So here are some photos. More photos. The kids and I all went to Linds's home in Pauanui and were there together for a night before they went on to Auckland and Waitomo, where they stayed in a Hobbit hotel, and went to see the glow-worm caves.
David just loves all this LOTR, and Hobbiton was on the way. Well, Matamata was really.
We arrived at Pauanui rather early, and so we went down to the beach for a while, and looked around. I had another 2 days in Pauanui with Linds after the kids left, and we explored the Coromandel. It is absolutely beautiful, as you can see. Just look at the amazing scenery!
You can also see my family clowning about too!Linds's husband went back to Auckland on the Monday, so we had time alone, and it was perfect. So many conversations, and so much to see and do. And chocolate to eat. Of course. I wanted to see her life in 3D, just like I wanted to see Diana's, and I have done just that. Time is always too short though, isn't it.
On the first day of the great exploration, we walked to Cathedral Cove. There
is no access except on foot or by boat, and it is about 45 mins walk. Down the cliffs. We did it is about 25 and were exceedingly smug. Hah. You should have seen us heading back up. We looked like 2 old crones, and were beyond speech. Just plodding up those steps was enough! And Linds's husband called her mid-plod, and we were trying not to laugh at the same time as trying not to sound as though we were approaching death. Just strolling along, we were!
There were very few people there, and when the tide is high, you cannot get through the cave. We sat on the beach, and I even put my feet in the Pacific! That was a first. The water was crystal clear. Magic.
I wrote "Linds x 2" in the sand there, and here we are.... Linds x 2.
I just cannot tell you how beautiful it all is.
Then we explored the coves and villages along the coast, and came to Hot water Beach. This is an amazing place. You walk to the headland, clutching a spade, and there you dig into the sand at low tide, and the hole fills up with hot water. In places, the beach sand bubbles. The steam rises around you, and you lie there. (Well, we watched. I mean, who would consider packing a bathing costume in the middle of winter? Or appearing in public in it?) And, being a logical mother type person, I was thinking....exactly HOW thin is the Earth's crust here? What if you fall into the centre of the earth etc etc. Hilarious. When you get too hot, and believe me, I was doing some fancy Irish dancing steps in places, you run into the freezing sea to cool down. As I said, this is a fascinating place!
The sunset on the way home was spectacular.
And on the last morning in Pauanui, we walked around the coastal path to a place called Flat Rock. Just look at what I could see. Isn't it amazing? So beautiful. You really do need to come and see for yourselves. I am becoming a one woman NZ tourist board here. They need to supply me with free tickets.
And so, there you are. I have taken nearly 3000 photos. I may post a couple more now and then. It is now Friday morning, and I leave tonight. My case is packed and waiting in the car, and Diana is doing her music group with 40 pre-schoolers in the hall next door. They are singing loudly. It will soon be time to say goodbye, and I really hate doing that.
This morning, she fetched me and we went to Breakers Beach and watched some intrepid surfers riding, or attempting to ride the huge waves. It was and is another beautiful day. Wellington has been wonderful. The scenery is so lovely, and so are all the people I have met. Can you believe that the mother of one of Diana's flat mates, was in the same class as me back at University in Cape Town all those years ago??? How incredible is that?? We know and remember the same people. And if anyone had said to us 34 years ago, that one day our daughters would be sharing a flat in Wellington, we would never have believed them. This is a very small world.
Right then. I am off. Over and out until I am back at home in hopefully, sunny England.