So as the weather was bad, I checked in earlier at my new hostel Kario Lodge, which I wanted to try as set in a lush national park, surrounded by trees making it very tropical feeling. It does mean it is far out though so need transport, originally the only thing putting me off staying there as being near the town much easier. But after 2 nights of the town and feeling like seen all of it, it’s time to try a new place.
The hostel is cute too with little seating areas in the sun, bike hire and sauna. My dorm I end up sharing with the same German girl from Kaikora, which is funny especially as she doesn’t recognise me at first and I have to be the one to say she looks very similar to a girl in my room in Kaikora and then she said she was haha. Nice to have a familiar face there.
So the weather is improved and the hostel is sending a surf van down, so I can get a return lift to the main beach which is huge help. It’s a nice group all friendly enough. The board and wetsuit cost $35 (£17) as a guest rate so only $5 than the town hostel.
The beach is quite busy and the waves are better, but still not perfect conditions although I manage plenty of times to stand up and ride the surf for decent amount of time. It’s like previous day and in the whitewash more, but powerful when they break so good for beginners. The current is pretty strong so hard to get out to the right point and tiring, but worth it when you catch a good wave. So staying out until about 5 I get good amount of time there and head back on the bus to the lodge.
At the lodge jump straight into a nice warm shower as it’s cold and get changed to go for a walk to catch the sunset. As the hostel is set in acres of bush there are plenty of walks, but not enough time really. So I come across a lookout point, which has a great view of the sea and forest. Timing is perfect as the sun is just setting and colours are beautiful pinks and purples. Shame can’t actually see the dun as forest in way, but so relaxing to sit at the lookout and see the colours darken.
Walking back in the dark the road is just forest and there are glow worms, but can’t see them yet. So head back to cook food and main kitchen really busy with a school trip cooking for 30 and have the biggest pots ever seen haha. The smaller kitchen is where all people staying or working there are. Get chatting to them – a few London guys and they are going to town to the one and only pub Vendetta. They invite me along as driving since it’s about 15mins from town, so go for a couple which is cool to see it as only been in hostel so far. Its all english who are there, Toby from Newquay, Karl from Bristol both real surfer dudes, Ali and Lucy from London who ex boyfriend is Jon Snow aka Kit which is a cool claim. There is also a California guy and French girl.
After the pub and back at lodge, the school trip is away in bed so the lounge is free and the guys who are massively into surfing no surprise as it’s Raglan, put on a documentary about a famous surfer called Mark Ochipulco an Aussie dude who in the 80’s was huge then had a comeback in 00’s. Amazing to watch how he surfs and goes through the barrels for such long times and such huge waves. After the documentary everyone heads to bed, so not a late one and it’s just me and the German girl I met from Kaikora.
April 13th 2016