Published: October 8th 2007September 22nd 2007
Papamoa Hills Cultural Heritage Regional Park Sept 22, 2007
Just South of Tauranga and Mt. Maunganui is Papamoa Beach which is somewhat famous for Blow Carts which are Go-Karts with sails. They were invented here, of course. The World Blow Cart championships are usually here. More on this later.
Inland from Papamoa Beach toward Te Puke is the Papamoa Hills Cultural Heritage Regional Park. To my knowledge this is a Pa (a hilly Maori defense position). It is a fairly steep hill that has a good view of the Papamoa coast line and the surrounding farm land. The park is shared with lots of grazing sheep. Once we reached the top, we found ourselves in a low lying cloud with misty rain. Not unusual this time of year. The sheep pretty well checkered the ground with little brown surprises. Once mixed with a little water it is similar to little goose surprises. On the way down, we stopped to take in a view of the rolling farm land and pasture when out in front of us walked six turkeys. They had no concern about the surrounding sheep and less concern with us. Ben said over and over, “I wish
Uncle Steve could see this. I want to go hunting.” Had the boy a knife or perhaps a piece of string…. Once down the hill, we stopped at a road side market to stock up on fresh asparagus and avocados. They had large stems of orchids for $3.50 NZ each. Eat your heart out Trish Newman and Joe Howe. (Sarah - I have also bought bunches of flowers from South Africa called Portea. They are big seed pods, about 4 inches around, with bright yellow spires shooting out. I can get a bunch for about 3 bucks. The locals cut stems of orchids out of their gardens and sell them on the side of the road for a few dollars.)
On the way home we headed for the Kaiate Falls. From the car park the trail is short but steep. The tri-level falls are spectacular. We were the only ones there that day, but I hear that it is a popular swimming hole. (Sarah - Hiking to these sites is a challenge for me. I take lots of opportunities to stop and look. They have done a good job of building steps and bridges over some of the steep
Turkey and Lamb. Just add Potatoes and Vegies.
spots, but hundreds of steps are still hundreds of steps. Ben, of course, takes them two at a time). On the way back we inspected an Ostrich Farm. (Sarah - I was driving so I just pulled over on the side of the road next to the farmhouse. The roads are very narrow here. So we are sitting there trying to call the big ostrich over, when I see a car in the distance, speeding toward me. I am thinking to myself that it will slow as it gets nearer and pass in the other lane. It keeps coming at speed. Mark is halfway out of the car, trying to get a picture of this ostrich. Ben is in the back, yelling at me to get off the road. The car is still speeding toward my bumper. I start forward, Mark jumps back in, Ben is still yelling…as the paperboy in the car flings a newspaper perfectly out of his window, onto the porch of the farmhouse, and swerves into the other lane to pass inches from my bumper. We never got a good picture of that ostrich.)
Many may wonder, what about Grace? Where is Grace? On this
They also can be seen on the road ways. We have not hit one....yet.
day she was in her element - downtown shopping with her new friends, Rosanna and Chantel. She had a sleep over the night before. It was nice to hear giggly girls around the house. They are nice girls, one is a Kiwi and the other is a South African. (Sarah - they caught the bus on our street and showed Grace how to transfer to another line to get downtown.
On Monday at work, I recanted my excitement about seeing all of the turkeys the previous week end. No one was impressed. It seems that most turkeys are somewhat domesticated. They do not hunt them. That would not be sporting. As best that I can tell they don’t eat them either. I tried to explain how elusive turkeys are in Arkansas, and that many of my friends use all of their cunning and skill to bag one. Again, they were not impressed. One of the nurses is from Arkansas, and laughed. He said, “I tell my friends back home that the way we hunt turkeys in NZ is to hit them on the head with a stick of butter on the way to the oven.” One of my patients
Upper and middle sections.
was injured while pig hunting. They do that with a knife. As I have said before, it is easy to feel ordinary in New Zealand.
There are more photos below