Hello again…. You may remember last time that I mentioned my very painful back… well I have spent the best part of last week on it, on the floor… watching all the snow falling outside and listening to all the chaos on the roads on the radio!!! In some ways it has been a very frustrating week because I have had to rely a lot on other people…. and I’m definitely NOT good at asking for help, in fact I useless at it and feel very embarrassed when others want to lend a hand. So it has been a humbling experience, but also a steep learning curve. A huge thanks to those who have been there for me this week… you know who you are xxxx
It has also been an opportunity… somewhat forced… to stop and think about the future, about work, my family and life in general. As a result of being reminded about my weak back I have had to re-think how and where I work. It has actually been an amazing week of revelation, insight, inspiration and planning….. I will tell more soon…..
So here we are back in New Zealand…. before I was laid up I was going to show you more of my pictures of the Bay of Islands… it’s such an amazing, stunning place….
My first full day there was spent on an excursion to 90 mile beach and Cape Reinga which is the Northern most part of new Zealand.
After being picked up from the hotel at 6.30, we made our way up to the 90 mile beach…. it isn’t actually 90 miles, its nearer 55! There are several stories as to how it became to be thought of as ninety miles long but the main one is that it was measured by missionaries riding along it on horse back, who calculated that as it took 3 days to complete and their horses covered 30 miles each day the beach was therefore ninety miles in length. What they forgot to take into consideration, however, is that the horses were moving at a much slower pace due to the fact that they were walking on sand!
So here we are setting out on our journey… the roads are actually this busy all the time!!!!
The entrance to Ninety mile beach… obviously you have to be aware of tide times are there are only a couple of places to enter/leave the beach… there was plenty of evidence along the beach of people who hadn’t taken heed of the tides and who had paid the price with their car!!! Lots of tin roofs jutting out from the sand and abandoned rusty vehicles!
The sand is quite hard in most places which enables you to drive along the beach. Incidentally, if you plan to do this in a hire car… think twice… you will NOT be insured should anything happen to you along the way!
This is a view looking back towards The Bay of Islands and the ‘hole in the rock’… more about that soon..
After driving along the beach we left via a river… yes, that’s correct, we drove along a very bumpy river bed….. to….
… some of the biggest sand dunes I have ever seen ..
This is where we piled out…………… grabbed a surf board…………… climbed the dune……….. huffing and puffing……. and surfed down again….. wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Brilliant fun, but walking up the dune was killing… one step forward….. a long slip back!
Coming down on a board was not the only way to come down!
Here we are at Cape Reinga… the northern most point of New Zealand and the place where the Pacific ocean and the Tasman sea meet… what’s amazing about this is that you can actually see where the two oceans meet… there is a definite line in the water… honest!
A long way from home…..
Just to prove it… I was actually there! Funnily enough this photo was taken by a couple who I met whilst on this excursion who were on holiday from Paignton… about 5 miles from where I lived!… small world….
This is State highway 1… the main road that runs the length of the north Island….. good condition eh???? The last house before you reach the lighthouse is 3 hours drive from the nearest supermarket… imagine that!
…. and back to Paihia for the evening…..
Remember the ‘hole in the rock’… well, here it is again but from a very different angle. the following day we took a boat trip around the Bay of Islands which included a daring drive through ‘the hole in the rock’!
A coffee stop meant that I was able to climb up high and take some photos of the islands….