Friday, October 19, 2007

Special Places


Whatuwhiwhi to Kahoe Farms Hostel
Location: 35 03’ 10.9” S, 173 41’ 10.1 E
Distance: 52.6k
Time: 3:01:33
Avg Speed: 17.0kph
Terrain: I’ll bet you can guess yourself!

If you’ve traveled a lot you’ve found those outstanding places that for whatever reason are unforgettable. We found one of those places today.
We have been retracing our route back to the Bay of Islands since leaving Ninety Mile Beach. Instead of staying at the same places we wanted to mix it up a bit. Last evening we ventured out onto the Karikari Peninsula and Doubtless Bay. Today we arrived at the Kahoe Farms Hostel. It’s in a beautiful valley that is actually the most unique area I’ve seen in the Northland. There are craggy volcanic outcroppings towering above the standard rolling green hills.
No one was around when we arrived so we had a preview ourselves and were immediately taken in by the atmosphere. Simplicity is the best way to describe it. We particularly enjoyed exploring the dining room since it listed out all of the homemade pizzas and pastas available for the evening meal.
Eventually Stefano, one of the hosts, came out to greet us. We introduced ourselves and felt very welcome right away. I was really excited about the place as we walked around and listened to Stefano talk about the history of the farm and all of the outdoor activities available during our stay. I was ready to book a second night but I didn’t want to blurt anything out and catch Chris off guard. I just sensed that we’d be missing out if we took off again tomorrow. Luckily, Chris tapped me on the shoulder as we walked into another room and whispered “I think we should stay two nights!”.
The farm has been working since 1887. It is run today by the brother and cousin of our other host, Lyndsey. We are staying in a room in the Villa, the original house. We have the place to ourselves and felt right at home as soon as we walked through the door. It’s a nice treat after spending the last week in the tent.
I think most people drive through this valley on their way to some other “tourist destination” in the area. It would be easy to do. I’m certainly glad we have the time to slow down and relax at a special place like this. It’s one of the reasons why we travel.

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