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Many Adventures of a Nomadic Poet A young poet with Asperger's makes travel his passion, and away he goes...

Cape Reinga and Ninety Mile Beach

NEW ZEALAND | Tuesday, 10 January 2006 | Views [1004]

            My 4th day in New Zealand has been perhaps my most adventuresome and most eventful. So, I’ll recap it with you. Today was my tour of Cape Reinga. Tom woke me up at 6:30 and I got dressed, brushed my teeth and went down to the lobby for breakfast. I had bacon, hash browns, pears, and pineapple juice. I filled myself up good so I wouldn’t be hungry on the bus ride. Only Tom and I decided on the Cape Reinga tour. Before I came here I wanted to go swimming with the dolphins, but there isn’t enough time. I’m happy though. Our director met us at 7:15 and we were on our way. We picked up a few others and started heading north. The driver told us about the Morioris and about how they were like an inferior race to the Maoris. I also learned about Kupe, who is an important figure in Maori mythology. We then passed through Kerikeri, which means “dig dig” in the Maori language. There are a lot of interesting names here! Our first stop on our journey was the Kauri rainforest, which was incredibly beautiful. It was like being in the Amazon jungle. I got several great pictures. Up the road a bit, we stopped at a Shell station for snacks. I bought myself some sunnies (sunglasses) and a touring map of New Zealand. On the way, I was talking to this girl from the United Kingdom. Her name was Kaye, and she was very cute! I wish I could meet a nice girl and live forever here. As we were going, I saw large herds of sheep. I remember Elizabeth telling me her grandparents have like 3,000 sheep! I can believe it, if they live here. A little while up the road, we started driving on Ninety Mile Beach, which in reality is only 64 miles long. Our driver told us that settlers used the length of a cow to measure it. It was so awesome driving ON the beach. Along our journey, we stopped and saw part of a dead whale. It didn’t look too pleasant. A few minutes later, we stopped and checked out a beat-up Mercedes which was half buried in the sand. Our driver told us it was only there like weeks and that the owner of the car had been driving on the beach and had got stuck in the sand. That sucks I reckon! I got a picture with Kaye standing on the hood of the car. Then, off we were! Our next stop was sand boarding. I’m sure not the type for activity, but c’mon, I’m in New Zealand, I got to try new stuff. The sand dunes were amazing! What a great landscape this place has! After getting off the bus, the driver got the boards out and explained the basics. The walk up to the top of the dunes was very exerting. At the top, I was amazed at how beautiful the scenery was. Then, I hit the dunes. It felt so awesome going down. I had to give it a second go, so I went back up, even though it was a tough, calorie-burning hike up. I took pictures of the view from the top, and then I was on my board again. The second go was much better than the first. After our sand boarding excursion, we got onto the road again. We drove through this area that had been reforested and then we went to the beach. It’s a good thing I had my beach gear on. I hit the waves and walked up on the rocks for awhile. Then, I jumped back into the water. As I was walking up to the sand, I almost picked up a jellyfish. Praise the Lord I didn’t get stung. That would not have been fun. We all relaxed for awhile on the beach, and this one girl, Rachel, decided to go topless. Back home, that’s a $500 fine. After hanging out at the beach we were on our way to the Cape. We drove along for about ten minutes until we reached Cape Reinga, the northernmost point of New Zealand. I’m so excited that I reached the top of New Zealand! I hope there is a tour to Bluff or Invercargill, so I can reach the bottom of Aotearoa, as well. At Cape Reinga, we walked up to the lighthouse. There was this hill there near the parking lot, but we couldn’t climb it because it was considered sacred to the Maoris. I really wanted a picture of the signs that point to Los Angeles, Sydney, and all those places, but somebody took them all down. Hopefully, no one stole them! The scenery from the Cape was perhaps the most beautiful I’ve ever seen! It was so wonderful; I could have stayed up there forever. I took a picture with Kaye with the ocean in the background. How amazing is that? We hung around Cape Reinga for about a half hour and then we started heading back. I took a short nap on the way back. Our next stop was the Ancient Kauri Kingdom. It was a shop that displays carvings of wood from ancient Kauri trees. One carving I really liked was of an Australian frilled lizard, and another of a whale with a man on its back. Inside, there was a spectacular spiral staircase that was carved out of the inside of a Kauri tree trunk. At the gift shop, I bought a salt spoon made of Kauri wood, some postcards, and some paua shell pieces. Earlier at the beach I gathered some shells as well. At the Kingdom, the driver took our orders for fish & chips. Only $5, I thought it was quite a bargain. So, we drove and then picked up the fish & chips, and they turned out to be the absolute best fish & chips I’ve ever had. They were absolutely delicious! Our final stop of the day was the fruit stand the driver told us about earlier. The owners were very friendly and the gentleman gave me a two cent New Zealand coin. I also bought a bag of tangerines, which I love. I even sampled a bunch of them at the stand. On our way back, we passed again through Kerikeri. We dropped some of our fellow travellers off before getting dropped off at our hotel. I got Kaye’s email before she left, as I’m sure going to miss her. I was worn out and sunburnt. I took a shower to rinse off the sand and clean myself up. Man, did it feel good. Afterward, I dressed into some nice clothes. My phone card was in my back pocket of my other pants. I thought I had lost it yesterday. I called my mom and told her about my day and then left messages with T.C., Shirene, Carrie, and Kyle. I hope everyone is OK at home. Last year it rained cats and dogs all while I was in Australia. After I was done on the phone, I got a couple of Red Bulls to give me the evening jolt. I walked down to Salty’s and got one of their pizzas. I have to say it was bonza! I hung down in that area with some of the guys and met some very pretty girls. This one girl Katie was absolutely beautiful and she lives in the Bay of Islands. I also sat down with these girls from Sweden, and down on the beach, I met this girl from Argentina. I don’t want to leave!! Tomorrow, we are off to Waitomo Caves, where I’ll go blackwater rafting. At 11 PM, I treated myself to a Diet Coke with a touch of rum, and then decided to call it a night. Today was perhaps my best day yet. It’s so much fun travelling with other people. Well, it’s very late, and I have another exciting day ahead tomorrow, so I’ll see you then. Good Night.

Tags: adventures

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