Time seems to have sped up lately as we continue to get closer to our leave date for Bali. As I write this, its June 16th here and we leave on the 19th at an ungodly early hour. We sold the camper van last week and it went smooth as silk. I think we both kept thinking it was going far too easily, but I’m not going to question it anymore. We’re both feeling it’s loss, but I think at this point that’s just compounded by last get togethers with friends here as well. Luckily, we will be coming back for ten days or so after Bali so there is still that to look forward to. I’m going to try to fill y’all in on the rest of the trip back to Auckland before we go. Lets see how far I can get today.
After looking in the Cook book, Marc drove to Deliverance Cove and Castle Point. On the map, it’s located straight east of Masterton on the coast. This is where we each got a free dermabrasion treatment courtesy of the wind that intensified during our tramp up Castle Rock. I stuck to the trail, but Marc was more adventurous and struck out for the top of the rock. He made it too and got some scary pictures over the side. Once he returned, we fought our way over to the lighthouse. The wind was fierce by that time and we had to literally hold onto the fence to keep from being blown to Africa! Great views though and in the lee it was awesome to see the wind literally lifting the sea and blowing it into little water spouts. Very cool.
Stopped by a graveyard while we were killing time looking for a place to camp for the night. *Face Palm*Groan* We’ve done that several times to check out the stones and read the dates. It was a very peaceful place with beautiful old graves on the side of the mountain with only one opportunistic horse for a neigh…bor. All animals in this country have me pegged as an easy mark. I gave this one our last carrot.
We kept heading north and our next scenic spot was Waihi Falls in Tararua. A long drive down a metal road ended with a short tramp along a ridge to get to the falls. It was stunning! Even more amazing, we were the only ones there! If we’d had more time and it had been warmer, this would have definitely been a place to go for a skinny dip and overnight.
The next spot was just a stop for a quick photo and some lunch. Taumatawhakatangihangakauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukopokaiwhenuakitanatahu holds the record for the longest place-name in the world. The name has something to do with a Maori chief grieving for the loss of his brother after they fought to get through the area.
Sometimes, even our camp sites were way scenic. On the way to Napier, we stayed at an apple orchard. Dick, the owner took me around and showed me NZ Splendor apples which can’t be bought in stores because they bruise too easily during shipping. Boy, were they good. An emigrant from the Netherlands, he was such a nice, salt of the earth guy. He showed me what a sugar core looks like in an apple. This is when liquid sugar collects in the center of an apple. Makes it that much sweeter.
I had been wanting to check out Napier since first hearing about all the art deco buildings there. You see, there was an earthquake in Napier in 1931 that basically destroyed most of the city. Art Deco was popular at the time and as a result the city was rebuilt in that style. We spent one full day and part of the next wandering about town looking at all the buildings and enjoying the ambiance. Dinner that night was fabulous too. If you’re ever in Napier I highly recommend Milk and Honey.
I think I’m going to end this post here today as our focus shifted after Napier. We headed for Taupo and Rotorua for the geothermal action next so that’s where I will start the next post. All, hot and steamy as it were. In the meantime, hope you enjoyed the pictures and hope the weather is not as rainy wherever you are as it is here today. Cheers!