Friday, February 17, 2017

Hiking, Hot Tubs, and Caves

The Ring of Fire trip, August 28th, 2013; Day Twenty-Five of Thirty-Two.

I woke up early in the town of Mount Maunganui to try to catch the sunrise on the water but the sun was hiding behind a thick wall of clouds. But, I figured I would take advantage of the morning anyways. There was a small hike up Mount Maunganui (Mauao for short) that overlooked the city and beaches. A ton of other people were walking or running the trail, more running on the way down of course. However, I was surprised at how many people were on the trail so early in the morning, on a Wednesday.

The view also showed me just how far onto the peninsula I was, it was incredible. Unfortunately, I lost 90% of my pictures from this trip but you can see it HERE. It's a much better angle than I would ever get. The beaches on both sides were stunning and would normally be swamped with people in the summer, alas it was still their winter. Afterwards, I decided to finally get a real breakfast, so I stopped at a place along the beach. It was quite expensive but delicious nonetheless, and New Zealand is generally more expensive than the states so I knew what to expect. It is sometimes nice to enjoy the local places and take a break; it is a vacation after all.

There is a little beach up north called Hot Water beach. When the tied is low you can dig a hole and “boiling” water comes up from the ground. The bubbles are actually carbon being released but the water is hot like a hot tub heated from a geothermal reservoir under the sand. How could I not go?! This sounded amazing after the hikes I had done and I found it about two hours later of driving and searching. The beach was nice but it ended up being high tide so I couldn’t enjoy the hot tub on the beach. However, not far was cathedral cove so I made the trip there.

The day ended up being gorgeous after some rain and the beaches combined with caves was very picturesque, almost like the white cliffs of Dover. One cave went from the beach through a rock and out to sea. It would be an amazing place to camp for the night, unless the water comes up.

Once I got back to the car and made a sandwich, it started to pour. Also, I had a fresh kiwi from the farm and it was so very good. They are known as the kiwis and thus have the best I have ever had. I was very happy to be in the car. The people watching wasn't half bad either.

Anyways, I wanted to get back in the daylight to see the farm so I started my journey back. I made it back to the area but had not been told or asked for the exit to get back to the farm, crap! After driving around for a little while I stopped at a petrol station and simply asked. Sometimes you have to bite the bullet. They let me use the phone to call Malcolm, go on the wifi, and made it back with no problem, just in time for another home cooked meal. So glad to be back to get a warm shower and a bed to sleep after a few days in the back of a car.

Read the full trip chronicles, here.

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