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Day 4: Coromandel

April 13, 2010 1 comment

Saturday, 04 April, 2010:

I’m starting here writing this log.  I thought I would keep a videolog for this trip, which I half-heartedly attempted for the first few days.  I just can’t keep it up, though.  I feel silly talking to a video camera, especially when other people are around.  And I can’t seem to collect my thoughts in order to make it.  Paper is better.

So, to note, this was actually written before the previous three days.


Treasure Island

Uretiti Beach in the morning. Peering over the dunes and with the foggy islands in the distance, it looked almost magical.

Woke up this morning in my car, actually having gotten a full night’s sleep last night.  I watched some Friends and talked to Kat a bit before I went to bed.  It’s nice to have cell reception to be able to talk to people (ie: Kat and parents (and Lena, but now she’s in Australia and unreachable)).  It gets a little lonely otherwise.

I suppose lonely isn’t the right word.  I’m fine when I’m by myself.  It’s when I’m around other people, strangers, and I see them with their family and friends that I miss my own.

It doesn’t feel like Easter is tomorrow.


Katrina's Shell

Katrina asked me to pick her up a seashell from my travels, so I got this one from Uretiti.


Mussel

Mussel on Uretiti Beach

Anyway, I took a short walk on the beach with my camera.  It was very peaceful once I got away from the campsite, and the water was warm.  (Peaceful, that is, barring the naked man in the water.  Luckily, he was far enough away that I didn’t see anything.)

I took a cold shower this morning because that’s all they had.  First time I’ve ever really taken a fully cold shower.  It was refreshing, and woke me right up.


The Square Kauri

The Kauri trees are the New Zealand equivalent of the California Redwoods. This particular tree, the Square Kauri, is the 15th largest in New Zealand. At 1200 years old and 30 feet around, it was fairly impressive.

I did far too much driving today, and my eyes got sore.  Drove down Highway 1 (the main highway) and into Auckland.  Stopped in a town along the way to eat a quick lunch and pick up some groceries (4 cans of baked beans for $5).

Baked beans have become my dinner staple.  They’re cheap and taste good, even cold.  Mixed with some bread, it’s decently filling and semi-nutritious.  Do beans count as veges, or are they just protein?  The Kiwis eat their baked beans on toast in the morning (like the British), but the beans are a little different.  Not much more than sweet kidney beans in tomato sauce (like spaghetti sauce).

Didn’t actually have to drive through Auckland, thank God, but got to go around it on the highway.  (I keep wanting to call it the Interstate, but they don’t have states.)  The road was crowded, but opened up a bit once I got on Highway 25, the road to the Coromandel Peninsula.

Coromandel is pretty.  Lots of rolling hills, a few small mountains, and lots of rocky coast with a few small beaches.  I didn’t actually make it up to the town of Coromandel, but instead cut off the highway to a small gravel road, the Tapu-Coroglen road.  It was 30 km of windy, narrow, steep gravel road, and it was lots of fun.

At one point, I came to the Square Kauri tree, one of the large trees that used to make up the Northern forests.  This one actually had a square trunk, 30 ft. around the base and 100+ ft. high.  It’s the 15th largest in New Zealand.  When I got there, there was a big family that was sprinkling what looked like a box of sand around the area.  When I realized it was someone’s ashes, I got a bit freaked out and left.

I stopped at Cathedral Cove, apparently the filming location of the entrance scene into Narnia in Prince Caspian.  Yes, it was pretty, but it really wasn’t much different than any other beach


Jandals

These flip-flops (called "jandals" by the Kiwis) were on a fence just outside of Hot Water Beach.

here. I snapped a picture, didn’t even bother to check if it was any good, and took off towards my campsite and away from busloads of crazy tourists.

This is the nicest campsite I’ve been at, despite the fact that I had to ford a stream to get here.  There are hot showers (for a fee) and gas stoves (also for a fee).  There are walks to a goldmine and a waterfall that I hope to check out tomorrow.

I think I’ll stay here tomorrow, too.

Full Set: North Island Trip

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