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Published: February 10th 2007
The East Cape is the Eastern most spot on the mainland New Zealand's and after various stops along the way to take more picture of the amazing coast line, we arrived at the Eastender Backpackers in the early afternoon. We were greeted by Rich, the one-armed Maori who runs the backpacker with his wife, and who is the proud owner of 24 beautiful horses. (btw, he lost his arm in a shark attack!!!) After a short introduction into horsemanship, we set out to ride along the beach, through the crashing waves, (which was just simply amazing,... imagine a beach, for miles not a single other person in sight, a bit of driftwood, waves splashing and crashing, and then you on a horse... a dream, really) after about 20 min of riding along the water, we turned inland, had to cross a river where our horses were in the water to their bellies, and rode up the hill to get to the top of the ridge overlooking the ocean, and the vast hills behind us. What a view!! After a short rest, we rode back down to our little farm, and were greeted by yet another Maori family. Now it was time for us to be taught in the Art of Bone Carving. We all had picked out a design for our necklaces before we went riding, and were now presented with our basic shapes for our necklaces. So off we went to the work shop, where we carved, polished and sandpapered our amulettes into beautiful pieces of jewelry. Needless to say that i have not taken mine off, and am wearing it proudly. After such a "hard" day, our hangi dinner was just what we needed, and so we relaxed with full bellies, somewhat aching bones (from the horsetrack) and a wide grin around the bonfire under the stars. Another not so bad day in New Zealand!
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