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Ahipara to New Plymouth

USA | Wednesday, 21 December 2011 | Views [344]

It has been too long but I will put down some of the highlights of the last 2 weeks. Not much has happened so I took some time off. When we last left off I was in Ahipara beach and had just gotten back from the northern cape. I ended up staying a little too long in Ahipara. The actual beach is the southern curve of 90 mile beach. 90 mile is known for being flat and 90 miles of hard sand so most people drive as fast as they want on the hard pack of the wet sand. I opted to not take my "bongo" van down there, because you need 4x4 to get from the road to the hard sand and back. I helped push some of the brave/dumb drivers out of soft sand instead. One evening at the campground I recognized one of the fellows there, and another, and another. They were some of the germans from Kerikeri. I spent a few days hanging out with them and english Rob. We even went surfing for a whole day. It was an ok swell but the tides were off and there was howling off shore wind that at one point attempted to blow rob and I out to the Tasman sea. Low tide rolling in and a strong wind kept pushing us out or at the least impeding our progress to feel the sweet support of the sand under our feet. Obviously we made it in or I would be sending this from Aus. The weather detiereared over the next 5 or so days. Rain, wind and a cold air pretty much shut down the fun factory that was my beach time. I however did get to watch RG3 get the heisman (Sic em Bears!) And the cowboys on sunday night football. The campground had ESPN so I sat there on a monday afternoon watching NFL. I had to explain the game to some and let the ridicule of the greatest sport fall on deaf ears. There was a sense of shared sadness in the group when the cowboys let me down. I explained to them that its football and I did not know how the window-licking, mouth-breather Eli manning won the game. I had to make a move, not because of the game but I had to see somewhere new. Baylys Beach was then next stop. It's a hazardous beach north of Dargaville. I also was attracted to Dargaville because it was finally a chance to throw some discs in NZ. I found the course and a map easily. I threw for par but when it was all said and done I was one disc down and bug-bitten. I lost a driver in the "jungle". I spent 45 min looking for it and figure it gone forever. The next day was rain and even though I gave fishing with new tackle a shot it just was not worth it. The weather got worse and I decided to move along south. Since it was thursday I knew that music trivia was going on at the Drake in Auckland. I got there just in time to turn in my application for a work ID#, which is separate but in unison with my visa. Off to the bar at 5 p.m. and I did not see the people there who told me they meet there every thursday for trivia. I have done this before so I settled in to a cheap pitcher of beer drank in the rest of my book. After a while I got to know some blokes who played for the local cricket team and talked for a while. Out of the blue a group was waving at me from outside the bar in the smoking section. It was my friends!!  When they came in they showed me to their table and I joined in the last few rounds of trivia, Damn you JJ Cale/Clapton mixup. I also participated in christmas crackers. That is every boys dream, a firecracker and a small present combined. Pop the popper and get the prize. It was great fun! I have been invited back and now have the phone #'s of some of them for when I am in town. The next morning and day were great. The sun was up so I went for a walk through the harbor and took in the solar rays that my body and mind had been missing. Around noon I hit the road to Raglan.

Raglan is a small surfing town which is a must for anyone who likes that vibe and an artsy feel. I drove along the coast and stopped where ever I could get a nice vista of the waves and ocean. It was so awesome, around each turn in the road was a better view. Even before I had gotten to town I had been filled with amazement by the bridal veil falls. I have seen them in Yosemite and pictures of one in South America but this was awesome to see for myself. A smallish (12 foot across) muddy river wound its way through dense bush and ferns long a walkway. The walk was short but the vegetation here is so neat. The ferns look like the ones seen in junior high science books being eaten by stegosaurus. Others seen to have been designed by a Dr. Seuss illustrator. The green shades and musty smell just put me at ease. I could hear the river flowing through rocks and over fallen trees but then I could hear a kind of soft woosh. I expected to here thunderous crashing but it was not so. I came to a large valley and stood on a cliff overlooking a 55 meter drop. The whole stream/river dumped over the falls into a small pool. It was breath taking (pictures on FB). So back to Raglan. I was impressed with the little village and stayed at a nice camp/surf lodge. I will cover that place more when I go back because that deserves a return visit. I had to run because I was foo to New plymouth to meet my Uncle Dean's friend Merv Potter. He has taken me in and invited me to stay for christmas. I obliged and have been trying to do some things to earn my keep. Tonight is my night to cook tea or as we call it dinner. So wish me luck! They have been so inviting and nice here, they have made me feel at home. I am even part of the secret santa. I will move on after christmas to somewhere but for now I am with good folks. Merry Christmas every one and Have a great week! Please watch some college football for me. Pura Vida!

Tags: 90 mile beach, baylys beach, new plymouth, raglan


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