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Published: January 9th 2011
Hello folks...blogging tonight is going to come in 2 chapters.
The answer to the above question is when we are talking 90 Mile Beach at the very Northernmost point of the North Island. Something to do with estimating how far does a bullock pull a cart in one day( in the old days) and then someone worked it out so the beach must be 90 miles....when in fact it is 60 miles long....well 90 sounds better and so the name stayed. So yesterday I took a tour in a bus to the North - Cape Reinga. First we stopped ina forest to see the massive Kauri tress ( not more bloody fotos of trees I hear you say!!!) Again you cannot get the scale on fotos - some are 800 year old - 50 m high and very BIG in diameter 4m. Some of the trees which are being carved now have been found in fallen in swamps and have been dated at 2-4 thousand years old!!! One can only stand a stare as your gaze travels upwards and tries to take the size in.
The scenery on our route was quite beautiful - rolling hills, some cleared farmed
and grassy , some forested and bush, some old volcanic plugs and deposits - winding roads sometimes quite steep ...some remains of Maori Pa - hilltop forts, beautiful scenic bays as the road hugs the coast ...and then as you go further North sand dunes - massive sand dunes.... and thats where we were headed next. We accessed the dunes via a stream - a bit of a bumpy ride - but the driver was obviously quite used to this off road driving. The more energetic of the group got the sandboards out at trekked up to the top of the dunes and rode down for fun. I took myself off for a walk along the stream and climbed a much smaller dune and sat and watched in peace and quiet ...was lovely... and no flies like in the dunes in Dubai. Next stop was along an unsealed road - more bumping about- and down a steep incline to a little cove looking out to the Pacific - picnic lunch stop and a swim - well jumping over the waves for me - it was a bit rough for swimming for me. And finally we then drove and walked the
last bit up to the lighthouse at Cape Reinga- stunning views - I am running out of adjectives.
At this spot the Maori believe the spirits of the dead leave Aotearoa (New Zealand) and then travel to an island about 60 miles north before they finally go to their spirit homeland. A nice story- I like that. There is a programme of native plant regeneration going on at the Cape and so I paid up took a trowel and bottle of water and planted a New Zealand Xmas tree for Michael... that seemed appropriate. The name of this tree is Pohutakawa and they have red flowers at Xmas time ( I missed them flowering)...Michael would have liked that. So any of you in the future coming the the North Island will be able to visit Michael's tree.
Off we went again back across to the sanddunes and then right onto the 90 Mile beach - it is the long peninsula at the top of NZ... look on a map. Its quite something to ride all the way down the beach with the Tasman Sea on one side of you and sand dunes on the other - words fail me. On
we drove down here.
and on we drove...with a stop for fotos. Finally after a visit to a Kauri wood workshop where the staircase was carved out of the inside of a massive trees and the workshop then built around it...we all piled into a fish n chip shop ( the driver having phoned the orders ahead) and ate them in the bus on the final leg home. I was pretty tired when I got back - so it was nice to be able to sit on the verandah in the sun with a cuppa before jumping into the pool - it had been a scorching day here at Kerikeri - not so hot where I had been.
So now its Sunday - that was Saturday's adventure - and yes as someone commented I have hit the ground running here in NZ ....will run out of steam at some point I am sure and need some R+R !!! It's a tough life. Latest news from Suzanne is she has arrived in Los Angeles - got to Santa Monica ok - got upgraded at hotel and says hotel is fab ...she hasnt slept for 24 hrs but is out exploring....good lass.
Sunday's adventures to
To the top.
Silly buggers- fancy trudging up all that way.
be contd in chapter 2.
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