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Next Stop, the East Cape – Day 34
Saturday 30th April 2005
Today I would be heading east to catch a glimpse of the sunrise on the East Cape. I had read about it on many little leaflets, and it seemed too good an opportunity to miss, especially as I was in the area.
I didn’t manage much sleep last night thanks to a girl who was snoring the whole night in the dormitory of about 6 or 7 people. I also had a top bunk which had a metal frame, and squeaked extremely loudly every time I so much as wiggled my ears. With another girl scratching all night, there was a whole concoction of sounds, all contributing to me not sleeping. Getting out of bed to use the bathroom was a task as well, and I’m sure I woke everyone up with the screeching from my bed frame. I had half a mind to sleep outside on the hammock, and the more I thought about it, the more I felt the urge to go, but alas I stayed where I was, motionless to avoid any sound.
Having made it through to the next morning without screaming, I was relieved to be getting out of bed and to be getting ready to depart. I liked this place for the location and the hostel, but I needed to be moving onwards, and I needed to find a place where I could sleep without interruption, but my next stop would not be the place for sleep.
I was headed today for the East Cape, but not before having a brief chat with the Beach House owner, Steve. He is a mechanic and took a shine to my car. He explained how most people had the same sort of cars, and he commented on how he rarely sees cars like mine. After having a look at it, he said he loved it, and told me I had done very well to get it, especially at the price at which I had acquired it. This made me feel a lot happier about decisions I had made earlier on this trip, and I left with a smile on my face.
My first stop along the way was at a school near Torere. The reason for this is the woodcarving that makes up the gateway to the school. The carving is very famous, and extremely fascinating. It is also fairly big. I used this opportunity to ring home and to catch up on things. I tried to ring the previous day from a phone box, and found out that collect calls cost around 100 dollars. This was obviously not an option any more, so I had to ring from my mobile. It was good to speak to people.
Along the journey today, I found myself driving around the edge of a huge valley, and as I descended deeper into the valley, it was clear that there was a grave yard situated at the base of the valley, next to the sea. As I approached, I parked up and took a look around. There were old graves here of important people, and I decided I would look this up on the Internet when I get the chance, and find out more about it. This is the most peaceful place for a grave though, and I felt very reflective at this point.
Back on the road, it wasn’t too long before I arrived at the gates to “Mel’s Place”, a lovely little hostel right by the sea along the east coast of New Zealand. Within the hostel’s boundaries was a short climb to the top of the cliff. Up here are incredible views out to sea and along the coast, and the seat that is planted in this spot has almost certainly seen some action over time, given that it is named the “Love Seat”. It isn’t the worst place for a bit of nookie. That’s for sure. Thankfully the seat was vacant at this particular time, so there was no awkwardness for me as I stood and admired for a while.
There was plenty of the day left and so I decided to take a drive to the East Cape to find out where I go to see the sunrise. A lighthouse resides at the cape and I wanted to see it in the daylight.
The roads along the way were gravely, and driving was hazardous at times. I remember somebody saying to me “If you drive faster, you don’t feel the gravel so much”, and I adopted this way of thinking. It certainly is the case, and offers a much smoother ride. However, once you reach a bend in the road, speed is definitely something you don’t want. There is a certain knack to driving on gravel roads, and I’m beginning to find that knack.
I pulled up at the place, but the light was fading, so I didn’t venture towards the lighthouse, but instead drove off in the knowledge that I could see it all tomorrow morning when I come back here to watch the sunrise.
On the way back, I stopped at some beaches to lay some footsteps down. Mine being the only ones occupying the beach at present. Here I also explored a few rock pools for fish, although the light was dimming fast. I had to go back to the hostel, so I did.
Back at the hostel, I spent the rest of the evening talking to a lovely English girl called Claire. Whilst chatting, it became evident that she also wanted to witness the sunrise, so we made plans to set the alarm in the morning and go off to the East Cape together. This meant, however, that we needed to get some sleep, so we didn’t stay up too late before getting some rest.
Written by Daniel Stevens,
Founder of Roundtheworldtrip.org.
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