As I drove in, I noticed more empty houses, less gang members on street corners, and how they're painting the town Art Deco.
There's a sign as you head into town, done in pictograms. It says "Did you: Catch a marlin, milk a cow, and dig a kumara? If not, call again!" Is it just me, or did the music from Deliverance just start playing?
And I'm sitting here realising how much more the sound of cars invades your space when it's one every ten minutes going 100km/hr instead of constant low hum..
However. Big plans, including beach, Kai Iwi Lakes (-these- are worth a 10 hour drive), old friends, some real Northland bush (watch out for booby traps), and absorbing Dargaville's kulcha wiv da cafe society (there are three).
Those of you who love small-town NZ please forgive my cynicism, I spent nine years sinking in this hole and I'd be happy if I never saw the place again. Except I love my family and they live here. So. Here I am. But I WILL take the piss. So there.