more cs-stories, which eventually led to Warwick and Chris suggesting we'd watch Priscilla, Queen of the desert! Oh---my---god--- what a HILAROUS (but also kind of serious) movie! *hihihi* and, all the while, I had to think about Julian, who had told me months ago that I should watch this... you were right, honey :) Awesome film, loads of fun!

Omokorora beach!

I decided to take it a little easier on monday and only went for a short walk around the peninsula - that already gave me some great views though :)

View of Mount Maunganui
The path kinda led through people's back yard, but it was so beautiful! And then I found this little picnic spot... absolutely gorgeous!

Picnic in Paradise
....did I mention that I love this country?!? ;) That night, we had Bakony (now also available in NZ ) and watched a local film called Whale rider. It's about this little Maori girl who was the only daughter of the chief's son and since the son refused, she would have been chief only that she was a girl. It is absolutely heartwrenching and really really beautiful... The total contrast to Priscilla, but perfect for a film night in New Zealand. The Maori really are an interesting people... Absolutely recommend watching it!

Today, we drove over to Tauranga to climb Mount Maunganui. Not the biggest mountain, but a nice steep little walk nevertheless... Oh, but the views! The views!!!!

...it's just a few steps to the top...

....there are no words for this....

After that climb, we were all a bit tired, so we had some ice cream, and a meat pie (yep, in that order) and then a nice and relaxed afternoon back at the beach house. For dinner tonight, I had the honor of creating my own Pavlova for dessert. I know it doesn't sound like it, but it's a Kiwi specialty. And, I have to admit, it's actually quite good...

apparently, I felt very geometrical today...
My next couch is already "booked" and Chris and Warwick kindly offered to take me to Rotorua tomorrow. All in all, it's been another fantastic couchsurfing experience and I hope I can show them around my little town someday! This trip has been as chaotic as it has been amazing - can't wait to see what the weekend brings :)

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