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Published: June 18th 2007
So, we headed out again after a couple days stay in Auckland..andthe first 6 pictures are where we woke up ..
we headed south east to a beatiful area called the Coromandel. kind of overcast and rainy and windy but it is still wonderful. We stayed at a hostel and everyone thought we were crazy for staying in a tent in that weather, but it wasnt so bad. we met a couple and they had just come from the direction we were headed so they gave us some pointers for cool and free things to do..they were also going to be flying to LA and traveling up the west coast of the U.S. to Canada, then over to NY.. so we gave them some pointers for California and Oregon..
We went to check out a campsite on the eastern side of the coromandel, the campsite wasn't so hot, but we foud a beatiful beach.. so it worked out.
We hung out till the clouds came then headed down to a town called Whitianga (in Maori, the native language of NZ, 'Wh' is pronouced like an 'f'). not much happened we walked around, had some chips
we slept in our car here and had a photoshoot
and salsa and beer.. then slept in our car.
The next morning, we headed to a place called Cathedral Cove...wow..we got tipped off from a lady at the information center and are glad we went...a half hour walk on a path led us to an amazing beach with a huge opening in a rock leading to another beach, few people were around, and no one was at the other beach because the tide was a little high and i guess no one wanted to get wet??
...So we had this beatiful beach to ourselves till the sun went away..
We got some cheep wine, had some gourmet pasta from a camping stove and went to sleep in our car again in the parking lot of some other beach.
Next, we went to Hot Water Beach...properly named, there's a hot water spring on the beach, just under the sand. So at low tide, with a lttle effort and hopefully a barrowed shovel, you go and dig a little hot tub..and relax..you kinda got to find the right spot where it's not too hot..then you lounge till you get too hot, then jump in the cold ocean..then
Hot Water Beach
lounging in burning hot water,in sand, on the beach
hot tub it again, then ocean...and so forth...very cool place..or hot i guess..
after the Hot Water Beach we drove down to Rotorua..a city surounded be natural hot springs.. everywhere..Geothermal Fields underly much of the city, and the use the steam from these hot springs to get there energy..http://www.nzgeothermal.org.nz/geothermal_energy/nz_geothermal_fields.asp
We camped at another hostel in Rotorua, someone stole our beer from the fridge that night.. sad..
we hung out, then headed over to Kerosene creek..a place near Rainbow Mountain that we got a tip from by the couple we met. Not on any of the tourist maps..we had to ask the information place and they had to draw it on a map for us..they said there is a sign..sometimes. we figured the locals don't want lots of people there. and it's understandable..a fresh hot water river..with a small section damed off by fallen trees just below a small waterfall to create a good sized pool of wonderful warm water...mmmmm
a surreal experience..again no one was there..the whole place to ourselves it was amazing.
We then headed to Touapo, to a free campsite Cara had stayed at before..right along side a beatiful river, and near Huka Falls,
a fresh hot pool
a fast river of water that has over time cut down through the stone..
we camped, we got our car stuck on a hill with really wet grass and paid two guys two beers to push us out..we woke..checked out Huka Falls.. went to sheck out "the craters of the moon" some thing that cost 5 bucks that we didn't have..so we didn't actually see anything.. o well..
it happens pretty often..at least every 5 or 10 minutes theres a sign on the side of road directing to some cool thing to check out, water falls, hot pools, beaches, coves, look out points,caves, mountins, walks hikes, rivers, lakes, natural wonders, .. all over the place.. some cost money but most that are away form the big cities are free. so much to see and do.
So....after Taoupo, we drove to the west coast to a small Surf town, Raglan, a place Cara had been to when she first came to NZ and fell in love with. A pretty cool town, with some really cool beaches jsut outside..we hung out at a lookout point above the beach and witness an amazing sunset, with clouds waving goodbye and lions fighting
a free campground in Taupo
giant rats (see pictures) and we weren't even on drugs. then we hung out on the beach at night..looked at stars..with no large city lights anywhere near, the stars are brilliant..and shooting stars every couple minutes..
aside from our own galaxy, you can see two other galaxies that you cant see while in the northern hemisphere..pretty amazing.. there was also a storm way off shore so there was blasts of lightning every so often to add to the night sky..good stuff.
we slept in our car in the parking lot then headed back to Auckland the next morning, and are now getting ready for our flight to Rorotanga tomorrow..the capital of the Cook Islands..samll group east of Samoa in the south Pacific..
I don't think im sorry this is so long, but this is the shortest version and i still feel like i left out so much...
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