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Published: March 13th 2007
Mahaka River Gorge
Bill caught a number of 22-28 inch rainbow trout on the Mohaka River in Central North Island
Heading toward the sunny north-eastern coast aptly named Bay of Plenty, we stopped at the Agrodome to visit a huge organic farm and see a sheep show----yup, a sheep show. It involved 19 kinds of sheep, a demonstration of shearing and a great demo of a sheepdog rounding up a small herd and pushing them through a series of paddocks. Then we motored on to make a pre-arranged visit to a childhood friend of Lex Voorhees (from our UU church- Lex and our Kiwi host Robert are both Dutchborn and spent part of their childhood in a Japanese Concentration Camp during WWII in Indonesia. Their families had been settlers in Indonesia.)
The visit near Tauranga was another warm and extended exchange that ended in a dinner and a grand evening. Robert's son even helped us work out this blog so that we can finally (we hope)put our pictures WITH the blog!
The next day we settled into the tiny cottage we've booked for 4 nights in Whiritoa (pronounced "firytoa") at the entrance to the beautiful Coromandel Peninsula. We were dazzled to see that the porch of our garage sized cottage is just yards (..er meters)from a splendid lagoon with waves of
The Pacific Ocean from Cottage
Our tiny cottage looks out on a lagoon and the Pacific beyond
the Pacific breaking just beyond. The minature kitchen is quite adequate so we continue to enjoy the 'self-catering" feature of our housing so far.
On Sunday, we drove the full coastline of the peninsula with each view of the water more dazzling than the one before.
The highlight was the Driving Creek Railroad and Pottery Shop. A young Kiwi escaped the confines of Auckland in the 60's to make pottery in this beautiful place. He found excellent clay high in the bush-covered mountains on the western coast. In order to get the clay down the mountains, he devised and, with the help of some willing local lads, hand-built an elaborate narrow-gage railroad over the decades. They've expanded and perfected the train so that it now can carry 500 visitors a day---the train fees now support a number of potters in their work. This project is yet another example of Kiwi ingenuity. We're impressed with the inventive spirit of an isolated society where individuals just devise what they need.
Today we're off for a bone-carving class, a gratifying diversion on a rainy day.
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